A Holiday Story - Because Jerri needs one

cynthia_gwDecember 25, 2006

At 4:15AM two years ago on December 19th, (it was Sunday that year) I gave birth to Katie.

OK. Well-maybe-not-quite.

But getting up in the morning before I went to bed at night was tough. And it was cold. And there was PS Katie (described as "Female, dark brindle. Sweet, she's a smiler. Great girl. Catsafe.") bouncing and squeaking and spinning in the back of the truck that pulled the hauler. My brindle foster babe.

I cared enough about her to keep her safe, but I just wanted to go home and back to bed. Please.

Katie whined and panted in the back of the car all the way home in the dark. Through the toll, through the tunnel. Down 95 and up 695. Whine, whine, whine, wiggle. She peed before entering the house. Stepped over the cats in the front hall. Laid down in her crate and stopped whining. Katie slept.

At 6AM I ordered two new coats to replace the thin standard foster issue.

I slept. She ate. She slept. She pranced and spun down the street on a leash. Everyone we met was her long lost best friend. Oh the vibrating excitement and helicopter tail. The leaping and spinning and cooing and jumping. Shy one. I checked her lineage to see when the shih tzu had entered her bloodlines. Every new day was the most exciting thing that ever happened to her.

I ordered my own crate. Large, since I might adopt a male.

It was the holiday season and no one was dog shopping. I had a cold. Or maybe it was the flue. I never get sick so I dont know the difference. People who donÂt get sick make a huge deal of it when they do. I carried Katie upstairs to my office so that she could tell me if she needed to pee, but mostly so that someone would witness my death. I slept on the couch in my office and Katie slept on her pillow and nudged me for the occasional neck rub. Her walks were measured in minutes those 2 days. 3 paces out the door and she performed. I stopped being sick and took her to an open house where she charmed people with her sluthound ways. I cried all the way home. What if someone actually adopted her?

I kept her.

In two years, Katie has never told me when she needs to pee. So weÂve had an accident or three if the schedule changes too much. She still loves her crate, but has pillows in every room. She still fawns over every human being she sees even if theyÂre approaching her with a needle (or inserting it). She is the door-dog and receptionist at Meet and Greets, and has charmed more people into adopting their own greyhound than we will ever know.

It took her 3 months before she could manage the hardwood stairs, and I called it my weight bearing exercise. And once she learned those stairs, she snuck down them to poison herself with an unauthorized midnight buffet from the kitchen snack drawer and to vomit up and down the stairs and all through the house. I was euphoric to have her alive and peeing hundreds of dollars worth of fluids on the patio the next night.

By then, I cared more about her than a few rugs or a few dollars, and stayed up to make sure that her catheter stayed in, but mostly to watch her sleep; beyond grateful that she was still there.

She developed fear of the dark the first summer and it took months to work it through. She dramatically mourned the adoption of a male foster to another home, and was awarded an older brother 2 months later. Monty and a string of male fosters taught her to lift her leg to pee on trees. She only had to bite me in the head twice before I learned to operate nail clippers only in combination with cookies and a play muzzle. When her brother was attacked on our walk by an off-leash dog, she stuck a sweetgum ball between her toes so that she could limp home too. Her magnetic feet were the only smile on that awful day.

She converses with me in roos when she wants something, or if I babble at her with a question in my voice. She responds to 'what do you say' with Âplease or Âthank you, and can sit and give paw and roo the right syllables all at the same time when sheÂs Âon. But the combination often makes her lose her balance and fall over in a jumble of gangley legs. She is gentle and sweet and smiley and spinny and there are no perfect dogs anyway, just wonderful ones. She is my most wonderful girl.

If I ask her with the right inflection in my voice - she will say that she loves me too. "Roo-Roooo-Roo."

Posing at the track before retirement:

Working hard at life after racing:

Encouraging a big oaf of a foster boy to break out:

Stuck in the attic - the stairs much too scary to descend :

Sharing her bed:

Recovering from the stupid kennel accident with Monty keeping watch:

The night that new sister Dannie decided she was no longer a foster. Katie on the left - Look at the face :-)

Dannie (front) Katie (Center) Monty (Rear) and me (in shades):

Peace.

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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Bravo Cynthia! Great story for a Christmas morning. Welcome to new addition, Dannie and so nice to see pictures of Katie and Monty again. But the burning question remains, "Will three be enough?" lol.

Sue

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 9:59AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

YEAH! Loved it all Cynthia! Never two without THREE as the saying goes!
(I'm stealing !!!! from EI)

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 10:03AM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Thanks for the story Cynthia!!! What a pleasant surprise to see your post and wonderful photos this morning!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 11:18AM
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lmcilhargie

What a heartwarming story Cynthia! Wonderful pictures of such special creatures! Thank goodness for warm, caring people like you and so many other Idyllers too! Welcome to Dannie! She's a lucky girl!

Eden

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 12:17PM
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just_t

I, too, loved the story and also love having posts again from Cynthia with our very special friends Katie and Monty...Welcome to Dannie!!!

Cynthia--you have been missed!

T.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 12:32PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Cynthia, what a wonderful story and it was needed more than you know. Thank you all for your kindness, understanding, and support.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 12:54PM
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chelone

Brava!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 1:08PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Wonderful to see the family pic and to hear the story. Beautiful Katie sure blazed the trail well for her gorgeous siblings. So glad to be introduced to the newest member of the family. Danni welcome. Please tell us some of your story. Like how you came to be Cynthia's third, and what it's like to be so pampered. I want to be adopted by her too.... Cynthia I hope you visit often. I missed hearing of you and yours.

Very very Merry and Happy to you.

Yeona

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 5:18PM
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gardeningmary

Hi Cynthia

your story makes me feel warm inside. Just what Christmas is about! Hope to see more of all four of you in 2007.

Mary

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 6:11PM
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triple_creek(z5)

And now there are three. Thanks for sharing Cynthia. I think of you and your dogs often. I always enjoyed your stories of their antics. Norma

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 11:09PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Your dogs are all so lucky to have you....and you are lucky to have them! :-) Thanks for sharing your story and the photos.
Merry Christmas.

:-)
pm2

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 6:53AM
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martieinct

What a wonderful story. Not just Jerri benefited, I'm sure!!

Good to see all four of you. Hope it's more often :-)

Martie

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 7:02AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Many congrats new Mom!! How wonderful to see the grey pics again!! You'll be buying a larger "plot" before you know it -- & that burning question, is three enough? LOL!

Welcome!

Cindy

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 11:44AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Cynthia,

Thanks so much for sharing your happy tale (tail?). I'm glad to hear that Katie is doing so well and that her family is expanding.

Ask Katie, Monty and Dannie to send some good thoughts to some grey friends in my area. My friend's brother and his wife adopted two retired greys a few years ago. About a year ago, he lost his wife to a long battle with breast cancer. He has battled his own demons and after a couple of rounds of detox he has been diagnosed as bipolar. He's in treatment, but is unable to care for his dogs right now.

My girlfriend has taken them in for now, but the two greys are joining a household that includes one cat, two golden retrievers (one a rescue adoptee herself) one significant other, and the SO's adult schizophrenic brother. In other words, she has her hands full and can't handle the extra dogs for very long.

I hope that the two greys can find as happy a home as you've provided for your three musketeers! Good to hear from you!!!

V.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 9:47PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wonderful, wonderful story and photographs Cynthia, Thanks so much for sharing.

Deanne

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 12:42PM
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