A Holiday Story - Because Jerri needs one
At 4:15AM two years ago on December 19th, (it was Sunday that year) I gave birth to Katie.
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 ÂpleaseÂ or Âthank you,Â and can sit and give paw and roo the right syllables all at the same time when sheÂs Âon.Â 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):