spirit flows thru -- Alison Rittger's spiritual reflections on finding the holy in the daily
PictureFoxiebeau home from Happy Tails
I know you are eager to catch up on my comings and goings. While my one and only was in Ashland at the Shakespeare Festival, I was at Happy Tails kennel in San Luis Obispo becoming a dog with friends. I didn’t fight or bite. I singled out a small furry white lovely. I spent happy days cavorting with her and similar small canines, cementing my reputation as a Happy Dog.

My one and only was delighted to learn from the kennel staff, whom she called numerous times from Ashland, that I was a “Happy Dog” and doing very well. She had imagined me snarling and attacking and being kept inside, all alone. She knew I could get along with Cooper in San Francisco, but she often saw me lunging at other dogs as we walked the trails that pass close to our house in Baywood Park.

Delighted that I am this happy animal rather than a fierce predator, my one and only wants to reward me with a dog of my own. She thinks I would appreciate a sidekick. With this in mind, our first “let’s look” excursion was a trip to Creston, which is north of our house and inland. You have to drive up winding roads that sometimes don’t have a line down the middle. We went to visit animals at Meade Canine Rescue. There we scoped out little dogs for one who could come and live with us.

My one and only had made a friend who lived on the property in a house with 10 little dogs and a couple of larger ones. Maureen made much of how well behaved I was while the resident dogs “checked my license plate.” Though they liked barking at me, I took a ho-hum attitude and marked the yard. We did not find a take-home animal there. Six little ones we might have liked Maureen had already adopted. Then we climbed to the upper house where 40 more dogs lived with the lady whose name is on the rescue because it’s her acreage. Dogs alive at Meade would otherwise be euthanized if left at shelters. Most are unadoptable. Some are blind and others are too senior to change their ways.

We can’t bring home a little dog who doesn’t enjoy children and almost all the Chihuahuas are yappers and that won’t do either. One cute dog always slept in its owner’s bed and never got out of the habit. That wouldn’t work for us because sharing the bed with my one and only is a “me only” option. Driving back down the hills from Creston, I believe my one and only may have been having second thoughts about bringing another animal into our lives. Although we have not really begun to explore our options, I think she should give it some time. If I have to associate with other dogs, I wouldn’t mind going back to Happy Tails where I feel encouraged to be my best self.

It is obvious to everyone who knows me that I am growing up and outgrowing my bad habits. On Father’s Day, for example, my one and only was happy to take me to her son’s house for a barbeque. I did not run from the yard through the open gate into the street. I didn’t bark or lunge at Shiloh, the big dog that lives there. I didn’t nip at any children, not even the smallest ones who crawled past me. I didn’t beg for food, even with the smell of meat coming from the grill. I ate from no plates children left lying around.

At our house, I notice that sometimes I am encouraged to go outside without a leash. I can get into the car as soon as the orange door swings open. More and more, my one and only urges me to be independent. I will be a good role model if and when I do get a pet. And it is a big “when” and a bigger “IF”.

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