The First Night

Mom’s dog Dolly started her physical journey into our and her-new lifes Tuesday afternoon.  After an hour in the truck, she waited until the first rest-stop to throw up what was left of her heartguard-newton, and have diarrhea, awesome.  She wouldn’t eat, but drank a little water.

The rest of the ride she wouldn’t eat or drink or excrete, but would sit on the front seat and watch whenever we stopped and left the truck (cause the 4-and-a-half-year-old did not have the bowel stress of, but a lot more apple juice to drink of had, than the dog)  and she got me in the habit of putting the armrest up so she couldn’t jump in the front seat when I left the truck.  Not sure yet if that will become a rule, but today, yea, it was gonna be like that.

Home, 6 hours and 20 minutes after we started the Zero Stress Experience(tm) -Nick with headphones on randomly at-the-top-of-his-lungs screaming “Hi-Ya” and a dog that could at any minute explode shit onto everything inside the truck*- Dolly was really excited.  She knew this was different than the other 72 stops we had made that afternoon, and I think she knew it was my home.  And maybe hers?  Probably not.

She fell right into place, walked right into the house and sniffed everything, and 10 minutes later was eating and drinking like she owned the place.
She followed us around, sniffed everything while wagging her tail, and did the bull-snort all over the place (I have no idea what the bull-snort means, in terms of behavior, but she rocked it).  She would whimper and bark whenever she couldn’t see me, this should be fun.  A big goal is to get her OK being by herself, which is not something she’s used to, her whole 5 years she’s rarely been alone.

She is listening to the few commands I give her but I don’t think ‘stay’ is part of her vocabulary, as she looks at me as if I just asked her to explain the Pythagorean theorem.  That’s one of my favorite theorems, and she didn’t know squat about it.

Dolly fell asleep in Nick’s room when we were in there reading books, but she followed me downstairs to register this domain and write this before I go to sleep.  We read two fun books of the many that Mom-Mom had sent to Nick through the mail, “Hooper Humperdink” and “Pete and his Four Groovy Buttons”.  A few minutes ago Dolly gave me a look, one that only a female of any species could produce, and went to sleep in Nicks room.  It looks like she’s going to sleep in his room, and I’m sure that’s imprinted from mom who could not love Nick more.

She acts curious about the cats, but I accidentally let her and Sabrina get too close while Dolly was lying down and they all jumped at the same time and spun their claws on the hardwood floors, desperately trying to move but just frantically flailing their limbs but getting no traction, which sounded as would imagine and looked like it would look in a cartoon, which was pretty cool.

After a while the cats got some traction and eventually moved and almost hurt themselves run-sliding into the basement, comically flailing their limbs the whole time, while dolly chased them for a short distance before I stopped her.  I wish I would have been aware they were about to face off, because earlier I was able to calm Dolly while she and Tabitha did the new-animal stare at each other in the kitchen- stare, look away non-nonchalantly, stare, look away non-nonchalantly…, and it feels like the run-in tonight may have ruined forever their relationship.  The cats are 16, so it’s not a long forever.

Tomorrow Dolly comes with me to work where she’ll meet my 3-day-a-week co-workers, who will love her.  They know Dolly’s situation and know that she feels a profound loss.  And I know that they know that for a particular reason that’s special in a dog.

That’s the first day of the rest of the life of a dog called Dolly.

Dolly lying down on Mom's shirt the first night.

Dolly lying down on Mom’s shirt the first night. You could see in her eyes that she missed her.

* like losing an eye, funny until it happens to you – and this is why I don’t camp