Cai Joins the Family


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And my cats are not happy…nope, not at all. Mongo and Charlie have been hiding in the basement since Friday. Missy took off on Friday and refuses to come anywhere near the house. However, Saturday and Sunday night I did manage to have Cai and Charlie sleep in the bedroom. No, they did not cuddle up together, in fact I had no idea Charlie could puff up THAT HUGE! But, except for some nice claw marks on my left breast, everyone escaped the experience unscathed. Poor Cai, I don’t think he wants to hurt the cats, he just wants to, ya know, get to know them. They’re not having it. He’s learned to sleep on the new dog bed we bought and put right next to our bed. Charlie sleeps on my pillow IF I carry him up to the bedroom. So, hopefully, those two will start getting used to each other and then the other two will come around. I can’t even find Mongo anymore. I know he’s in the basement I just can’t figure out where.

So, let’s backtrack a bit.

Friday afternoon Cai’s previous owner came by with him and the dog stayed. I don’t think the previous owner was very happy about having to give him away. He’s sent me several text messages regarding Cai since Friday. But, his loss is definitely our gain, Cai is really sweet–if slightly spastic and a bit hyper–dog. Giving away a bit of Cai’s private info here: he also has one ball. The previous owner told us that, my husband laughed, looked at me and said: “Yep, he’s a Gorman.” This is why the previous owner didn’t have Cai fixed, the vet told him they could do the surgery but if the other ball dropped they’d have to do it again BUT they could do ‘exploratory surgery’ on the dog to see if they can find the ball. The previous owner said ‘no’ and I don’t blame him. However, if you get a good look at Cai you can definitely tell there’s only one and it’s kinda funny.😛

Not wanting to leave Cai alone within hours of getting him but wanting BBQ we took him for his first car ride and he slobbered all over the place! We actually have a rag on the table now to wipe off the dog drool. I also use it to wipe Cai’s face as hubby says: “He’s not a baby!” Tough. We went to Chester’s and the poor thing got overheated. We went to Big Y for side dishes and hubby came back with a bottle of sparkling water for us to drink but the dog was panting so hard I poured it into my hand and he lapped it up. Who knew dogs like sparkling orange/vanilla water? LOL

Since he came with nothing but his leash and this nasty collar that looks sort of like Alena’s chastity belt, we also took him to Pet Smart where he could go inside with us. We got him the new dog bed, a set of bowls on a stand that he does not like…at all. A 50lbs bag of Pedigree dog food, which were duly chastised for buying by the staff. Hey! The previous owner said that’s what he feeds him and we didn’t want to change too many things all at once. Of course, the next day the guy sent a text telling us to mix some Little Cesar dog food in with it. Well, that explained why Cai just looked at the kibble as if to say: “Hey, something’s missing here!” So I went to Family Dollar on Saturday picked up some Little Cesar (gee that stuff’s expensive!) along with a few cans of good old Alpo and wet Pedigree dog food. Next thing you know, Cai’s bowl is empty. I also dug out two huge plastic bowls and put them on the floor instead of the stand. He seems to like that much better…when he isn’t playing with the water in his bowl and tossing his kibble around. I’ll have the cleanest (or dirtiest!) kitchen floor in town.

Hubby definitely made a new friend

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They played together all weekend

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He loves to play ball and he catches very well. He won’t bring the ball back for hubby but he brings it back to me every time even if he does make me play with a bit to get it from him so I can throw it again.

Cai is a BIG FAN of the hose!

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But I noticed something when hubby went out to clean the slobber off his car. He was out there for a while and I was alone in the house with Cai who promptly settled right the hell down. No panting. No running. No jumping. He was a big mush puddle. Until he heard hubby’s voice then he went nuts again. In a good way. I also noticed his previous owner probably drinks beer in a can. I settled into my spot, cracked open a Miller and his ears flew upward. He looked at me as though he were waiting for me to give him some. That did not happen. I don’t need a drunk dog.

Cai was probably never allowed on the bed, in fact I think they kept him in his crate all night with the other dogs (I’m told it was a partitioned crate which is why it did not come with Cai). The first night he was with us and he came into the bedroom it was like a whole new experience for him. He didn’t even know how to get on the bed so we had to help him. Now he jumps up no problem and while I can’t say he settled in because he loves to lick the skin off our faces he does eventually find a nice spot at the foot until he’s told to go to his own bed.

He’s very well trained. He knows ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘give paw’, ‘heel’, ‘down’, ‘all the way down’ and most importantly ‘go for a walk’.😛 He does understand ‘want to go outside’ but he’s becoming accustomed to the rather long length of rope we have out there for him to run around until we get that electronic fencing. He’s very loving he just wants to be our best bud.

Today was our first day alone together and since I didn’t want to leave him alone in the house for 7 hours and my boss said it was OK, I took him to work with me. He loved the Hall. Not a big fan of staying in my office. Everyone loved him, he couldn’t wait to say ‘hi’ to everybody. Everybody loved him, they all said what a good looking well-behaved dog he is. He also whimpered and whined as though he had to go out most of the day. I must have taken him around the block six times. No, he didn’t pee! He just didn’t want to stay in my office. But it’s so hard to say ‘no’ to that wrinkled handsome face. I had to explain to him that nobody wants to sit at a desk and stay there for 7 hours…but…Welcome to the Wonderful World of Being a Human. Thankfully, he walks very well on the leash he doesn’t pull or anything like that.

We came home, we watered the plants, we played with the hose, he finally did his ‘business’ and now he’s passed out cold at my feet.

Now if I can just get my cats, or at least Charlie my baby, to forgive me we’ll be ok.

Welcome Home Cai! We love you to pieces already.

Why Is It So Hard To Find A Dog?


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Just before hubby started working in MA we began kicking around the idea of getting a dog. Mostly the dog would be for me so that I don’t feel so alone all of the time, he’d be protection, a companion, someone to sleep on the bed with me and, most of all, he’d get me out of the house a few times a day to go for a walk. Staring at these walls is starting to drive me a bit batty. He’d also be a very nice addition to our little family. Not sure how the cats are going to feel about it but they’ll get over it…except Charlie who will really have his nose bent out of joint for a while. The other two probably won’t care. Miss Nicole has a dog, Loki, little dog and when she lived here and then when she came back for her Christmas visit they brought Loki with them. My dear departed Harry *hated* the dog, he even made that poor dog poop on the floor out of sheer fear one day. Yes, he quite literally ‘scared the shit’ out of the dog! I felt so bad for Loki that day. The other tree cats gave the obligatory hiss and snotty look then ignored Loki completely. I figure that’s the way it will go when/if we do get a dog; a few hisses, a few snotty looks, then complete disinterest. That’s good with me. So long as it’s good with the dog.

Hubby and I have a slight disagreement on the size of the dog we want to have join our family. He wants a mid-sized to smaller dog (like a Bulldog) and I want a big dog (like a Saint Bernard). Hubby said “no” to the idea of a Saint Bernard. I said “no” to the idea of something I can punt down a football field. Not that punting a Bulldog would be easy but, well, you get the idea, right?

Sigh.

Just in case you have no sense of humor; I would NEVER KICK a dog or any other animal or otherwise be mean to them.

For a few weeks, I looked around online. I looked at several websites including the Humane Society and local animal shelters. I noticed an overabundance of Pit Bulls and/or Pit Bull mixes. They all look sweet but…I got three cats. I really just won’t take the chance on that one even though I’d like to give it a shot. Then, one day, just before my boss were about to leave work he walked up to me and said: “Hey! You know anyone looking for a dog?”

I perked right up: “Me, I’m looking for a dog.”

He showed me a picture on his phone of this absolutely gorgeous purebred Boxer. The perfect ‘size’ compromise between what hubby wants and what I want.

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Then he told me how the dog, Cai (rhymes with ‘sky’), is actually the half-brother to his dog, Ruby. I know how much my boss loves his dog.🙂 I fell in love at first sight, I did. Then I thought about it. It’s a pure breed. “How much?”

“Free to good home, you interested?”

Free to good home? A purebred Boxer? “What’s wrong with the dog? It bites? It barks? It snarls?”

“No,” he shook his head, “They just can’t keep it.”

As far as pets go it’s been my experience that they just fall into your lap. Either a cat comes around and chooses to live here or, as in Charlie’s case, I search for months and then suddenly…bam! There he is. Looking at Cai’s face, I couldn’t help it, I felt he was destined to be our new dog. So my boss called the owner who happens to a be union member and told the guy I was interested. My boss vouched for me, told him I was good person, and told him about hubby being away so often. I called the guy when I got home and promised to give Cai a good home, told him all about my big back yard where he can run around and play. I told him about my cats. “How does he do with cats?”

“He ignores them,” was the reply. “I have a cat, he couldn’t care less about the cat but it doesn’t get along with the other dog and that’s why I’m trying to find him a new home. He’s fully trained, he hasn’t been fixed, he’s been to Obedience School, comes with a crate, he loves his crate, and some toys.”

I’m not a crate person, I think it’s mean but ok.

All that weekend we tried to meet up with him but we couldn’t get together. We even started researching electric fencing because that’s what Cai is accustomed to and it’s a lot cheaper than real fencing especially if we do it ourselves, which, as it turns out, isn’t very difficult. Come Monday, hubby’s car broke down again and when the owner called to apologize for not being able to get together but I could come to his house that day and meet Cai. I told him I wasn’t interested in the dog any longer. I told him about the car and that it just wasn’t a good time. That was two weeks ago and I knew, as the words tumbled out of my mouth, that I was making a mistake. When I told hubby I turned the dog down he got a sad look on his face. But I really just couldn’t deal with it right then. That damn car has been such a PITA!

Regretting my decision, I looked around online again today. I went to all kinds of sites! New London Animal Control hasn’t updated their FB page in 10 days. Waterford Animal Control had one dog. The Humane Society had a couple of them but they’re either small or Pit Bulls. I went to CraigsList and saw an ad for a two-year Saint Bernard in need of a new home. It’s a she and she’s not fixed but the ad states ‘no breeders’. And I thought; then why didn’t you get the dog fixed? But, no big deal. I read on; rehomming fee $200. The ads went like that right down the line until I started thinking; Are you trying to ensure the dog gets a ‘good’ home or do you just need the money?

That includes a crapwad of them from some rescue outfit in NY that’s advertising their dogs in Eastern CT. All ads say ‘transportation available’ but you have to pay extra. All had outrageous “rehomming” fees. I searched out rescue sites and PetFinder and all kinds of places. All of the dogs were a long drive away from me with no transportation offered and ALL had the same extreme fees along with ‘adoption application’ fee (you should see these applications, I don’t think my parents answered that many questions when they ADOPTED ME!) and the ‘background check’ fee. WTF? To get one of those dogs it was between $400-$750! I’m looking at the graphics on one of the sites that practically screams at me; DON’T SHOP–ADOPT! I thought; You ain’t making that easy, buddy. I can go to a pet store and buy a puppy for that.

Not that I would. I don’t want some puppy mill puppy. Yeah, not that such dogs don’t need a home, of course they do, but when there are already so many in shelters and rescues I can’t see myself doing something like that. Yes, I know those places are non-profit or at least not-for-profit and they have overhead but still…an average of $500? That’s a little much and most of them are just plain ol’ mutts (nothing wrong with that! I’m an American and that basically means that I AM a mutt) with the exceptions of several purebred Pit Bulls.

In the middle of the day I walked into my boss’ office feeling very disheartened and said: “Do you know if that guy still has the dog?”

“Why? You still interested?”

“Yes, very much.”

“I’ll call him, gotta run to a jobsite but I’ll call him in the car and let you know when I get back.”

He left. I kept searching. He came back and said yes the guy still had the dog and was still looking to give Cai a new home. He’d be interested in meeting with me. He’d call me later today. I sent hubby a text asking if he was still interested and I got back: Absolutely! When I got home, I found the guy’s number in my phone, I sent him a text telling him who I was and that I was still interested in adopting the dog.

I waited and waited to hear back from him and, as I was typing this very post, he called. Cai is coming to our house tomorrow at 4:30! The guy’s wife didn’t want ‘strangers’ in her house looking around and I respect that because I didn’t want to go to a ‘strangers’ house all by myself to look at the dog. He’ll bring him by, he’ll check out the place, we’ll see if Cai and the cats have any major problems and, with any luck at all, tomorrow evening there will be a new addition to the Gorman Family.🙂

Perhaps this really is meant to be after all. Wish us luck! If he comes to live with us expect many pictures of our new happy dog.

What a Way to Start the Day


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Tomorrow’s trash day and I don’t like to wait to the last minute to collect the garbage buckets around the house…especially not in the summer. So while my coffee brewed and I was still half asleep, I grabbed the smaller bins, brought them into the kitchen, and then grabbed the recyclables container. I took it outside for emptying. I looked down into the outside bin and it was full of water.

There was something floating in it.

At first I thought it was a large clump of dust from the vacuum but then noticed it was actually gray hair. I touched my own head to be sure I hadn’t suddenly lost that much off my own head. I hadn’t. I looked down again and thought; It must be a wig, who would put a wig in the recycle bin?

Ah, sweetheart, that’s not a wig.

It’s not?

No.

Oh, well then…what is it?

That’s when I realized just how much water was in the bin and I remembered how hard it rained late Sunday night into early Monday morning. I started praying: Oh, please don’t be a cat, don’t be a cat, don’t be a cat…or a dog! Oh, please don’t be a cat!

Don’t scream, whatever you do next, just don’t scream.

Yes. Right. Don’t be a little pussy about it, whatever happens, whatever it turns out to be, just deal with it. Right.

Gently I tipped the bin to the side and water flooded out all over the driveway. I settled it down again and peeked inside. It was a little opossum. Dead as a door nail.

“Oh, you poor little thing,” I uttered looking down at its stiff body. It must have crawled into the bin looking for food, got stuck, the rain came, and…well…all I could think was how much it must have panicked and suffered before it finally drowned. The water was far over its little head. I wished that I’d seen it sooner, perhaps if it was in there Sunday night while we were still downstairs I might have heard it and let it out. I’m known for that, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and the like get stuck in the bins sometimes, I see them, I tip the bin over and they scamper away. I once opened the garbage bin to find 3 baby raccoons near death from the heat, they were drenched in sweat and I didn’t even know they could sweat. I let them out. Dazedly they wandered off looking back at me as if to say ‘Thank you, lady’.

There I stood wondering what to do next. If it had been a dog or a cat, presumably I’d recognize it from the neighborhood and I’d run over to its owner’s door to let them know what happened. But it wasn’t a dog or a cat. It had been dead for several days. I did the only logical thing I could and then went back inside to empty the rest of the trash and get my coffee. In the middle of pouring my first hubby called as he does every morning we chatted a bit and I told him about the opossum I found. We commiserated over its awful fate for a few moments.

Finally he said: “Well, what did you do with it?”

“Well, I emptied the water, then threw the recyclables on top of it. Tomorrow I’ll put it on the sidewalk and the garbage man will take it away.”

He cackled! OMG! Did he laugh!

I said: “I don’t see what’s so funny, what did you want me to do with it? Give it a funeral? I’m not touching it!”

He just laughed harder as he exclaimed: “That’s my pooh-bah.”

I can’t stop thinking about the poor thing out there in fact I’ve thought about it all day long. The only other thing I can do is dig out all of the cans of cat food, pick it up by the tail, and put it in the actual trash can. I really don’t want to do that. Ick. Still, it’s a very undignified end for the helpless creature. I really can’t stop thinking of how much it must have panicked as the water kept rising all around it. How much it must have struggled to stay alive and keep its head above the water. That’s just awful. How horrifying.

With that in mind, I’m sure it will make a great little scene in a book one day.

RIP in little opossum, I really do wish I’d seen you in there while you were still alive. But…how often does one just look into their recyclables bin for no reason at all? Up until today, as far as I knew, it was completely empty since I only dump the bin in the kitchen once a week. I guess I’ll have to take a peek inside it more often, you know, just in case. Doing so could save a life no matter how small or insignificant others may think that life to be.

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