Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Lonely Only

Sophie, chewing on a Bully Stick--best treat ever
When I lost my 12-year-old Aussie, Scooby, a week and a half ago, I was sure I'd get another dog immediately. Sophie, the 15-month Bordoodle, needed a pal. My children, particularly my oldest son, tried to talk reason. "Let Sophie have a while being the only dog. See how she does." No, I argued, she'll be bored and lonely. She won't get any exercise. She loved him.
True enough, Sophie was sort of quiet and depressed. I washed Scooby's bed cover and put the bed in the guest room, intending to take it out to the apartment for visiting dogs. I'd find her taking her toys and lying there during the day, though she's quit doing that now. But she was clearly lonely.
One night I thought she looked particulary sad, and I began to investigate rescue dogs on the web. Found a beautiful red Aussie but she was six months old (I can't train another dog!) and she needed work. In other words, she was a herder; she needed all that exercise. Then I found a lovely mini-Aussie named Bluebelle. She was available through the Mini Aussie Rescue Service, and I swear I filled out lengthier, more complicated forms that I did when I adopted four children. They warned they did't reply immediately.
Meantime Sophie began to adjust. She enjoyed having the run of the house--okay, I close off the playroom because there are just too many stuffed toys, Lego parts, etc., and I close off my closet because she takes the arch supports out of my shoes and destroys them. Hey, she's still partly a baby. And I have discovered two instances where what I thought was impeccable housetraining broke down, but maybe I didn't pay attention to her messages.
Still, lots of the time she would lie at my feet while I worked. I put all her toys in a basket in my office and she would choose one or two and dart off with them. She knows when I turn off the computer and light at night and chooses that time to bring me a toy to fight over. She gets lots of love, when she comes out of her crate, when she comes in from outside, when she begs by my desk. "This is working," I told myself.
We--the dogs and I--developed a three o'clock nap habit this summer (about to change with Jacob going back to school). But this afternoon, I got lost in the book I was reading and realized it was four and I didn't know where Sophie was. She had curled up in her crate and gone to sleep. "Mom, don't you know it's nap time?"
Today the MARS people wrote to say that Bluebelle had gone to a new home and was I still interested. I thanked them, said how happy I was for Bluebelle, and said I was rethinking the whole thing, would they please keep my application on file. It really is easier having one dog. I'm just not sure about the future.

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