Here are my grand-kids, says my sister, holding out her smart phone for all to see.
Ooh, we say. Aaah. The phone slowly passes by in an arc for the benefit of those seated at the kitchen table.
Well, that's only some of them, she continues. A couple of swipes with an index finger and now we're provided a look at a few more kids in various poses of eating, swimming, and even one in mid-tantrum.
I sit quietly, as I do at these events, clutching my own smart phone in my lap. If anyone's ready to see photos of dogs, I'm your girl.
Oh wait! I remember now. I have a grand-dog. Heck yes, people. Nobody leave yet, cuz I have family photos too. Hang on a sec and I'll pull them up.
|My Favorite Kid with Jack and|
The Kaiser. About [coff] twenty
But there's no hurry, of course. No pressure, you two. And don't get me wrong; a baby boy would be pretty darn wonderful, too. My Favorite Kid was one once and I liked him a whole lot.
In the meanwhile, we were gifted a grand-dog to keep those grandma hormones placated. My kid was brought up in the company of dogs and so understands the joys, challenges and high rewards of sharing life with a devoted canine friend.
There was talk about dog breeds, with choices ranging widely from the noble to the warm and cozy. What would best fit their lifestyle? A handsome, lean boxer or the smartest bunny-butt of the bunch, the Pembroke Welsh corgi?
My advice has always been that you just can't go wrong with a Lab or a golden. But all biases aside, the choice was not mine to make.
Dark and freckled and wagging a plume to rival Micron's own Tail of Wondrous Beauty, Elsa is a mixed breed of what appears to be a sporting dog heritage.
She's a lovely thing, if a bit outspoken. It's been my pleasure to be an occasional sitter for the grand-dog.
WHERE'S MY FOOD GUY? asks Elsa.
He went out to lunch with some friends, Elsa, I say. Barking is not going to bring him back any sooner.
YOU KNOW, says Elsa. I'M WILLING TO TAKE THE CHANCE.
So yeah, everyone is bonding nicely here. After saying good-bye to her previous family and spending weeks in a kennel environment, Elsa is learning to be comfortable in her forever home with Derek and Sam.
Adopting a rescue comes with a set of challenges as unique as the dogs themselves. If you're lucky, you might get an idea of the dog's background, but even that won't be enough to totally prepare the new family.
Some stuff just needs to be worked through. When we adopted Jager, we discovered he had a real problem with men in blue uniforms. Why? Oh, who knows. He was freaky about so many things, that was just another checkmark on the list. Jager's better about it now.
And the same for Elsa. Some settling down time is needed for mental adjustments. Patience, understanding and a predictable schedule is as important as a safe environment and good nutrition in building a family.
Our conversations now include the phrase, Elsa is doing so much better now. Because she's learning again to trust.
We don't know what brought this gorgeous and intelligent girl to find herself in the care of the Humane Society.
Elsa, of course, doesn't have a clue either.
Derek grew up with dogs in his life. He saw that that dogs are not disposable. A pet is not like a shirt or something bought at the mall. An item purchased because it felt right, yet once you got it home you find that you don't like the color or fit. It turned out to be dry-clean only, when you wanted something you could just toss in the washer.
We don't take pets back just because they're not perfect.
However else I may have screwed up over the years by having only one kid to practice my parenting skills on, at least I got this one family value right.
But no matter, all of this. Elsa is one lucky dog. And her history is merely that. All stuff that happened in the past and she doesn't have it in her face to deal with it anymore. What's there to do about it now anyway?
The mind of a dog is one that lives in the moment.
And at this moment?
She knows she is loved.
Meet my new grand-dog, y'all.