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03.04.09

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Just so doggone cute

OMG, I laughed so hard that some sort of liquid came out of my nose when I read Kate Williams' piece! ("Puppy Love," Open Mic, Feb. 25). I can so totally relate!

When our sweet old Australian cattle dog passed away last April, we vowed to never get another dog. "No other dog could ever replace Rosie." Somehow, nine months later, I found myself strolling down the long corridors in the local animal shelters seeking a sign, a tug at my heart strings, something that would make me go home to my husband and say, "Honey, I think it's time. I've found a pup."

Lo and behold, I saw the sign! At the Sonoma County Animal Shelter there was this sweet, adorable little Heinz-57 that they guessed to be about five months old. Pretty red/tan with white markings, 25 pounds (she won't be much bigger than 30 pounds, maybe 35 they told me) and just as sweet as could be. I asked how she was with cats, because we have two seven-year-old brothers who have been ruling the roost since Rosie passed. "Oh, she's fine. Let's take her into the office where we have the shelter cat and you can see for yourself" they told me. Zoom, she flew at the kitty, the kitty let her have it and the pup just turned around and found something else to play with. Great! I told myself. That's just perfect. Long story short, we signed the papers, and she was mine. I spent over $300 at PetCo to outfit my new little girl, named her Gypsy (because she was a stray) and took her home to meet the family, cats included.

Three seconds into entering the house, one of my cats puffed himself into something straight out of a horror flick, stood on his hind legs and literally ripped into Gypsy's nose and tongue. Blood everywhere—not exactly the homecoming I was hoping for my new little pup. Gypsy was yelping in pain, Smokey was swollen to four times his normal size with eyes as big as saucers and making the most horrific howling sound I've ever heard. I tried to get between the two—really, really stupid idea—and ended up getting swatted by the cat. He took off down the hallway, Gypsy broke out of my hands and chased him, and I'm standing there holding bags of puppy toys and treats.

I dumped the bags and tried calling Gypsy to come back to me. Of course, she doesn't come; she's had two names already, the first one where she originally lived, the second one the shelter gave her, and now Gypsy. She doesn't know what I'm saying. I had to literally drag her back into the kitchen.

And that was just the first day.

Now we are a month into our new addition to the family, and while she doesn't have accidents in the house like Kate Williams' pup, she is a chewer and a digger—neither of which Rosie ever did. She has already annihilated rugs, shoes, pretty much anything that's left on the floor. I am questioning the wisdom in choosing this little girl, although she is so adorable, sweet, loving and playful. Oh, and did I mention that she's already doubled in size?

I happened to look out the window this morning and saw her burying a bone in one of the wine barrels we use as planters. There she was, in the barrel, digging a huge hole—dirt flying everywhere—with a bone in her mouth. She gently dropped the bone in the hole, used her nose and feet to cover it up and, looking very satisfied with herself, jumped out of the barrel and casually walked away. I told my husband that in addition to dahlias blooming this year, we will be growing bone bushes, too.

Suffice it to say that we are investigating puppy trainers at present. Because although Gypsy has turned our lives upside down, she has also made us laugh uncontrollably, made us get more exercise with our twice-daily walks and our home isn't so lonely anymore.

I just had to share my puppy experience.

Deb McGauley
Santa Rosa


 

Dept. of Corrections

Paige Green of www.paigegreenphotography.com shot the handsome full face of Arann Harris featured on p33 of last week's issue. We duly gave her credit and then dully threw a big black border over the darned thing. Lawd knows we regret the mistake.

The Ed.
Inking it Out  


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