Monday, March 17, 2008

Seven?!

I know, I know. Call us kooky. But, here’s how it happened...

Once upon a time, there was a cute little blond named Sassy who was rescued by a very nice dog rescue organization. About the same time, a handsome boy named Max came to stay there, too, and Sassy was smitten. She and Max became great friends and enjoyed running and playing in the yard at the rescue facility. Max was good to her and seemed to look out for her. I think he was smitten, too.

One day, two nice ladies were shopping for their other precious pets, when they happened upon Sassy who was at the pet store with her other canine friends hoping to be adopted. Now, the ladies didn’t have any plans to adopt another dog, but when they spotted Sassy, they could hardly resist her. She was so pretty, but looked so sad. She was edgy and fearful of her unfamiliar and chaotic surroundings.

Both ladies’ hearts nearly broke, and one of them kissed her on the head and told her she’d be back the following day after she told her husband all about Sassy. He wasn’t sure a third dog was appropriate for their home that already had Jake and Dexter, but he agreed to go back the next day to visit her.

Well, Sassy was terrified of the nice lady’s big husband and didn’t want to get near him, but his heart broke for her, too, and he agreed she needed a good home and loving family. So, they agreed to take her home. The nice couples’ daughter and son-in-law were there, too, and they discovered Max! Rather spontaneously, they decided that Max should go live at their house. So, Sassy and Max each had a place to call home and the best part… they could have play dates since their new families were family to each other!


It didn’t take long for the nice couple to realize that Sassy was a misnomer!


She was so timid and shy… she couldn’t possibly retain the name Sassy. After much thought and deliberation, she became Zeila, the couple’s pretty, pretty princess. She liked the nice lady a lot, but it took a very long time for Zeila to trust the nice lady’s big husband; nevertheless, he was very patient and gentle with her. Meanwhile, she loved to play with her new “brothers” Jake and Dexter and they helped her feel at home; especially the family’s alpha dog, Jake. He was very good to her and was willing to play nearly every time she wanted to. Dexter was nice, but not as much of a player.

Her friend Max’s new family also gave him a new name. He appropriately became Bruiser because he was always so happy to see them and eager to show his love that in his enthusiasm, he left little blue and yellow marks all over his “mom’s” legs and arms. A couple of times he got to go visit Zeila so they could run and play together like they used to do. They had so much fun!

Then one day, Zeila’s “big brother” Jake passed away quite suddenly. The family was so sad; they cried and cried. Dexter and Zeila were sad, too. Things just weren’t the same for anyone. A few days passed when it was decided that Bruiser would come to Zeila’s house to visit for a little while to help everyone recover and take their minds off how much they missed Jake, and while he was there, the nice lady’s big husband would help train Bruiser which would help his family and also make Bruiser a happier, well-adjusted dog.

It didn’t take long for everyone’s somber spirits to lift, nor did it take long for Zeila’s family to marvel at the remarkable relationship that Zeila and Bruiser had. They hadn’t before witnessed them spend this much time together, and therefore, didn’t realize just how deep a bond they shared. They truly were made for each other. Bruiser’s family could see it, too, and after a lot of thought and a few tears, it was decided that Bruiser would stay with Zeila’s family permanently. Truthfully, I think Bruiser’s “canine sisters” weren’t too upset to be free from the antics of that rowdy younger brother.

So… happy, happy, playful days ensued! One minor detail was overlooked… neither Zeila nor Bruiser had yet had the “procedure” to ensure that puppies weren’t in their future. When some changes began taking place with Zeila, her family watched them very closely to be sure the two didn’t tango; and when no one was home, Zeila got to stay in her family’s bedroom. Slick Bruiser, however, learned how to let her out of the bedroom... and the nice couple knew they could be in for some big changes around the house when Dexter, Bruiser and Zeila greeted them at the front door one evening! And sure enough... Zeila's family soon took her to the vet and discovered that she was pregnant with 4 pups. Oh boy!

Her family intended to find good, loving homes for them (well, maybe all but one of them... they are Zeila and Bruiser’s, afterall). Zeila’s family took very good care of her while the pups grew and developed and they were expected to arrive in early June. On Saturday, June 2nd, the very nice lady noticed that Zeila was acting a bit peculiar and she called Bruiser’s “mom” (another very nice lady) and told her to come over, “ cuz it might be time.” Sure enough, Zeila’s mom (the very nice lady) and Bruiser’s mom helped Zeila to deliver her four healthy pups; two boys and two girls.


They brought such joy to Zeila’s family! They loved to watch them interact with their mother, Mama Z (the newest of many endearing nicknames); and see them grow and thrive. It took 4 weeks before Mama Z would allow Papa Bruiser near them, but when she did, he was so tender. The family began to name them just days after their birth (so they wouldn’t have to keep calling them Boy 1, Girl 2, Boy 3, Girl 4…). After just a couple of weeks, the very nice lady was getting attached and realized it was going to be very difficult to let any of them leave their home.


After a few more weeks, she was hopelessly in love with them. And by the time they were big enough to go… there was no way! They were already part of the family.
...so the nice couple and their big, dog-family lived happily everafter...!

That’s why we have seven dogs. Sometimes it’s overwhelming (a lot of sweeping, windexing and laundering the dog beds), but mostly it’s pure joy.
And, incidentally... the pretty, pretty princess now cherishes the nice lady's big husband!

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I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18