We have 6 pets, two dogs and four cats. Two of the dogs and two of the cats are older than 11 and we know that we are closer to sunset than to sunrise with them. I try not to think about that too much, because if I do, I break down into sobs that can't be controlled. Instead, I try to enjoy every minute with them. I make a conscious effort to never walk by one of them without touching or speaking kindly to them. I make an effort to not push them away if I am doing something else. I want to take time to give them love while I can.
When the dogs were younger, Trevor use to run with them. Now that they are older, its all they can do to get around the neighborhood for our morning walks. Trevor has been watching the shelter websites and petfinder.com for a certain breed of dog - I believe an Australian Sheppard or a mix. These are supposed to be good ruuners and Trevor really wants a dog who can run miles and miles with him.
Friday, Trevor emailed me pictures of a dog that fit his requirements. She was only 7 months old and living in a foster home. I didn't think he seriously wanted to bring her home, because, let's face it - we have 6 pets. We are all full, no room at the Inn. Right?
Well, he kept brining up this dog, had her picture on the computer. Finally, on Saturday night I said to him "you are talking to me like I have told you we can't have her. If you want her, fill out the application." So he did. And on Sunday, they called us and asked if we wanted to come meet her. So we did.
And here she is. This is Maggie.
Maggie spent all but the last week of her short life living in someone's backyard. Her mom was a stray and they gave away all the other pups, but couldn't give her away. So they kept her outside, fed her whatever food was cheapest and didn't even give her a name. We are pretty sure they yelled at and probably hit her but the way she cowers.
She was dropped at the local shelter and was so afraid, they couldn't show her to prospective pet owners. She was put into foster care just last week. This wonderful family has helped her progress and she can now walk on a leash and is fairly well potty trained.
As we left her foster home yesterday, I cried. I cannot imagine being a foster parent to pets. I loved her within 10 minutes. It made me so sad that they had to give her away and so grateful that they got her ready for us. They told her yesterday that "her people" were coming to get her.
We introduced her to the dogs and that went well. She is so submissive that it was no problem. Opal is OBSESSED with her and follows her everywhere, wanting to smell her. Maggie slept in bed with us last night. That did not make the cats happy. Roxie hid under the bed, Norwyn kept his distance. Gus and Daisy slept with us, but not in our normal spot. Every time they moved, Maggie got up and wanted to sniff them to death.
We were awake half the night and finally, she went to sleep. This morning she came down and layed in the garage while I rode my bike. Such a sweetie. Today, she is at work with Trevor and he is teaching her to sit. I'll pick her up on the way home and give her lots of love. Then when we get home, I'll spend about an hour giving each one of the others some love too.
You would think there isn't enough to go around, but I have to say, all this love has expanded my heart to a size I never imagined. I am overwhelmed with it. Seven is our magic number. At least for a little while.