This is Hooper, the “little” stray I took in on Tuesday December 8, 2009 at approximately 4 p.m.
This is what happened…
It was a dark and stormy afternoon. The winds were whipping, the rain was torrential, dusk was falling, and here comes this guy past the window sending Murphy into a tizzy. I saw there was no one chasing after the little guy, and worse I noticed he was heading towards busy Holt Road.
Black dog, near dusk, blindng rains, people starting to come home from work…he wasn’t going to stand a chance if he headed out that way, or he was going to cause a major accident with the roads being what they were. I had to see if I could help.
I opened the door, and as I was pulling on my rain coat called to him from the cover of the front porch. Whadya know? Here he comes bounding right over.
Friendly little bugger, but definitely young and not neutered. Uh oh. How’s he going to get on with Murph?
Surprisingly, they did fine.
Well, he had no collar, and the next day I took him to get scanned at the vet. No chip. Placed ads on Petfinders and Nashville Petfinders. The couple of people who called were looking for either female dogs or much older dogs.
Wayne was gone. I was hoping to have Hooper a home before Wayne returned Friday night. The last thing Wayne wanted was me getting attached and adding to our ever-increasing brood of fur-kids.
Well, Hoop’s still here. He’s a good dog really, but 2 dogs and 2 cats is a bit much for us. I mean, we’re managing fine, but when you’re not expecting to turn your household upside down it’s a bit much. (And Wayne was not expecting that.)
Plus, there’s always the nagging question in the back of our minds, “What if the cancer comes back?” Wayne was panicked at the thought of being stuck with the three we had if something happened to me. Not that he doesn’t love him, he does with all of his heart. But I’m the mom. I stay home with them. He’s got to work. Who would be there for them?
And then there’s Hooper’s um, how shall we say, enthusiasm? He’s still got more puppy in him than sense. And he seems to suffer from separation anxiety.
So far he’s destroyed:
- a bag of potting soil out in the garage
- 3 boxes out in the garage (luckily they were headed for recycle and had nothing in them, but it did leave quite the mess for me to clean up)
- I lost count how many plastic bags…all the ones on the back of the door in the laundry room we use for cat litter scooping, and several of the ones in the garage I use for recycling
- 1 curtain rod (the curtain curiously enough is fine, but the rod? not so lucky!)
- 1 blind (I was going to replace the ones in the front room anyway. Maybe Hooper knew and that’s why he ripped and shredded the lining and had a high time chewing up the bamboo part of the blind.)
- 1 coat rack (I came home to find it overturned and one of the metal hooks snapped off…and not where the blots were. How he managed that, I don’t know, but that takes talent!)
- quite a few cat toys (the cats have lost count, they just know their toy box is a whole lot emptier than it was a week and a half ago!)
And then there’s the pee pee. He is actually housebroken, but he had to mark his territory when he first arrived. I’ve gone through 3/4 of a bottle of carpet cleaner, and had to mop the wood floor twice, and the sunroom and laundry room floors four times. (The former is a once a week/once every two week job; the latter’s lucky to get cleaned once a month.)
He also has a propensity to want to check out the trash and munch on the gourmet feasts the cats leave him in their boxes. Grrrrosssss!
So, yep, he’s been an adjustment.
However, here’s his good points:
- he walks great on the leash
- walking him and Murph isn’t at all challenging. (It does take longer, yes, but at least they behave well!)
- he is a lover. He loves getting his belly scratched, snuggling against Murph, me and/or Wayne at night, and sitting with one of us while we watch TV.
- he guards me while I take a shower or work in the office. No trespassers allowed! (except the other pets, but I pity the fool who tries to mess with me!)
- he is quite entertaining (watching him work his treat ball and nudge it all over the house to dispense himself some food? PRICELESS!)
- he’s super friendly with other people and animals (that last part is a good thing, since we got 3 animals residing here!)
- he’s smart (he’s already learning sit and “slap me five”, and he knows how to work his nose to open the pantry, other doors, etc)
- he’s cute as a button (especially when he’s wiggling up into our laps on the couch and sidling up next to Murph wherever he’s flopped himself down)
- he minds well. He went out off leash yesterday (snuck past me as I was setting something out front) but came right back in when I asked him to.
- he’s an excellent “Welcome home!” greeter.
However, now he’s not ours anymore. I wrote all of the above and forgot I’d saved it as a draft last week. Saturday night a lady called and wanted to meet him. Sunday we took him to her and of course she fell in love.
Now he’s hers. He’s not coming back. My heart is broken. I cried all day Sunday. Monday was marginally better as far as controlling the tears, but I was in a deep depression and stayed on the couch sleeping most of the day.
Today I woke up crying and not wanting to get out of bed. Wayne sent the lady a message on Facebook just checking in. (And partially hoping things weren’t working out and she’d give Hooper back.)
Instead she wrote back how they’ll likely change his name to Sharp, they’re having great walks three times a day in addition to taking visits to the dog park. In short, he’s found an excellent, loving home.
One part of me is glad. That’s what we wanted. But the other part of me, the part that got insanely attached to him, feels like I gave up one of my children. It’s an awful feeling.
And the lady is really nice. She confirmed our friend requests on Facebook and gave us her email and sent us a nice note about how much they loved Hoop/Sharp and he was the missing part of their family now, but…I still miss him and it hurts.
Murphy, Mr. Meow and Tabby are not allowed to die. Period. I can’t barely stand this pain. I’ll never survive that!