Columns 2006

Blondie and Blue

Mr. T came home a few days ago. He joins Morris the bird on my little table. It’s good to have him back. Now I can say goodnight to him again like I did for the past 16 years.  To all those wonderful people who called and sent cards, let me say thank you.  It’s nice to know this state is filled with people who can love pets so much and be so kind. I think that bodes well for our future.

Meanwhile, I went to Friends of Pets and found two wonderful new friends who are helping to fill the gap left by Mr. T.  It’s a large gap but I think these two are up for it. 

They are an odd couple, to say the least.  Blue is a lot of blue heeler with a little bit of something else.  She worries a lot.  After all, she’s come to a home with quite a large and diverse herd and it’s not easy to keep us all together so she can finally get a good night’s sleep. 

For starts, she can’t figure out how to get the downstairs and upstairs birdcages herded together so she can keep an eye on all of them at once. And I’m infamous for being restless and going up and down the stairs a million times a day. Sometimes I see a look of resignation in her face as she heaves herself up after finally having five minutes of peace to follow me up the stairs again.  I realized quickly that there would be no convincing her that she could just wait for me at the bottom of the stairs.

But how could I resist the allure of an older dog with diabetes that needed insulin every day. It’s like we were made for each other. Now I have someone right in my home to compare blood sugars with and to gloat over when mine are better than hers.  It’s a match made in heaven.

Her gal pal Blondie is the polar opposite. Blondie has a little of a lot of breeds in her and the result is a dog who is basically very happy she’s a dog.  Everything is utterly fascinating and amusing to her. A leaf that blows by, a snowflake that falls on her face, a drop of rain that hits her head – all are greeted with wonder and joy.  She’s one of those dogs who, if she could talk, would probably spend a lot of time saying, “I’m a dog!  I’m a dog!  Life is great!  I got to sniff things today.  I got to chew something unrecognizable from the street today.  I got my belly rubbed.  I’m a dog. Ain’t’ life grand?”

We have had a few moments in the adjustment period where I thought I might actually be in control of my animals this time. Luckily that moment passed and I am back to the happy acceptance that I’m just one vote among many when it comes to issues affecting my little household. For instance, I thought that since I earned the money that bought the kibbles that keeps everyone happy and well fed, I should get a majority of the room on my bed.  I was obviously wrong.  There are three of us who need to be accommodated and two of the three of us apparently need to stretch their legs out as far as possible in marking their portion of the bed. But I don’t mind clinging to that last three inches they leave me in exchange for the warm bodies that snuggle next to me on cold nights.

Getting used to walking two dogs at once took a little more adjusting.  Here’s what I’ve definitely learned from the experience. You can’t tie the bag you’ve scooped the poop with when you have a dog leash in each hand. You have to carry it home untied until you put them in the house and have a free hand to dispose of the bag.  And when you are carrying an untied bag of scooped material, you should not swing that hand over your hand while twirling around to untwist the dogs’ leashes.  Let’s just say it can cause some things to become fast traveling projectiles that should probably stay in the bag.

My African Gray parrot Abdul used to call Mr. T every morning when it was time for him to wake up and go out.  He hasn’t said T’s name since the day Mr. T crossed the Rainbow Bridge. But he still yells, “Go out” the minute I get up in the morning. And the dogs respond with alacrity to his command.

My world is complete again. Mr. T is home. Abdul is in charge of everything. Blue covers our rear. Blondie reminds us all about the simple pleasures of life. And the other birds are once again on the phone to their attorneys asking if I can really bring not one, but two new dogs into their home.

Now if I could just get Blue and Blondie to share the blanket….