Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gibby Has Visitors

My mother has been quite ill, so I've been rushing back and forth to the hospital and not having much time for the dogs. One recent day, I decided it would be easier to have all of the dogs in one place, so I took George and "the girls" to spend the day with Gibby at the farm. I don't know whether or not they rested all day, they were really anxious when I got to them in the evening. The "house dogs" were all out in the kennel and Gibby was in his usual place in the kitchen. I couldn't tell if the dogs were stuck in the kennel or just didn't want to return through the doggy door, but I had to call all three of them by putting my hands and voice through the doggy door. They acted like I'd left them for days. Blue, especially, told me off by diving at me full speed several times.

The next day, I had planned to repeat the same doggy day care plan, but I was too rushed in the morning to stop at the farm, so the dogs spent the day in the car. I got to walk and water them every couple hours, which was good for them and great for me - a little break from mother's bedside was energizing. It was a really beautiful day, the autumn leaves were a bright yellow with intermittent flashes of red, the temperature was almost balmy, and we had a little wooded walking spot next to the nursing home where my mother has been transferred. I even gathered a few mushrooms to investigate for dyeing - they're shaggy manes, which I used to love chopped and mixed with Italian dressing and served on crackers - haven't had that treat for a long time. I think the dogs were much happier. I know they were a lot calmer.

Today, I did the same thing, but they were only in the car for a few hours, then we went to the farm (Mother's guardian is requiring that I leave the nursing home by 2:00 in case my brother who hasn't spoken to Mother in three years wants to visit). The dogs had quite an adventure at the farm. I had to do some small chores in the house while Gibby was on his cable in the yard and the girls were on their leashes (George is the only one who can safely be loose). Somehow, while I was in the house, Gibby's cable went through all of the leash clips on the girls collars and harnesses. The girls were loose and Gibby's cable was held tight at both ends when I went outside. Amazingly, both girls came running to me, Patches in the lead. I guess after all these years, finally, Patches has decided she belongs with us. In the past, whenever she got loose, she would run as fast as her legs could go toward her old stomping grounds where she lived on her own after she was abandoned. Also, it looked like they had run over to check out the new sheep pasture next door instead of chasing the cats, so that was another relief. I just wanted to hug both of them, but they were more interested in getting into the car. I think I'll continue to take them with me as long as the weather holds. I have to gradually make Gibby part of the pack in case we move back to the farm soon - the other dogs all seem to like him, but he isn't part of their pack.

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