***Mom did fine. After an overnight stay, she’s home and healing up. Sarai is also fine. Everyone’s healthy and well this morning.***
On Sunday, August 12th, the Professor and I stepped into our Matrix with an old green towel, some mapquest directions, and a check. Two hours later I was in a farmhouse kitchen trying to contain a wiggly black 8 week old puppy while the Professor learned how to give him his heartworm medicine from the breeder. She clipped his nails for us, gave him a squeeze, and beamed at us as we pulled out of the driveway. He squirmed and panted the whole way home, happy but curious, gnawing on my fingers and peeing in the towel in my lap about midway through.
At home, we opened the door to a cat who was happy to see us, and suddenly not happy at all. She retreated to the armrest of the couch and looked at Virgil, who bounded around the front room and peed on the rug almost immediately. The Professor picked him up and took him out back, the first of about a million such trips, while I blotted the carpet with a towel and sprayed it with Febreeze. A few minutes later, Virgil was back in the house, and a few minutes after that, peeing in the exact same spot. Here is where RG, who has never been part of a household with a dog, learns about the canine’s proclivity for repeat applications in the same spot. This time I scrubbed a little harder with auto carpet cleaner, the only kind we have in the house, while the PRofessor again retreated to the backyard with the pup.
My sister and some friends had arranged to come over and meet our newest addition, who was at this point still a stinky, dirty, happy mess. A quick and relatively painless scrubdown later, he was clean and dry and ready to receive his guests. They cooed and squealed as the occasion dictated, and Aunt Amanda was very excited to meet him. All this while, mind, the cat has been keeping a very guarded and grumpy surveillance over the new little guy, jumping from couch back to dining table to buffet and back.
We show him his food and water. I dip my fingers in the water and he sucks them for a minute, and in this way we get him to drink out of his bowl. After leaving him for a nanosecond, we quickly have to knock together some kind of table for Bella’s food so Virgil will stop eating it. He falls asleep at about 8pm. The Professor wakes him at 9, takes him out to pee, praises him up and down for doing it outside, and we tuck him into his crate with his hedgehog, his bunny, his rope bone, and an old green towel.
That was Day 1. This is Day 8.
We wake at 6:30 and the Professor gets up to take the dog out. I roll over in the bed and the cat hops up and joins me, purring. Days 1-5 she scratched and hissed at me whenever I was within kitty cat paw reach – I nearly lost an eye when I tried to clip her claws. Day 6 she allowed me to pet her behind the ears, and sat in my lap once. Days 7 and 8 she came in the room in the morning, as she used to do, and started purring. Things are looking up.
After a few minutes, Virgil is back in the house and trots immediately to the bedroom. The cat leans over the edge of the bed sniffing him, and then leaps down in front of him so he will chase her. They have a loop they do every morning now – three times around the bed and then out to the front room. She loves us to chase her, and I think she figured out that Virgil chasing her can be just as fun. This is good, because she is really getting fat.
Virge himself is just happy as Larry with us. He has learned to get up the steps of the back deck – not an easy feat for a 6 pound guy with 3” legs. He has fewer accidents, especially since we rolled up the front room carpet. He sleeps under the green chair in the front room. He walks on a leash – we took him to the park Saturday, and aside from an incident involving a parked low-riding car and a little puppy covered in motor oil, it went well. He’s learning not to nip at people’s feet, slowly. The Professor started a new game which he loves – you sit Indian style, then grab his little body and push him hard, so he slides away from you along the hardwood floor. He runs back, taking a second to get traction, and leaps into your lap and bites your tummy. You push him, he leaps, push, leap, push, leap, and just die laughing.
He’s a lot of work, and will continue to be for a little while, but we just love him. He and Bella are learning to play together, and she’s finally becoming her old self again. The Professor is getting weary of the every-hour-on-the-hour trips to outside, but the potty training is making some progress. All in all, even though our house is smelly, we have to do constant washing of pee stained clothes, our skin is sore from bites and scratches, and we are always having to watch our little guy – we’re very happy with him. He’s going to be a great companion. He already is.