The ambient light of town cast a beautiful glow over the landscape as I stepped outside with Oscar at 6:00 this morning. When I focused my flashlight on the front steps, I could see a glaze of ice covering everything. Yesterday’s weather had produced a thin layer of sleet, and overnight freezing fog and drizzle had coated everything. Light raindrops plinked against my jacket fiber, making it apparent we were in for a morning of freezing drizzle and rain. While Oscar nimbly ambled down the steps and darted off to his favorite tree, I waited on the front porch, wondering how I would get Mr. T out into the yard.
After salting the front steps and walkway, I hoisted up all seventeen pounds of Mr. T and carefully carried him to the crunchy grass. I was not as steady and sure-footed as I used to be, so trying to balance my boy on one hip and carefully take steps on the ice, meant being extra cautious. Mr. T has always refused going up and down steps. He has never been comfortable on slick floors either. For years, I kept a rug runway through the house so that he could easily get around. Finally growing weary of cleaning up rugs, FD and I invested in a solution of rubber flooring used for kenneling, weight rooms, and industrial flooring settings. It was actually decent looking and, made from recycled rubber from US tires, it was an environmentally friendly “green” floor. This new flooring was easy to clean and much wider than Mr. T’s previous walking space. Even Oscar seemed to enjoy the new surface, and it especially served us well while potty training Oscar.
Over the past several months, I must admit I have gotten past my grumpy attitude about Oscar. Reaching his first birthday in January, Oscar has grown into a beautiful, but still rambunctious boy. With Oscar around, twelve-year-old Mr. T has actually improved and been more playful than I have ever seen him. Mr. T’s eyesight has diminished in the last couple of years, but he seems to manage just fine wrestling with Oscar and maintaining his role as the dominant big brother. Over the summer and autumn months, Oscar proved himself to be a decent ranch hand, riding with me in the buggy and behaving, well, generally well. He would occasionally drive me crazy by giving me that “look”, and then run off out to the pasture, refusing to heed to my “HERE” command. He also has a habit of eating yard fungus and gnawing on fox scat. As a result I have to watch him every second that he is outdoors! But in all, he has been a great companion for Mr. T, and hilarious entertainment for FD and I in the evenings. Still, I jokingly reminded FD that Oscar was HIS dog, that I had not wanted another dog, never mind a puppy, and that he had been somewhat of an interruption in my life. But inwardly, I knew I loved that ball of trouble.
And then one recent morning as I was scrolling through Facebook posts, I saw where a JCCARE (Japanese Chin Care and Rescue Effort) member had posted about a one-year-old Chin at an animal shelter in Olathe, Kansas. I saw in the comments where two people posted about acquiring it for JCCARE. Since it was in Kansas, where I have some kin, I thought to myself that I could at least transport and maybe foster it until a permanent home could be found. But then I thought about the age, and suddenly I wanted that dog for myself! I texted FD with the Facebook post. He quickly texted back that, indicated in smaller print, the ad showed the dog had been adopted. With this, I was deflated. FD came home at lunch that day exclaiming he did not know what on earth to think when I shot him the text about another dog. After all, I had been so cranky about Oscar. But then he smiled and told me, “If he had not already been adopted, I would have said yes.”
Giddy and excited, we both admitted that the house just did not seem right with only Mr. T and Oscar. Most of the seventeen years FD and I have been married, we had three to five chin in the house at one time – not to mention a few squirrels, birds, and white-tail fawns. So in the words of Paulo Coelho, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – we got busy looking for another kid.
Meet five-month-old Bandita Lollipop – we call her Lollipop – who has just joined our family. Oscar adores her and she wears him out playing, just like he did with Mr. T when he was a pup. Mr. T shares his food bowl with Lollipop (and growls at Oscar), and lets her snuggle up beside him. She has attitude and she is fearless… well, except for thunder and loud noises, like the vacuum cleaner. The activity level is at high around here again, and we couldn’t be happier, or more in love with all of our kids.
© 2018 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…