My friend invites me on a road-trip to Atlanta. I must find weekend lodging for three dogs. I email three friends, asking them to take one dog each. Two accept; one is out of the country and offline.
I go on a 4-mile walk with my sister, Wa, and her two older children (7 and 9). Though my foster is a little timid, all-sized humans think Buffy’s adorable. We coach Little Dude to use a quieter, lower voice and not make sudden movements. We have only moderate success.
The subject is brought up, not by me, of their adopting her. I do nothing to discourage this discussion. I suggest that, as my sister is a runner, a pit bull might be a more effective deterrent to a would-be assailant than a can of pepper spray. And more fun to cuddle with at night.
In the medium-dark of the house, I mistake Violet, who is sitting on the living room floor, for Buffy, who I believe to be peeing on the living room floor, and terrify them both nearly to incontinence by clapping and “Ep”-ing.
I remember that both Violet and Redford learned to ask to go outside by ringing a bell hanging from the doorknob. I rig up a cat toy bell-ball with a hair ribbon to the back door. I ring it each time we go out.
Still unable to get ahold of my third friend, I email my sister, a currently catless cat person:
I know you’re tremendously busy right now, and even if you weren’t, know that it’s absolutely, positively OK for you to say no to this. I’ve found slumber parties for Redford and Violet for this weekend, as I’m hoping to head to Hotlanta. However, I was hoping Erika could keep Buffy, but Erika’s in the Carribean, and I’m not sure when she’s coming back.
Buffy can absolutely go to the kennel—no worries—if you don’t have the time/space/energy to keep her.
Also, in no way is this a ploy to make you see how adorable and sweet she is so you’ll keep her, unless you fall in love with and adopt her, at which time I will say I planned it all along.
Wa agrees. Yay!
Buffy pees on the floor first thing in the morning. I stop her mid-stream, ring the bell, and take her outside.
During the dog-sitting tutorial for my small relatives, we throw a tennis ball around my sister’s yard. Buffy races after it, sprints back, drops it at our feet. We throw it again; she delivers it again. Repeat 50 times. Unlike her foster brother and sister, who know only to race after it (unless it stops before they get to it, at which point they meander in another direction because what’s the fun of chasing something if it’s not moving?), Buffy plays real-live Fetch.
I distribute pit bulls all over Durham. At the last deposit point, whilst I’m telling my friend, “Redford gets confused by carpet. Sometimes he p—”, he pees on her carpet.
I head to Atlanta with my girlfriends, and commence fretting.