Previously… (The Foster Chronicles: ‘Nita, Week 6)
I tumble out of bed, stumble to the kitchen, but before I pour myself a cup of ambition, I must feed the dogs. One, two, three bowls. Sit, wait, two bowls down. “OK.” They eat. Head to the spare room with the third, put it down in front of ‘Nita. She waits! Good girl. “OK.” She’s halfway through it when I remember it’s spay day, and she’s not supposed to eat anything—SHIT. I pluck the bowl off the floor. She wags, whatever.
I worry though. Shit. Will they not spay her? I tell the sweet teenager who has volunteered to drop her at her appointment (I have to be at work before they open) to tell the vet techs about the food. Shit.
At 8:54am, I get a message from her: Omg they need your # ASAP
SHIT. Heart attack.
I freak out for an hour, only to find that they wanted to tell me ‘Nita would be ready earlier than they thought. THAT’S NOT OMG-WORTHY, YOUNG’N.
She’s so sweeeeet and dopeeeey when I pick her up.
The food seems to be causing no problems—whew.
At ten past ten, she yorks on the floor.
‘Nita barfs again at 3:20am. I clean it up, then I’m awake for hours.
In the evening, we go to our first class together. As soon as we hit the parking lot and she sees other dogs, she just can’t deal.
My sister texts me to see if I want to walk with her and the kids after school. ‘Nita does relatively well, considering all the stimuli of a new place, but she gets really agitated and nips at the tires of the stroller carrying my littlest niece. I tug on her leash every time she lunges, and after a while she seems to get the hang of it. However, whenever we drop behind and then catch up, we have to repeat the learning process because she doesn’t remember from four minutes ago that strollers are not for herding.
On our neighborhood walk, a little black and white dog in a vest is loose. He comes to say hello. Ninety-four percent of the time, I can handle my three dogs just fine. The six percent of times, when there is a loose dog, all bets are off. Redford and Violet get away from me. A neighbor driving by stops, helps me corral my dogs, and shoos the little guy away until I can put some distance between us. Thank you, neighbor.
My friend Sam lives along our route, so she comes out to walk part of it with us. The only problem is she’s pushing her son in a stroller. And all the progress from yesterday is null.
I’m tired of shuffling dogs around the rooms of my house, so I tether ‘Nita to my belt, and we all hang out together. She humps Redford’s butt; he humps her face; it’s all good.
My dad comes to visit and snuggles his granddogs. He comments every time ‘Nita humps Redford:
“You shameless hussy!”
“You’ve got your roles reversed!”
Lainey is supposed to have her home visit today. Fingers crossed.
I find out the home visit was cancelled. I don’t know why.
So we walk.
Then I clean like blazes because I have some folks coming over in the evening.
When I bring her out to meet my guests, she promptly climbs in the first lap she finds and kisses the accompanying face. Then she makes her way around the circle offering good will toward men.
On our walk, a guy hollers, “Can I have the black and white one?” I tell him she’s adoptable, and he comes over to meet her. As soon as I say she’s spayed, he says, “Oh,” with obvious disappointment. Goddammit, why can’t people just love dogs without wanting something out of the deal? In other words, goddammit, why can’t humans be more like dogs?