Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another Family Member

Jackson Harrington
Last December I got Roxanne. After losing sweet Chrissie and Lucy (cat) within six months of each other, I thought I wouldn't want another kid for a while. Of course, I was wrong and so I adopted Roxanne, a Great Pyrenees mix from a rescue group that does wonderful work in saving these amazing dogs. As with all new additions, we had some pretty bumpy months early on. Roxanne's biggest problem was that she hadn't been house-trained and to her, the entire carpet, upstairs and down, was a lawn. We finally got past that and she's a loving and devoted sweetheart.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I visited some friends at the Oregon Coast, and they have two purebred Bernese Mountain dogs. My friends wanted me to bring Roxanne so they could all play. I hesitated. Roxanne tends to be a little timid. Her two or three outings to an off-leash dog park proved to be semi-successful. She'd play for a while with the others, but they were strangers and some of those dogs play pretty rough. She'd end up standing behind me and watching. But I took her along anyway to meet the Berners and she did very well. They had fun, everyone was playful but mellow. We proud parents drank a lot of wine. So then I thought . . .

Well, you know what I thought.

Maybe Roxanne would do well with a playmate here. I spend a lot of time here at the computer and thought she might like some company of her own species. So I contacted the rescue coordinator again and made arrangements to choose her buddy.

All the dogs, about 10 of them, stank to high heaven after their five-day trip in the heat from Houston. I mean really PEE-YEW. Once I got Jackson—and these events are a chaos of people, tired, nervous dogs, and tangled leashes—we drove directly to the DIY dog wash near my house. The guy who brings them up here in a livestock trailer tries his best but conditions are difficult, especially at this time of year. So Jackson, who has a longer coat than Roxanne, had some nasty mats on his hind end. Again, really PEE-YEW. I did my best to cut them off with a pair of dull scissors they had at the bathing station but I couldn’t get everything. I stank too but had to wait till I got home to take a shower. The $20 fee covered only him, no tag-alongs.

So now I have Jackson. He’s much bigger than Roxanne by about 30 pounds, and a lot more mischievous, curious, and determined. He figured out his way into the laundry room, despite bungee cords and other tripwires, where I keep the cat box. The cat is hiding under my bed again. He’s tall enough to table/counter surf and grab things from higher surfaces. I found a lipstick on the living room floor this morning when I came downstairs.

So that’s the non-writing news for now. I think I did a good deed, but I’ll feel better about it once I’m rested again. In about three months.