PS to “Served”

PS to “Served”

Although I wasn’t able to get this photo in time to go with the post last Saturday, it is the view that inspired it.  Miss Dot was kind enough to repeat the pose this evening with her supper.  She didn’t even complain that I caught her chewing with her mouth open!

A Girlfriend for Albert

A Girlfriend for Albert

Companionship can be a wonderful thing.  Albert has been my companion (or at least one of them) for well over three years now.  I think he’s as devoted to me as I am to him.  But one of the drawbacks is the level of worry I experience when I have to be gone for more than a day.  The chain link kennel outside is secure enough, and the roof overhead keeps out a good bit of weather.  He’s had his choice of the two molded plastic doghouses in there, with thick layers of cedar shavings inside for comfort and insulation. The fact remains, however, that he is accustomed to being with me a large percentage of the time.  So when duty calls or the travel bug bites, I stress about Albert getting lonely in his pen back home.

Here’s a really neat website:  www.petfinder.com

This site allows you to filter your search for a dog or cat (or other pets), male or female, young or adult, even specifying “OK with other pets” or “OK with children”.  Enter your ZIP code and it will return results closest to your home first, then radiating outward from there.  These are not pet store animals, they’re rescues.  Dogs who have been found wandering after being abandoned.  Cats who had to be given up by someone entering a nursing home.  For a wide variety of reasons, there are thousands of animals in every state, just waiting for a good home.  The costs are typically minimal, considering what the animal shelters provide.

Glenda S. helps at the Clinton Animal Shelter, and she and her husband Scott began providing a foster home for Dot after she was dumped near their home outside of town.  Their patience and TLC helped turn a terrified, starving young dog into a still-timid-but-willing-to-try, healthy beauty.  When I saw her pictures on the Petfinder site, I was captivated.  Could this long-limbed svelte girl be a suitable companion for Albert?  A phone call and a few messages later, a play-date meeting was arranged.  Albert and Dot exchanged the mandatory sniffs and snuffles common to canines the world over.  But when Dot dashed off, then turned and loped back over into an inviting play stance in front of Albert . . . well, we were had.  Glenda and I sat on the patio, marveling at how the two  raced and chased around the fenced yard, stopping now and then to nuzzle and sniff, then tearing off again in a doggy dance that was exuberance personified.

Recalling that Glenda had helped care for Albert at the Shelter for about four months before he came to live with me, I had a question for her.

“Who named Albert?”

“I did” Glenda said, turning to me with a smile.

So now Albert has a girlfriend.  Well, she’s a girl, and she’s his friend, but they’ve both been to the vet for more than their shots.  Since I don’t have a fenced yard, our trips outside involve leashes for the time being.  After Miss Dot has been here long enough to realize this is Home, she and Albert will get to run and play together again.  Stay tuned for some action photos, or maybe even a video.  He’s already tried to impress her with his mole-digging skills!  Here’s a picture of the new friends, relaxing together.

Albert and Dot

Albert and Dot

Albert the Hunter

Albert the Hunter

Today was one of those rare, fine January days here in Missouri, when the sun comes out and the temperature creeps up and sitting on the porch swing during my lunch break is more temptation than I can resist.  But for my D.G. (that stands for Darn Good) dog Albert, sitting still was the last thing on his mind.  The 55 degree warmth paired with the pasture soil softened by melted snow had him all in a tizzy to hunt.  And once he’s on the trail of a mole, not even the offer of a homemade dog cookie can tear him from his task.  He worked this area today for almost two hours!  Since I had to get back inside to the desk, the final outcome is a mystery this time, except for the exhausted canine stretched out on my couch tonight with what looks like a satisfied, sleepy smile on his face.

And, since the temperature is now dropping like a rock once again, let’s hope Albert got enough of his favorite pastime to last him for a while.  After all, it is January!

To see a short video of Albert The Mole-Digging Dog in action, click here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2BzpDUb8Zg

What’s your pet’s favorite hobby?