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Stranger In A Strange Land

I’m back from Korea. Got in mid-afternoon on Saturday after a long, but uneventful trip involving a taxi, three planes, and a train. Don’t ask… Barbara picked me up at the airport with Abby and Star in the car, which was really, really nice. The girls (all three of them :) ) were happy to see me, and I them.

Actually walking into the house was a slightly different story, though. There are FOUR new dogs and one no-longer-here-dog to deal with. The no-longer-here dog is, of course, Tap, who went off to his forever home just a few days ago. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to say goodbye to him, but I’m delighted that he’s found such a perfect home. Still, it meant that the house felt different than it did when I left.

The four new dogs really made it seem strange, though. There are two puppies: 7 month old Brando (the world’s first Smooth Sheltie) and not-quite-a-year-old Jackson, a tri-color. There’s a 4-year-old tri girl, Gracie, with the absolutely ugliest front teeth I’ve ever seen on a Sheltie — I see braces (more likely, just tooth pulling) in her future. And there’s a youngish (three? four?) male whom Barbara named Justice (’cause he needed some).

Brando had never lived in a house before he got here from the shelter in Elko, NV, where he was picked up off the streets with his biological mother. She was, as far as I know, really a Sheltie. We’re not as certain about dad, about whom we know nothing. Brando has an adorable, sweet, cuddly personality and looks largely Sheltie-ish, except that he is as smooth as the proverbial puppy’s bottom (not hairless, though). At present, he’s just about in-size, and might grow to as much as 15". He’s already figured out that being cute is viewed very favorably around here, so he’s working his magic constantly. And he’s picking up the house-breaking bit very quickly (thank goodness).

Jackson came to us as an owner turn-in. He’s slightly large (perhaps 15" to 16"?), but a little thin. He’s a little bit spooky, especially with men, but I’ve already been earning his trust and he will sometimes come when I call him, and even hop up on the couch for a cuddle uninvited. He’s got a very sweet personality, but obviously had been punished harshly after coming when called, so he’s got to relearn how to trust. I really like him and think he’ll be very easy to place.

Gracie is sweet, small (13"?), and a bit chunky, but that’s fixable. It’s those front teeth that will make her harder to adopt. I don’t know what we can, or will, do about it, especially given our new financial realities. But she is really calm and asks very politely for attention. Her personality is less dramatic than the other three new guys, but she definitely is her own girl. She’s going to make somebody a superb constant companion.

Justice is also small and very, very cute. He appears to have a serious hearing deficiency, but we’re not 100% sure how bad it might be. He clearly responds to some sounds, but it doesn’t quite seem like selective hearing disorder :) He is not yet neutered, because it turned out that he is unilaterally chryptorchidis (meaning that he has one undescended testicle). The surgery is more significant than an ordinary neutering, just about the same as a spay, so we wanted to get his blood work back before making the decision. He is an absolute delight! Very charming, loves to play with a ball, loves to cuddle, and is as happy as anybody we’ve ever had, including the late, very lamented Chewy. His bad habit? He think it should be normal behavior to hop up on the coffee table and take a nap!

But there is more to my feeling so strange in my own home. Chewy and Ballet (and Tap) are very recently gone, and others preceded them in the last very few months, both placements and deaths. The "regular crew" is down to Abby, Star, Tommy, Alex, Tanner, and Olivia. Well, it also includes Shelly, but she still feels pretty new to me, as she’s been here only a few months. And it includes Sienna and Jett, but they’re almost always in their room and don’t really socialize with us all that much. Rogue and Angel are both very new, as is Nash (whom we are now convinced is almost totally deaf).

So, how many is that? Sixteen. And seven of them are new. It’s kinda crazy around here, and I suddenly miss Sly a lot. I also started really missing my first Sheltie (Merlin) and his "sister" Ellie, as well as our own Annie, all of whom have been dead for years.

Yeah, I know. I should be putting pictures of the new kids into this post. The problem is that my camera doesn’t easily link to my computer, so I have to remove the chip and put it into a special chip reader, then upload the pictures, then edit them for size (and quality), etc. Barbara’s much better at that than I am, so I’m sure she’ll be putting pictures up soon.

On this day..

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2 comments to Stranger In A Strange Land

  • Good to hear you’ve made it home! We’ll look forward to seeing pictures of all the new arrivals as you and Barbara have time. LOL As if you two ever have extra time….

  • Wow, I bet that does seem strange. Putting Shelly in Sly’s old crate to eat dinner made me really miss Sly. Brando was very sweet for the little time I had with him. It sounds like Justice is taking lessons from Zenny lol. I hope that Ian and I can get more things done around the house this weekend so we can take Tanner home soon! It is hard getting everything done when Ian is out of town all week. It is good to have you home safely. When are you off again?

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