When Wrong Goes Right

We have been taking a break from hang gliding for several months now.  It’s one of those things–first we were taking a break so our knees could heal.  Then, Pat started working every weekend getting his new guitar-building business going.  All work and no play was getting old.

Then, when Pat’s family came to town to celebrate Pat’s milestone birthday with us, we managed to talk his sister into going for a tandem flight.

Talking someone else into doing a tandem flight is different from deciding as a couple that it’s something you want to do together.  There is a completely different sense of responsibility–probably heightened by the fact that this was Pat’s baby sister (never mind that she’s now in her 30’s and more than capable of making up her own mind).  While I felt obligated to make her aware that there were risks, I didn’t want to scare her out of it because it’s one of those experiences you keep for a lifetime.

As we headed out to the mountain for Pat’s sister’s flight, I had one of my mental glitches that caused me to take us completely the wrong way.

As we drove as fast as was allowed in the wrong direction on a lonely 2-lane highway, we spotted a large dog staggering toward us in the middle of the lane.  We also noticed it had a collar, so we swerved around it and started looking for houses, assuming its home had to be close–it was barely able to walk.

Pat’s sister immediately wanted to stop and pick up the dog.  I think we were all thinking the same thing, but we didn’t want to steal someone’s dog.  As luck would have it, we soon realized we were going the wrong way and needed to turn around.  By this time, we realized there were no houses in the vicinity and there was no way that dog had gotten there on its own.

When we got back to where it was, it had collapsed in the middle of the road.  We blocked traffic with our car, got out Tisen’s water bowl and gave the dog water.  Then, we managed to urge it to get into our van, although Tisen wasn’t so happy about sharing his ride.

Since our safe-harbor dog shelter didn’t open for hours, we went ahead and took Pat’s sister to the flight park.  When we finally got Pat’s sister signed up for her flight, we asked if anyone wanted a dog.  It looked like a poorly bred Mastiff.  Her hips were so bad, she could barely walk.  She was dirty and smelled like she’d been lying in poop.  She had ticks and probably fleas.  We were certain she’d been dumped.  No one was interested.

Pat’s sister took her flight full of joy knowing that the dog was safe. She said the tandem flight was 2nd to rescuing the dog on her list of things that made her trip.  She wasn’t alone in her thinking.

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#7)

For all you dog lovers, here’s an awesome blog for you. They were kind enough to feature Tisen in this week’s Wags & Whiskers Wednesday, which posts submissions from readers. Enjoy!

Wags & Whiskers | Dog Walking and Pet Sitting

Wishes for a happy Wednesday to you all!

I’ve never been overly concerned with Valentine’s Day.  Maybe it’s because I spent so many of them single, but I think it’s more to do with the silliness of it all.  Do I really need another day of the year to give and receive cards, gifts, and sweets from my husband?  Do we really need to shell out our hard earned dollars to eat a fancy meal?  I was content to stay in last night and eat a wonderfully delicious dinner at home … that way I could spend this holiday not only with my husband, but with my equally loved pup.   As Pablo (that would be my husband) was making supper (YUM!) and I was relaxing with my margarita, Buffy (that would be my pup…but you probably already knew that) sat sweetly at my feet.  On a day meant for celebrating…

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One Man’s Trash

We are up before the crack of dawn, on our way to the hang gliding training hills.  We arrive early–the gates are still locked.  As soon as we settle in to wait, two dogs come running down to greet us.  They are collarless, thin, very young, and very adorable.  There aren’t any homes near enough to explain why these dogs would be hanging out here before dawn.

When the instructor arrives, we drive on, deciding to worry about the dogs on the way home, but the dogs chase us down the dirt road for as long as they can keep up.  We lose them when they tire, but they arrive at the parking lot about the time we get out my glider.  They jump all over me, wanting to be petted some more.  I turn my back on them when they jump and pet them when they have all four paws on the ground.  It takes three times and they figure out they can get what they want by standing still.  They are smart dogs.

As I go through my flying lessons, the dogs chase me when I fly off the hill and run up and start licking my face if I land on my belly.  I’m not sure if they’re worried about me or just having fun, but it’s cute.

After a few flights, they run off to explore something else.  I am relieved–these dogs are breaking my heart.  But, I don’t want to jump into a 12-14 year commitment because they’re cute and hungry.

When we call it quits for the day, the dogs reappear to “help” disassemble my glider.  They remember not to jump on me and I am impressed with how quickly they have learned that lesson.  When I am done, I sit on the ground and let them share my lap.  They are so sweet.  I remind myself they’ve been running around and are exhausted.  Tired dogs usually are sweet.

But my husband looks at me sitting on the ground with these hungry, adorable dogs and says, “All right, get them in the van.”  They ride comfortably with us to Wendy’s where they wolf down burgers.

We discuss the choices we’ve made since the death of our sweet Mastiffs to make it easy for us to travel.  We decide to take the dogs to a shelter and volunteer to foster them.

The shelter is large and clean and the man at the desk is reassuring.  I meet the volunteer coordinator and she is equally friendly.  I fill out paperwork and we bring in the dogs.  It will take 5-7 days for the dogs to get vet care (including spaying and neutering), have their behavior assessed, and be ready for foster care. I am sad as we walk out.  I cannot shake a feeling of unease, like I have shirked a responsibility.  I imagine their disappointment at being left behind.  I feel my own disappointment.  I resist the urge to run back inside and ask for them back.