Clouds and Dogs

I roll out of bed an hour and a half later than usual this morning.  I am not a morning person.  In fact, I am so not a morning person that even as an infant I was cranky in the morning.  But, I’ve learned that if I give myself a lot of time in the morning, I am able to function without snapping at too many people.  Losing an hour and a half of “me time” makes this difficult.

Fortunately for me, my hubby gets up and takes the dog out.  This is due to a secret I will share with just you, my faithful readers.  We are thinking about keeping the dog.  However, because fostering was my thing, I was doing most of the care taking.  And, since I work from home and I’m hanging out with the dog all day, Tisen has particularly attached himself to me.  My husband decided he needed to take on extra dog duty to decide if keeping him is feasible.  I am relieved to have the additional help with walking, even if we end up not keeping him.  We are weighing the joy of fostering against the joy of being dog parents.

This morning, because my husband is now fully participating, I gain back a half an hour of the time I lost by over sleeping.

Once the coffee is made, I look out the window and decide to shoot some of the clouds hovering over the aquarium.  I’ve been having fun using my 100mm lens for everything these days, so keeping with that trend, I try shooting the landscape with it as well.  Although I miss the range of a zoom lens, it’s nice that the 100mm gets me over the nasty parking lot in the foreground.

After shooting for a few minutes, I decide I’d better pack it in so I have time to refill my coffee before my first meeting.  But as I turn, I see beams of light streaming through the clouds behind me.  Why is it that the light so often does the most interesting things when you have your back turned?

I fire off a series of shots at various exposures.  I know if I stand there for 15 minutes the light will change and the beams will become more distinct, making a more intense image.  But, alas, the clock ticks and I don’t get paid to shoot sun rays.

At the end of the day, the clouds have cleared and I turn to Tisen as my model.  He loves to lay on the couch.  He looks at me without moving except his tail.  I do my best with a long exposure to get his wagging tail in motion.  I can think of nothing in life that so consistently makes me smile–I never tire of a wagging tail.  Then, Pat comes home and Tisen demonstrates how much he’s come to appreciate Pat by curling up on his lap.  Who can resist taking a picture of that?

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Returning a Crate

We needed to return the dog crate we borrowed from the McKamey Animal Center.  That’s all we we were going to do.  Drop off the crate.  But Anna, the volunteer coordinator, was there and she asked if we wanted to meet a dog she wanted us to foster “so we could think about it.”

We met Tisen (which I think should be spelled Tyson, but then he’d be named after a chicken company, so it’s just as well).  He is an 8 year old mix who looks like a collection of terrier breeds and maybe even some dalmatian.  He trotted out to us in the exercise yard, just a little shy at first.  Soon, he was giving us kisses.

Anna told us Tisen’s owner is dying.  And, out of “love” for his dog, he decided he wanted Tisen to die with him.  So, he stopped feeding Tisen, apparently thinking the dog would starve to death about the same time he died and they would go to heaven together.  I’m not sure what the rules are about getting into heaven, but if starving a dog to death is on the list of ways to get in, I think I’ll pass.

The man had a daughter who was caring for him and his dogs who apparently agreed to this ploy and was feeding the other two dogs, whom the man loved less.

I don’t know much more about this story except that the police were called and they called McKamey and the wonderful staff at McKamey decided this dog needed to be saved.  He’d been in their clinic under constant care for many weeks, regaining his strength.  He’d become a favorite among the staff and his many fans were giving him extra love and attention.  However, when he had recovered enough to be adopted and was put out in the kennel areas for public viewing, he started showing signs of stress.  He apparently has a hard time being surrounded by other dogs.

We looked at his flaking skin and thinning fur, chunks missing in places and his skin bright red underneath where he’s started chewing on himself from stress, and, I ask, how could we have left this sweet boy there?

I have to say it felt pretty good when one of the staff came out to say goodbye to him and personally thanked us for fostering him–she felt strongly that he not only needed it but he really deserved it after all he’d been through.

When we rode home, he stood between the seats with his front paws in my lap, licking my face.  When we got home, after sniffing around, he plopped across my lap and nestled in like he was home.  I managed to coax him over to Pat’s lap so I could run to the dog store to get something for his skin.  When I came home, my boys were curled up on the couch snoozing.  For once, I feel certain we did the right thing.