Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sweet little lunatic II

As accommodating as Pete had been to previous expansions of our menagerie, I guessed that I might meet some resistance this time. I couldn't justify the addition of a third dog in any terms that weren't selfish. Yes, this pup needed a home, but at the time I couldn't imagine how he'd have a hard time finding one (or keeping it, more to the point). The truth is, if I had known then what I know now, it would have been still more difficult to convince Peter (or myself) that we should adopt him. I'd fallen in love. It was that simple and indefensible. When it comes to guys of any species, my sweet spot is at the intersection of terribly handsome and seriously silly. That was clearly the place where "Zeke" lived. But I had overestimated our collective ability to absorb an extra dose of chaos-- or underestimated the size of the dose. That's the story of, that's the glory of...

I tried to proceed responsibly. Pete's enthusiasm for the prospect of a bigger pack was meager to nonexistent, but he held his power of veto in reserve, at least until he could meet the guy. Given Kili's spotty history with other dogs (even with her best buddy, Barley), Zeke had to pass muster with her before we could seriously consider adopting him. I took her out to OHS for a date in the chip yard. Tanya Roberts, the head of the behavior and training department, met us there with Zeke. We kept both dogs on leash while they checked each other out from a distance.

Zeke was clearly more interested in Kili than vice-versa, and once they were free to roam the yard, he made all the advances, testing the outer limit of Kili's tolerance for his wiggly idiocies, and scampering off each time she stiffened and barked. But he quickly turned this into a comic flirtation, getting bolder with every pass and more antic with every retreat, until Kili finally succumbed to the spirit of the game, chasing him in figure eights around Tanya and me, then stopping up suddenly and barking him off again. Very much in spite of herself, she enjoyed the little fool of a pup. He was in!

If he could win Kili, I thought he could win anyone, so I was surprised and sorry the next day when Pete and Barley gave identical verdicts: meh. They loved me and would endure this new "adventure" if I dragged them into it, but they wouldn't pretend to think it was a good idea. Even before we learned what Zeke's third owner meant when he wrote on the intake form "likes to chase cats for fun," there were clouds over Zeke's homecoming and an understanding established that what followed from here would be my fault. Pete and Barley were both quite clear on that.

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