I told the girls for years that if we found a red border collie, we’d get her, so you can’t really say Fenway was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Except…she sort of was. You’ve heard the story – I accidentally logged on to a petfinder site, saw Fenway, and saved her from walking the plank the very next day. When you go from seeing a dog to owning that same dog in just a day, I’d say that was a little spur of the moment.
I’ve had my doubts about Fen. When I discovered she was so submissive that she would pee all over the floor whenever she got excited or met someone new, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. When she started digging holes under the fence, I nearly cried with exasperation. When Fen ate a few ornaments straight off the Christmas tree, I half-expected the girls to lead a rebellion against all dogs everywhere and swear off anything to do with her.
But even though Fenway still makes me question my sanity from time to time, she’s worked hard to fit in. She hasn’t had an accident in ages. She’s learned the rules of the house and has learned to communicate exactly what she wants. The digging is still a bit of an issue, but Fenway has learned so many cues and commands that I know we’ll fix that problem, too. Eventually. All of the things that Fenway does right far outweigh the moments that make me sigh with exasperation.
When I found out that my Uncle Teddy had passed, I was a bit of a mess. I was sobbing and hyperventilating and couldn’t stand up straight. The girls were at church with their grandparents and so it was just me and Fen. Poor Fenway. She knew something was wrong and kept dancing around me. She wanted to comfort me, but whenever I reached to hug her, she pranced away, unsure of what was going on. [I know she was in a home briefly before she was on the streets. I wondered if maybe she was beaten when someone was crying? Something had to have conditioned her away from it; she was clearly torn between wanting to comfort her human and not wanting to be too close.] Fen kept an eye on me, and she would bring me her lovies, but she wouldn’t get close enough for me to hold on to her.
Monday was chaotic. I had to bring the girls’ school uniforms and things over to their dad’s house for the week I’d be gone, and then I had to bring Fen and her belongings over to the vet’s office for boarding. She did not want to get into the car, but did well once we got going. I knew she would be fine…but the house was entirely too quiet Monday night. No girls, and no puppy. It was nice not to have to worry about anyone, but it felt as if the house was missing everything that makes it wonderful.
Because the vet’s is closed early Saturday and all of Sunday, we couldn’t get Fenway until last night. (I could have gotten her yesterday morning before work, but I thought rescuing her in the morning and then abandoning her alone at the house in her crate all day would be mean.) I picked up Bee early from daycare and brought her with me. Oh, Fenway was so excited! I was afraid she was going to think she was abandoned, and she did stick pretty close to our sides when we got home, but she didn’t seem scarred at all. She rushed around to all of her favorite spots (looking first for food dropped under the table, heh) and kept bouncing back and forth between Bee’s side and my own. When we picked up Gracie later, it was a happy puppy reunion all over again.
I’m sure Fen will get into some trouble sooner or later this week that will make me wonder all over again what in the world I’m doing with a dog. But really…having her gone for one night, and then the joy of her coming home made me realize how quickly she’s become a part of the family. We need her here at home with us. The chaos at Casa de Katie just isn’t the same without her to blame for it.