April 23, 2006

And Then There was One

For the first time since its inception, the Stanley family will be decreasing in size.

The year we got married, Trent & I got two dogs: Jasper (a lab/Shar-pei mix) in March and Sugar (a lab/hound mix) in April. We got two so they could keep each other company while we were both at work. The only time they were separated was when Jasper ate part of his polar fleece blanket and subsequently had to have surgery to remove 12" of his small intestine. [FYI: Polar fleece doesn't break down in the digestive system the way other fabrics do. Keep it away from all animals and small children with a proclivity to chew and consume those chewed objects.] For the 4-5 days Jasper was at the vet's, Sugar was inconsolable.

The house we're moving to here has a back yard that's 1/3 the size of the one we had in Kansas City, and even that yard was really too small for Sugar. She loves to run and coils tighter and tighter like a spring if her movement's restricted for too long. Living in an 8'x10' shed and a 10'x10' run has been torture for her. Every chance she gets, she runs off. She always returns wearing an apologetic expression, as if to say it wasn't her fault that her legs ran away; she was just along for the ride. Sugar lives up to her name: she's hyper.

Our hope is to find a farm in the area that would be willing to take Sugar. As Trent said, we'd rather she have six months of being able to run as much as she likes than another seven years penned up in small spaces. Jasper should make an easier transition to being an indoor dog. He's good-sized (~70 lbs), but much quieter and thrives on affection.

So... the two shall be separated.

Today, however, it isn't Sugar that's giving me fits; it's Jasper.

I headed outside to put them on their leads, keeping a firm grip on Sugar's collar but (in a stunning display of blonde trust) letting Jasper out on his own. He betrayed my trust and ran off around the neighborhood. I had to track him down eventually, and I let him know that he'd just axed any chance of being released on his own recognizance in the near future.

Apparently he took me at my word. I looked out the window a while later, and his lead was lying on the grass, empty. Somehow (don't ask me how) he'd escaped the latch on his collar and was off (again) roaming the neighborhood. At first I thought my mom might have taken him along on her walk, but a loud cacophony of barking from the next door neighbors' (who own two springer spaniels) debunked that daydream.

I marched Jasper back over to his lead, let him know what I thought of him and told both of them (Sugar was barking left and right in very excited fashion) that they were inches away from spending the rest of the afternoon in their kennels.

Now Jasper's sitting with his back to the bay window. He's really developed the art of canine sulking... it's almost cat-like.

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