Lost in Napa

(from December 26th)
I got a dog yesterday. She’s supposed to be a buddy to my two year old lab/border collie/pit bull mix. She is adorable, fast, and sneaky. She has already tried to eat Pepper’s breakfast and has snuggled alone in Pepper’s bed, a fight for the Alpha position.
Pepper weighs 50 pounds. New Girl weighs eighteen. I did that on purpose so that Pepper can maintain her top-dog status. New Girl isn’t going to acquiesce just yet. She’s going to fight for it.
She was surrendered in Napa. Napa burned two months ago. The wine country fires burned almost 9000 structures. Some of the people had only thirteen minutes to get out. The deaths were mostly older people living alone. They might’ve been confused or thought they had more time.
My adult kids feel bad that someone in Napa lost such a nice dog. She is housebroken. She plays fetch. She takes a treat without biting my fingers. I explained that the Napa shelter kept her and no one came for her. Then ARF got her since she hadn’t been micro-chipped. ARF brought her to my part of Northern California and put her up on its website. Her face is adorable.
“Maybe she belonged to one of those old people that died,” my son said.
My first daughter said I shouldn’t get another dog because Pepper has bad manners. To make her point, she squirted Pepper in the face with water when everyone came over on the 22nd for the cousins Christmas. Pepper got her feelings hurt. Yes, she is exuberant. Yes, she could be more mannerly. But she is a sweet dog, and the wet face hurt her feelings. She slinked off, not understanding.
After everyone left, I threw the squirt bottle away. When first daughter came back two days later for Christmas Eve and asked me where it was, I told her it was gone. I told her she was judge-y. She told me again not to get a second dog.
“Dogs learn their bad manners form each other,” she said.
Funny, it is okay for her to have two dogs.
My two other kids wouldn’t help me go to ARF. I needed to take Pepper for an interview to see how the two dogs would get along. How would I handle two dog strangers in the car? Neither adult child agreed to go with me and help.
I figured it out. It took over an hour to empty my car, fold down the seats, find the crate, put it together and load it into the car. I would be ready for the next day.
I checked the website. Eight pets had been adopted at ARF on Christmas Eve, but not Gingersnap. She was still available. I leashed up Pepper and drove to ARF at noon the day after Christmas.
Gingersnap was in a room with two smaller dogs. She seemed timid. The volunteer threw treats from her seated position, and the two smaller dogs came up to her. Not Gingersnap. The volunteer had trouble getting a leash on her. She finally got her leashed up and brought her outside to the grassy meet and greet area.
Pepper passed the doggie interview where she and Gingersnap interacted in a grassy area for almost thirty minutes. She was on her best behavior until Gingersnap went for her ball. Pepper rolled her over and put her paw on her chest.
My ball.
The trainer gave Pepper a pass.
“Always have two balls going in opposite directions, or take turns by holding one dog’s leash while the other one chases a ball, and then switch off.”
My kids don’t approve. I told them that Pepper needs a buddy. I told them it was none of their business how many dogs I have. Their dad has FIVE dogs. Some of his dogs aren’t housebroken. They seem okay with that.
It’s been over six months. I found some paperwork that says Daisy used to be named Idgie. The previous owner was a woman who got her a three-year rabies shot. Then she gave her up to the shelter. What did Daisy do to be given away? Did she keep escaping? Did she jump the fence? Did she get into a fight with another dog?
Yesterday she and Pepper ran the green belt together. They both had leashes on, but I let them run while my son was here with his Chihuahua. I can usually control Daisy with treats. She will come back to me to get one. At one point she chased after a family with two kids in the wagon. My son yelled, “Hey,” and she came back. She is fast. I didn’t even see her go.
After the walk/run, both dogs stretched out and slept. Pepper chose the cool wooden floor.. Daisy picked the ottoman with the quilt on it. She looked so peaceful sleeping there. She looked happy, like she has finally found her forever home.

Couldda Wouldda Shouldda

I should’ve taken her photo on the ottoman.

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