Monday, April 06, 2009

Feeling Blue

I headed to my parent's house this weekend, and I'll head back again next weekend for Easter. They live about three hours away, so while it's not a horrible drive, it seems that the week following a visit "home" is always difficult to get started.

One of the secondary storylines from this weekend was sort of unspoken and involved Blue. To be honest, I haven't pushed the subject of Blue living with my parents for a while. I just sort of let it lie and let my parents dad think it over. But Blue was the obvious choice for companionship when heading down for the weekend. (Casey and the boy had their own bonding experience this weekend during which one of them ate all the food in my place. I'll let you guess which one.)

The subject of Blue was the elephant in the room all weekend. But it wasn't a bad thing at all. I told myself I would be okay either way, so I just kept my eyes open to see if there were any clues to what would happen.

Saturday morning, I convinced my mother to go on a walk with Blue and I in the morning. When we got back, my father had left a note saying that he had gone to the grocery store for milk. He got back about thirty minutes later with milk...

...and two five-pound bags of dog biscuits, a bag of cow ears, and a rawhide chew.

Hmmm. My mother said, "Are you sure you don't want to keep the dog?" No answer from my father.

After that I made myself scarce as much as possible to let my dad and Blue hang out. Still... nothing. My father asked questions* about Blue, but remained non-committal.

Finally, as I was packing up my car to depart on Sunday, I was about to pile a couple of items on top of Blue's crate and casually said, "This is your last chance! I'm packing up the crate and then Blue and I head out."

To my complete surprise, my father responded, "I'll be honest with you. I really thought that I was going to say, 'yes. leave the dog.' But my mind keeps telling me no. We just travel so much. I don't want to board the dog."

"Dad, you and mom travel maybe 6 weeks out of the year. That's 46 weeks with no travel and a great dog. You can either have someone come and watch him while you travel, or I'll bring him to Indy with me for a visit. Lord knows I wouldn't mind seeing him every once in a while."

"Okay. Let's get the crate out and see if I can get him into the crate."

That was the moment that I knew I had won.

Blue was hesitant to listen to my dad at first, but he seemed to understand that my dad was the alpha, even above me. (It didn't hurt that my dad is the only one who gives him scraps from the table) He went right into his crate for a biscuit. I went over his feeding schedule (1.5 cups morning and night) his issues (watch the chewing) and behavior with the cats. At this point, my dad wanted to see how he would do with the cats. So after a hilarious introduction of Blue to their deaf cat, Dorian, my dad seemed appeased. Blue was staying. At least for the week.

I'll admit. I got teary. But my dad kissed me goodbye, and said "Come on Blue." Blue hesitated (Mom has KEYS! We're GOING SOMEWHERE!!) but then followed my dad obediently onto the screened in porch to keep my dad company while they watched squirrels and birds. So I left without Blue having to watch me leave him. I don't know that I would have been able to stand that.

I think he'll be okay, though. More than okay. I think he might get fat, and that he'll chase lots of squirrels. I think he and my dad will hang out on the porch all day long, and that he'll make my mom feel better when she's sad. He'll be happy. And, while I'll miss him, I'll still get to see him.**

I'm still treating it as a week long trial period. But my parents are already talking through the logistics of how I'm going to pick him up when they go on a week long vacation from May 9 - 16th. So I'm thinking that the "trial" is just a farce. Blue has found his new home.

*The most notable of these conversations went like this:
Dad: He poops in the house, doesn't he? I don't want to clean up poop.
Em: Of course he doesn't poop in the house. He's completely housetrained.
Dad: So then why does your mother collect newspapers for you to take to Indianapolis? Don't you use those in your house?
Em: Dad, I take those to the veterinarian I volunteer for. They use them to line the dog kennels for dogs that are being boarded.
Dad: Oh
Em: What sort of filth do you think I live in, anyway?
Dad: (...)

**This makes five pit bulls that I have placed with four different families that I know. All five are with people who didn't know anything about pits (or had a negative impression of them) before I adopted Casey. This is in addition to another puppy, and a kitten who have also found homes through me. Anyone else looking for a dog? :-)


Farmerspice said...

Congratulations Em on your great record of placing pets with lifelong owners. What a great story! I'm sure your dad and Blue will have lots of stories to tell on each other this weekend when you return. Blue is a fantastic dog and will do well with your fantastic folks! Cheers to you!

punkinmama said...

Awww... you're such a good daughter!

So, have you called to "check in" yet?

ems said...

Yes. I called them at noon today to check in. I'm ridiculous. I know. But things are going well...

Candace said...

You are so selfless! I am not sure I would be willing to give up Mickey for someone. Chin Up...You will see him this weekend.

ems said...

I called my parents four times yesterday to "check in."

punkinmama said...

Not ridiculous at all. Can't believe you waited until noon. :)

AnnD said...

I'm so impressed by how many placements you've completed and so saddened by Blue's exit. I may never see him again! I hope Blue is happy, both for your sake as well as his sake.

I could soooo leave Cash somewhere with someone. Forever. I would have no qualms about walking away. In fact, I would probably turn around and look out the window at him and mouth: "I won! I won!" to him as I drove away.