Home Again

essie returns home

I recently spent a week in upstate New York attending some creative events (which I will describe later) and to do some exploring afterwards. As usual after being away from home for an extended period of time there was a list of things to do today.

First on my list, of course, was to pick up one pissed off kitty, AKA Essie, from the Pine Forest Animal Clinic. Essie was furious a week ago when I opened up her small, blue cat crate and set it vertically in the living room. When I picked her up she knew where her large butt was headed. I gently started to drop her into the open crate. But unlike other trips to the vet, she wasn’t going down without a fight. All four paws were extended out from her large, thirteen pound body, her claws drawn out like an eagle’s talons. But gravity won and into the crate she went, peeing on herself a bit in the process. She serenaded me with kitty F-bombs all the way to the Vet’s office.

This morning the meows on the way back were less pitiful and she even nudged my fingers through the crate slots. Once home she meowed and followed me from room to room, very unusual for a cat who usually does a good job of being Miss Aloof. After eating, stinking up the kitty litter box and letting me pet her, she finally settled down on my bed for four to five hours of cat napping.

It was time to pick up the dogs at another boarding facility way out in the countryside, a farm complete with a donkey, pet turkeys and chickens. As each of my dogs was released from the kennel they leaped into their respective crates in my Subaru. Although this kennel has plenty of room for dogs to exercise, twenty-six dogs have to share individual time in the grassy outside yards. My dogs have been high energy all day, running around the back yard, inside the house, and zooming around the side yard, then inside, then outside, in, out, in, out. Perhaps it will take a few days for them to wind down, if ever.

This kennel is also involved with Greyhound rescue. The kennel owner described the conditions at race tracks. Under the right management some of the dogs are well cared for. But many spend up to twenty-one hours a day in crates when they are not racing. She was quick to emphasize that as a breed Greyhounds love to run but they are not generally treated as pampered pets at the racetrack. When the dogs can no longer run various Greyhound rescue groups try to save and rehabilitate the dogs. The two I saw this morning at the kennel were in stark contrast to my jumping, tongue-licking, tail-wagging Border Collies. They were either shy or more interested in the free range chickens. But I’ve seen over time that Greyhounds rescued off the tracks adapt well to family life.

Tomorrow starts a new adventure in my life, the integration of…wait for it…another puppy, perhaps my Last and Final dog.

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