A scant four weeks have passed since a tumble off the bike resulted in an injured rib and already I'm feeling ready to hit the trail.
Much news from Mayberry RFD this week: On Christmas Eve morning, we noticed two dogs hanging out in the field across the street. Each time a car would pass by, they would rise expectantly, and then resume their vigil when it went on without stopping. I returned home late in the afternoon and saw they were still cruising up and down the road aimlessly. By dusk, we decided that they needed to be taken in as one of them was black and would surely be hit by a car during the night.
Historically, we have rescued cats, and hence, have six of them at present. Needless to say, sheltering two dogs was not going to be a simple matter. Thankfully, we had recently purchased the house next door with the idea that we would renovate it and find a tenant who needed a little assistance. At present it stands empty. It has a fenced yard, separate from our own.
And so, after coaxing the two dogs into the yard, I made a trip to the grocery store to buy dog food. The clerk was touched by my devotion to my dog when she saw that I had braved the cold and the Christmas Eve crowds JUST to buy food for him/her. When I told her it wasn't for MY dog, the look on her face told me that she thought I was certifiably insane to be out provisioning for strays. Her opinion was confirmed when she noted that I was buying "the good stuff" rather than the store-brand, made with Chinese melamine, cheap stuff.
Of course, no good deed goes unpunished, and they kept us up most of the night barking at every thing that went bump in the night. The next morning, shortly after their gourmet breakfast, they were ready to hit the road and nimbly jumped the fence, headed for new adventures.
I was ready to let them find their way in the world but Mike followed them down the street and called them back. Lest you think him a glutton for punishment, they were headed for a busy intersection where they might have run into trouble. So, since the house is awaiting a complete makeover anyway, it became the dog kennel. This means that we have to go over there every few hours to let them out to do their business and we have to take them for a walk a couple of times a day for some exercise. You can see where this is going, can't you.
Now, I lie awake at night worrying about what we're going to do with the dogs. Nobody has responded to my numerous ads and I see a future where my entire life is consumed by the needs of these sweet, well-mannered beasts. Mike, generously says he can fence the yard so they can't get out. Seems like a lot of work and expense for dogs we don't really want. So, we compromise. He went to Home Depot and purchased $500 worth of fencing materials and we've spent the last two days creating a dog run next to the house. But now he worries that a cat or other critter (we have a resident family of raccoons and an o'possum) might get into their cage; so, it needs a top on it. He reckons it will cost about $600 to cover it with shade cloth (it's a big run).
And here's the bigger issue: We have had two people offer to take the Border Collie but Mike has grown fond of her. I am partial to Sadie, the shepherd. Molly, the Border Collie, is a lovable dog, friendly and well-mannered. Sadie, on the other hand, is cautious and will be difficult to place. Yes, by now you have noticed, we have broken our cardinal rule of never naming strays. What do you suppose the odds are that I will be writing about the antics of these mutts a year from now?
Here's Molly, looking adoringly at Mike.
And this is Sadie.