Sunday, April 03, 2005

The rain dogs of war

So, I've had my dog Ciara (a cairn) for about three years, and she's a rescue from the wonderful Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network. She's got her quirks, like hating to be walked and having an overwhelming desire to have her stomach rubbed, but she's quiet and generally a good girl.

So I decided to get a second one. Or, rather, get a foster dog. I didn't want a second permanent dog, just one to help her socialize a bit and maybe learn just how to walk on a leash properly. And then I could feel like I was doing a good deed at the same time.

Getting Kurt up here was quite the process -- I'm calling it the doggie underground railroad. He was in Kentucky, and no fewer than four volunteers linked together to drive him the short spurts up to where I am in Queens. (I have no car, so I could only catch, not pitch.) The woman bringing him to me was a total stranger and couldn't even stop -- she had to run out to Short Hills, NJ to do another delivery. There's commitment, and then there's Commitment. Whoa.

He's adorable: sandy-haired, tiny (compared to Ciara) and though he's 10, he acts like a puppy, bouncing along, tripping down the sidewalk. Compared to Ciara, who's like a slug in motion, alternately yanking at her chain or pulling so hard it's like she's trying to hydroplane on the sidewalk. He's a joy to walk. He likes to climb up on my stomach and sniff my face. He has a little bald dark patch on his nose which is sweet. Generally, he and Ciara have gotten along well, just a few scuffles but nothing serious.

Anyway, he arrived Saturday. Peed on stuff right away. We're working on that part of things. Also arriving on Saturday: A revised and updated and actually created dog policy for the co-op. My plan with Kurt had been to just keep him until someone said something, and depending on who said anything just say I was keeping him for a friend for a short time. Which was more or less true. He wouldn't even be here that long, so why go through the whole process of asking permission? Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission, sometimes.

Then came this policy, and it boils down to this: I can't keep him here; nobody's allowed to have second dogs -- or at least, that's how the president of the board interpreted it for me when I called to explain. The way I read it it seems to say that I could have two dogs, so long as I register them by April 10. But if they're going to give me shit, I don't know that I should fight this battle. So poor Kurt is going to have to go on the railroad again soon....

On a brighter note, walking two dogs at once is quite the challenge. I hold one leash in each hand and when everything's going well all I'd need is roller skates and they'd be pulling me forward. A woman carrying her child on her back saw us pass and said, "Look! It's like they're doggie reindeer, pulling a sleigh! And it's raining! Rain-dogs!"

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