Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Alli & Abbi's Long Roadtrip

11/28/2009 Spent two hours with the dazzling dogs of Seafarer's Irish Setters. Five adult dogs and five puppies...Red dogs flying around the yard as if launched by a whirlwind. The puppies prance around with oranges plucked from a tree in the backyard. I hope they realize that up in Virginia, tennis balls do NOT grow on trees.

At 4 pm, Little Blue Girl and Little Orange Girl are loaded into my Mountaineer. I sit with them in the back as Bonnie drives us five hours north along I-95 to Florence, SC. Residence Inn provided a pet friendly room for the night.

The girls are too freaked out to misbehave.

11/29/2009 The best Birthday ever. The girls continue to be little angels. Nobody gets sick. We drive from 7 am until 4 pm. Traffic gets worse as we leave Richmond.

When we arrive at the house, I get the girls into the backyard immediately. They are wary, with tiny ridges of hair rising on the back of their necks as they inspect the yard. After a few minutes they relax and bounce through a layer of oak leaves.

A couple of accidents...I have much to learn/remember

11/30/2009 First full day at home. Alli has a perfect day, Abbi has a perfect afternoon and evening. Both learn to climb and descend the stairs. Both girls sit on command.

There is no way to describe the bliss of stroking their soft fur, gazing into their sweet eyes or watching them sleep curled together. I know they are growing before my eyes. I picture a day in the not too distant future when the puppies are replaced by big dogs. I know these days are fleeting, so it's easy to overlook the bratty moments. It's more difficult to resist the urge to cuddle them in my lap, or to pick them up and cradle them in my arms.

12/1/2009 Alli weighs 28 pounds and Abbi weighs 22 pounds. I decide to start feeding them in separate bowls.

Alli also seems to catch on to instructions or new words a few moments faster than Abbi, but both are wonderfully bright. They tussle with intense, high decibel ferocity, then suddenly they crash for 90 minute naps. Synchronized sleepers they mirror one another in sleep with a harmony not in evidence during playtime.

Today, we work on going into the crate and sitting for treats. Basically, so long as I come through with the treats, the girls are very willing students.

Today, Bitsy lost her battle with cancer. She stayed with us long enough to see the girls established. Maybe she wanted to make sure I wasn't left alone. The girls respected her and she didn't seemed bothered by them. In fact, by the time they arrived at the house, Bitsy was beyond caring about much of anything. She was a brave little lady and I'm glad the girls got to meet her.

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