Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Take two Beagles and call me in the morning Porter.   (meant to be read with awe and wonderment.)


When you work around animals, everyone always asks, "How do you not want to adopt them all?" And I explain that you go through this phase, in the beginning, when you think Fate personally picked out each and every animal just for you, and you weep every time one of them finds a home without you.

But then, as the years go by, you make peace with the fact that you play a temporary role in the animals' lives. Or, maybe it's a form of self-preservation when all of the animals actually start to blend together, a little.

But then, suddenly, one animal will come along out of the blue and break your whole heart.

case in point.

That was Porter the day I discovered him in his kennel. He had lived with another dog who, a week earlier, was senselessly beaten to death with a metal rod. You can see how frightened and sick Porter was when this picture was taken, but you can't see that his tail, which he was sitting on, was attempting a forlorn wag.

It turns out that Porter tested positive for heartworm, a serious and potentially fatal disease. This means he has several weeks of intense treatment ahead of him and he needs a safe place to help him remain as sedate as possible. This is perfect timing for me, because I am treating myself for heartache, and I need a safe presence to help me remain as sedate as possible.

So now, officially, Porter is my Office Foster Dog! He lives and eats and naps with me while I work.

It is amazing.

here. hold this.
There are so many good things about having a Beagle sleep behind you while you work. First of all, it makes me close my office door, which keeps me from wandering down the hall to to complain about the phone call I don't want to return or to compliment my co-workers' cute shoes. In other words, it's quiet and I focus. Also, Porter makes these little sleepy moaning noises that soften my cold, black heart, and make me want to be kind to everyone. And he certainly puts deadlines and other drudgery into perspective: animals, like Porter's own brother, are sometimes beaten to death. We have a lot of work to do.

snore, snuk, zzzzz

I like to think that the Office Foster arrangement has been good for Porter, too. I made this little collage to show his progress from:

- Terrified
- Still hating me, but tolerating me a little
- Starting to think I am a-ok
to, finally
- Cheerfully asking me if I need his help with anything

He's blossoming! Just look at his sweet, trusting face!

In time, I might be able to start fostering Porter at home, too (!!) but right now he needs to stay close to the shelter for treatment and care. I might even be able to adopt him...

I feel unbelievably lucky that Porter came into my life when I needed a dose of love, motivation and perspective. I think I need to take care of somebody else right now.

The only puzzle I have no idea how to sort out is this one:

she sparkles (even if only to me)

My adorable, beloved, crankypants CAT! She hates dogs! What am I going to do? I can't make her live with one, can I? After 13 devoted years together, my cat is definitely entitled to have some input in this household.

I'm not sure what will happen, but it will take about two months to treat the heartworm and release Porter for adoption, so for now, Porter and I can mend our hearts together.


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