Sunday, February 17, 2013

Beagles are so sincere.

I love having a foster Beagle.

Porter the paleontologist.

I asked my mom if she liked Porter, and she replied, "What's not to like?" It's as simple as that. He has such a sunny disposition. The little guy looks up at me with an expression that's so innocent, so hopeful, and so sweet. Every moment seems to give him such unabashed delight. It's a pleasure to watch him pad around.

He's also a quick learner. It's fun watching a creature who doesn't know anything about our world start to process and comprehend things. When I met him, he was afraid of me, toys, swinging doors and every household noise. Now he's gained confidence, knows his name, and obligingly obeys when I say "Come," "Wait," and "Sit."

He also knows a couple unique when I'm cold and I want to go back inside, I say, "Time to go in," and he knows that he has to hurry up and decide which bush to pee on before he gets hauled back into the house. I can read the expression on his face as it changes to "Oh darnit, fine, I'll just pee here!"

Firefly the cat is making progress, too.

Look! She is ALMOST in the same room as the Beagle.
Firefly, my 13-and-a-half-year-old Butterscotch Calico, is not a friendly cat. She's sweet and lovable with me but get visibly pissed off when I have visitors. I did not expect her to adjust well to Porter. In fact, I thought she might present a dealbreaker, and I'd have to sheepishly end my foster period at the adamant behest of my cat.

My co-workers suggested that Firefly would "get used" to having a foster dog, but I couldn't make them understand that I didn't want her to have to suffer, even temporarily. I didn't even want to upset her for five minutes! She's a cranky cat, but she's been by my side through thick and thin and I love her with all my heart.

Anyway, she's definitely pissed... Every day when the Beagle and I get home from work, Firefly runs to greet us at the door, discovers that Porter is still with me, and bristles as though she's saying, "Are you kidding me? Again?!" Then she storms off.

But I've developed a good routine, which Porter knows and obeys. Porter gets shut in his bedroom when Firefly eats, wants to cuddle with me, and goes to bed at night.

And to my huge surprise, having a foster dog has made my feisty cat friendlier! It's like she's competing for the attention that she used to take for granted. She'll now come out to socialize with guests, and when Porter is in his bedroom, Firefly climbs all over me, desperate for affection. I'm always very happy to give it to  her.

My muppet.

I've been thinking about the quote "Happiness [is] only real when shared." It might be a bit of a stretch to apply the sentiment to pet ownership, but my life feels significantly richer these days. I feel lots of love, and I feel like I want to give it to others. I feel more patient. I feel less concerned with trivial worries. I feel more like myself.

Thanks, foster Beagle!

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