Today, there is no garden to open to you or kitchen to welcome you into because there is a whole new character in my life that wolfs up time and energy.
The rescue said he was a happy-go-lucky family dog who got along with cats. They were wrong. They said he was three years old and a purebred chocolate lab. Yeah, well, not so much.
What we got was a very traumatized, maybe two-year old, anxious lab mix. (Great Dane? German Shorthaired Pointer? Something big and smart and beautiful.) Not anxious in the shy way, he's anxious in the I-think-you-are-messing-with-me-so-I-am-going-to-kill-you-before-you-get-a-chance-to-prove-me-right way. Luckily, he has fallen in love with us. Gorgeous is not too strong a word for him; nor is terrifying.
For the ten days we have had him, through the long nights of cat-protecting patrol and getting used to his large-dog noises—especially the wagging otter tail that rattles his huge crate—E and I may have collectively accumulated one full night of sleep. I've read everything about training dogs I can get my hands on in the little time I have to get my hands on something. Nearly every minute of time away from my job has been working with the dog, talking about the dog, reading about the dog, crying about the dog, rejoicing over the dog's small progresses. Our sleep exhaustion isn't making any of this easier.
I don't know if we're going to be able to give Indiana the help he needs to become the good dog that is under the unhappy experiences of his life before us, but we're giving it the college try. The university try. The PhD try. He deserves nothing less.
Wish us luck.