"Why," he wondered on Saturday morning after I dropped the bomb, "would we need another dog now, when everyone is doing so well?"
Asked and answered.
Far better, and kinder, to introduce a new pet into a household of health and happiness and sanity, than one of crisis. It's not unprecendented around here, having three. When Killian and Daisy were in their golden years, Shadow came to live with us. After Daisy left us, during Killian's declining years, I wanted Shadow to have a companion nearer her own age, and brought Lola home.
I'm such an optimist. I believe that a good situation can be made better.
Our girls get along wonderfully well. Lola is patient and sweet with the bouncy wee one. But because she's a lot older, and a lot bigger, and has that Northern breed tendency towards aloofness and dignity, she doesn't engage in play with Ruth to the extent that Ruth would like. Ruth is so little, we say, that Lola hardly recognises her as a real dog.
"After our (mumble, mumble) years together," I add, "don't you know you can trust my instincts about dogs?"
He was silent. It definitely sounded like a you've got a point but I don't want to admit it yet sort of silence.
By afternoon, we were working together on a list of questions for the foster parent of our future dog.
By evening, we were going through the collection of baby name books I sometimes use for character-naming, being silly and laughing.
I was in state of happy hopefulness until yesterday. I was working with Great Dog Rescue New England, the wonderful shelterless rescue organisation through which we obtained Ruth.
The first candidate, it turned out, was already involved in an adoption process. He was already destined for a good home. After I inquired about a second possibility, newly listed, my hopes rose again. Later I learned that she was returning to her owners, who had built a fence to stop her getting out and roaming. Good news for everybody but me.
What a weird karma I've got. As soon as I communicate our interest in an animal to an adoption counsellor, it's almost instantly assured of a happy ending elsewhere.
I keep telling myself--and the Chap and the girls--that time is on our side. We're not in a rush...however, once I begin a process, I can't help being impatient to see it resolved.
My optimism is in high gear at the moment. I think, I hope, our Shadow is somewhere up there pulling strings again as she did when Ruth came into our lives.
Looks like we've found the ideal dog, through a different shelterless rescue group. Our application was just approved. I'm about to make a deposit.
Please send good vibes our way.