Monday, October 5, 2009

Ayn Chee

My friend Evie who rescues animals called me and said she had a dog that she thought I might be interested in. Evie has several cats.  This little dog Angel was part terrier.  Terriers view cats as prey, so she wasn't fitting in very well at Evie's house.  But I said no, that I had two dogs and didn't need a third.  I was still working as sales manager for a large corporation and did a lot of traveling.  A third dog?  It wasn't fair to me OR the dog! 

I pretty much forgot about Angel.  In the meantime, Evie and I visited from time to time, usually by email or phone.  One day I could tell she had a little too much on her plate - she sounded pretty stressed.  On top of losing her lease on the place where she taught music lessons, she had just found out that her mom was quite ill.  I said, "Evie, you don't need another email or phone call.  You need a hug!  I'll be right there."  I ducked out of work early and headed to her house, which was just a few blocks from my office.

When Evie let me in, we immediately hugged.   I looked over her shoulder and there was this adorable little dog staring up at me.


I've never been a small dog person, preferring big, friendly dogs.  Angel was a little yappy dog, but so adorable, don't you think?  Look at that face!  Impulsively, I said, "I'll take the dog." 

Once I got her home, it was obvious that she was an alpha dog.   And she was no angel.  I changed her name to Ayn Chee, as in that great old Sinatra hit: "Ain't she sweet?  See her walking down the street.  Now I ask you very confidentially, "Ayn Chee" sweet?"

Ayn Chee had a rough time assimilating into our family.  She is jealous, wants to be the only pet.  She was about 18 months old when I got her, and my home was her fourth.  She was sorely neglected by the original family who had her.  The neighbor, who had been putting food and water over the fence for her, asked if she could take her.  Sure, no problem!  The second home had two other dogs, and Ayn Chee doesn't share - that alpha dog thing.  She was disruptive, so that person asked Evie to take her and find a home for her.  So Evie became mom #3, but that was destined to be short lived, given the cats in Evie's household, and a rabbit, too. Ayn Chee's sharp bark as she stalked cats and the rabbit earned her a lot of hours in the "time out" cage.

So I became mom #4.  She was a handful.  She tried to take out my dogs.  No matter that she was 18 pounds to Bear's 55 pounds and Buddy's 40 pounds.  Buddy put up with her; Bear (also an alpha female) tore into her.  Ayn Chee spent three days in hospital, had about 30 staples in her to close up a gaping wound that had come dangerously close to killing her.  When she returned home, she crept into the closet, lamp shade on head, where she spent several days recuperating.  After about a week of it, she came out of the closet, walked up to Bear and barked right in her face.  That is Ayn Chee.  A leopard doesn't change its spots.

There has been relative peace in the household.  Ayn Chee still mouths off to Bear, but the pecking order has been established.  Bear allows her to bark, which is very kind of her, but both of them know who is boss. 

Did I say I wasn't a small dog person?  My attitude towards little dogs has totally changed.  Ayn Chee sits on my lap as I work at the computer.  She snuggles with me in bed and often lays her head on my shoulder, snoring gently.  So I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks, hey?  This "old dog" cannot imagine life without a pooch that fits on my lap!

It's still daylight.  The chickens are on vacation.  I let them out of their yard to roam in the woods on the advice of one of my fellow chicken farmers.  They should be well protected from the hawks, and the gate is open so that they can return home at dusk.  Clay cleaned out the Moop, so they will come back to a clean house.  Hope all will be well.  I'll let you know.

PS - 15 chickens came home to roost.  :)

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