There’s a lot of nurturing going on at my house right now. The whole “family” is involved. Yesterday Teddy got his rabies shot which involved picking him up, putting him in Bella, driving to the vet where he joyfully met everyone.
“What a cute little guy!” said my vet as Teddy greeted everyone including the bobtailed cat. “Where’d you get him?”
“The shelter,” I nodded in the direction of the shelter which is right next to the vet. “I’m here to get him rabies shots.” My vet looked at me curiously. Most animals adopted from the shelter get the rabies shot with the neutering. “He gets fixed next week.” Rabies shots are 3x more expensive at my vet than as part of the package deal with neutering at the other vet in town who has a contract with the shelter to neuter adopted animals.
“I didn’t want to wait,” I said. “There are bats.”
My vet looked puzzled. “You know, at night.” I don’t know why, but suddenly it struck me funny, and I pointed to my head. One of the people who works there is an immense Navajo whom I like very much. He’s hilariously funny and kind.
“We got that, Martha,” laughed the Indian.
So Teddy got his exam and was pronounced “Perfect” and “If you decide you don’t want him, give him to me.” Teddy only weighs 24 pounds, less than half the size of the second smallest dog I’ve ever had. Teddy kissed my vet all through the “ordeal” of the shot and the prodding and poking of the exam. The vet thinks Teddy is six months old. I wonder, considering how perfectly (knock on wood) house-trained he is.
After me, my vet had to see a large animal who’d been brought in by trailer, belonging to a young ranching couple. Cow, horse or goat, I don’t know. Next to my vet is a little paddock and bales of hay.
Bear does most of the nurturing work around here and she’s doing brilliantly. They don’t play in the house. She’s tolerant of his obnoxious adolescent sexual advances which are randomly placed and silly. She lets him walk on her, under her, around her — literally all over her. My role is to be a kind, affectionate, mildly aloof benign authority while this goes on, the divine purveyor of treats and meals. He’s learning to sit on the leash without being told, but until he’s neutered it will be hard to keep his attention very long. I’m pleased. In less than a week he’s learned his name, sit, stay, and go to bed.
I have ordered him a head collar which isn’t here yet. I don’t like walking a dog on a neck collar for several reasons, but mostly because when they pull, it chokes them. I also find head-collars make it easier to keep a puppy’s attention.
The only downside is that maybe when winter comes, long rambles alone with Bear won’t be so easy. We’ll see.