First thing yesterday morning, I put Lakota in the car and took her to the vet’s office for her yearly shots and checkup. Our vet is a lovely, patient woman who is terrific with Lakota, thank goodness, because from the moment we get out of the car to the moment we get back in Lakota is 60 pounds of “Get Me OUT Of Here!” I am normally exhausted by the end of her appointment. We had a good chat yesterday about keeping Lakota calm through the transition of bringing Francis home and all the best ways of introducing boy and dog. It went well, and one of us (ahem, NOT Lakota) left the exam room happy.
Then we went back out to the waiting area to pay.
There was a woman with a small dog having a conversation with an older couple who had two cats. They all started telling me what a beautiful Husky I had. The gentleman asked if I wanted to trade her for two cats. “No thanks. I have six of my own,” I said. The lady with the dog wanted to know how old Lakota is. She’s 12. Apparently she must be a groomer, because she kept telling me how great it would be to get her hands on Lakota and groom her. I told her politely that Lakota did not like to be groomed and fought hard when we groomed her, and since she had been stressed recently, I was not pushing it. But thank you.
Then the vet tech came out and gave me the special pheromone collar I needed to keep Lakota calm and soothed through the transition. She wished me luck with our trip and the adoption. And wouldn’t you know it? Miss Groomer couldn’t keep her mouth shut when she heard that one. “You waited until the dog was 12 years old to adopt a kid? How could you do that to her? You made her live with six cats and now a kid at age 12? Really?”
Are you KIDDING ME? The nerve this woman touched was unbelievable. My dog has been my baby for the last 12 years. Gregg and I have been trying to adopt since she was three. It would have been a million times easier on her if we brought a child into her world when she was a young dog. And you don’t think I don’t know that? I think every day about how this will impact her. She already knows change is coming and shows signs of stress. She’s like the baby of the family who feels their position is being usurped by a new baby.
When Gregg and I brought the cats into the family, they were tiny kittens and we had heard that Huskies were known for killing kittens. The two of us sat with the dog and the cats day after day, helping them to bond to the point that the dog thinks she’s the cats’ mother and they love her just as much. Those were our cats. Now we’re talking about our son and his safety, and we will go to any length to keep them all safe and happy.
And one more thing while I’m ranting. The next person who considers saying to me, “Gee, you better hope Francis isn’t allergic to cats or dogs” better reconsider. I’ve heard it one too many times. Yes, we think about it. Yes, we think about it often, and we know what the consequences are and what our priorities are. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but thanks anyway.
Lakota and Boots are waiting for you, Francis!