Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another View From Castle Alt

Three months ago, I was fairly certain we had all the pets we could handle. With two high-and-mighty Meezer girls and Daisy, a lovable, goofy, anxiety-driven Lab Shepherd mix who acts up when left alone for more than fifteen minutes, but is so contrite afterwards that you cannot stay mad for long . . . well, it's enough to keep any household busy. I think we should own stock in the Dyson company . . . the company that manufactures Swiffers . . . the companies that whip up pet enzyme cleaners . . . the company that bottles Febreze . . . the companies that make Pedi Paws and Scat Mats and those wonderful lint rollers. {Note, I didn't look up said companies. No time. I'm too busy cleaning up all the messes.}
Well, one day in August, one of the neighborhood boys dropped by with a puppy he'd found several blocks away, but which he was certain was homeless and on the brink of extinction. He was a cute little guy. A rat terrier, feisty as all get-out, rather like the Energizer Bunny on a caffeine buzz. But somehow the puppy became our responsibility, since the little boy's father didn't want it at their house, and one look into my nine-year-old's eyes told me there was no way we could take it to the shelter. Not that I could, either. Our local shelter doesn't have the funds to be a No Kill shelter, and his little puppy face would have haunted me forever, not knowing whether he'd been adopted out or not. So we kept him. You know. Just until we were able to find his owners. Just to be sure he was safe and sound.
No owners could be located. Overjoyed, my nine-year-old immediately named him Leo. Which is short for Leonidas , but honestly, I had NO INPUT. Honest.
My Meezer girls couldn't appreciate him. He bounced around too much for their peace of mind. I tried to tell them that he only wanted them to like him, but when he nibbled on their ears and tails and barked at them to come and play, I'm not sure they believed me.

Note the sneer?

Daisy eyed him with curiosity, but also a little confusion. She had gotten used to a very sedate and sleepy existence, livened up by daily walks and an occasional chase up and down the stairs with the cats. Leo ran circles around her, climbed on her, chewed on her ears and her jowls and her belly. He decided that, since he was the only male pet in the household, he should be the Alpha. The girls, naturally, disagreed with that assessment. Every last one of them decided to put the little guy in his place.

All-out war ensued.

While eventually acceding defeat {three against one, such unfair odds!}, Leo has proven incredibly resourceful. The Meezers he likes to keep on their toes . . . on the shelves . . . on the tables . . . on the nearest available human shoulder . . . Or maybe it's just that they prefer looking down at him in sneering disgust to being down on his excitable, playful, rascally level. They know they are the true queens of the household, and never let a chance go by to remind him of that. Daisy has adopted him as her own and lets him have his puppy way with her, serving dutifully in many roles: Chief Chew Toy, Chief Rodeo Clown, Chief Playground Supervisor, keeping him in line with the smackdown of her paw or by sitting on him, and then in quieter moments, Chief Ear Washer and Chief Snuggle Pillow.

Daisy is really good at snuggling. She also makes a good nose warmer.

Leo's not always Mr. Energizer Bunny, though. He does have quieter moments, especially when he doesn't have the girls to distract him. I even managed to capture one.


So, somehow we managed to acquire a fourth furry friend, one who is disrespectful to my furniture, my floors, my shoes, and likes to raid the laundry basket and strew his booty all over the floor. And yet . . . I still kind of melt when he insists on cuddling.

I don't think he's going anywhere anytime soon. Do you?

Love to all on this snowy November afternoon,

Mad {madly!}

1 comment:

lorhen82 said...

Sorry - I'm behind on my reading! I can verify firsthand that Leo is like the Energizer Bunny with a caffeine buzz! Wow! At one point, I think he even tried to eat my hair! But he's the cutest little thing, and Miss Daisy is incredibly patient with him. She is a doggy saint!

BTW...the sneer pic is priceless!