Well over a week ago, Mabel told Jonny that she saw a snake in my basement studio. We weren’t sure if she was telling the truth, though we didn’t have any reason to doubt her other than our own desire for it not to be true. Mabel went so far as to demonstrate the way it moved, laying down on the floor and wiggling as a snake does. The sliding glass door in my studio is often left open by Seth’s cat who has learned to open it but doesn’t have the manners to close it, so I knew that a snake slithering in was a possibility. I chose to put it out of my head and had mostly forgotten about it when Seth walked upstairs from his basement bedroom today with a garter snake dangling from his hands. “Look what I just found curled up in my room!” I think Mabel felt very validated by Seth’s discovery, and the snake was promptly placed in my garden much to my relief. I don’t mind snakes, but certainly don’t like the thought of one in the house!
On the topic of things that I am glad to have out of my house, Jonny and the boys carried our ripped up couch out last week (the duct tape patch job didn’t last very long.) I’ve been watching the used couch ads for months and finally found something that I wasn’t sure would be quite right, but was the right price. For $60 we bought an Ikea Ektorp couch that’s in great shape (for now) and would have cost $700 new. I have to share those details because it makes me happy. We can’t justify or afford to buy new furniture because our kids are destructive and we also have a dogs on the couch rule. We had an Ektorp loveseat at our old house with the same dark gray slipcover and this couch has brought a bit of the coziness back that we left there.
(Before I go into my too long dog story, I want to mention that I am updating my shop on Friday at 3 p.m. I’ll get a preview up on my blog that morning, but wanted to go ahead and let you know! There will be yarn, head scarves, sachets, and my first batches of Tilly Goat’s Milk Soap! Keats has some shawl pins ready as well.)
So about the little dog… I have to back up a bit and share the very sad news that our little old Weasel died in January. I created an entire blog post of photos of him beginning with his happy face in the back seat of our van when we first brought him home from Georgia but then was too sad to share it. We’ve all been incredibly sad about his death, but Job took it the hardest. On the day Jonny and I visited the shelter last week, Job had had a tearful morning wishing for another little dog (specifically a little brown dog that he would name “Weasel”). I hate that Job is still missing Weasel so much, but we definitely weren’t planning on adopting another dog this year for numerous reasons. I was very much just going to visit the cats at the shelter.
But then, Jonny and I were both struck by the presence of this funny little white dog. Small dogs are typically adopted very quickly. He was so sad in his kennel and when I squatted down to talk to the dog in the next kennel over, he moved to the corner of his to get as close to me as possible. We asked about him, assuming he would have already been claimed (not that we were there to adopt a dog) and were told he had only been surrendered a few hours before and they hadn’t had time to post his photo on Facebook. Had they, there would have been a dozen or more people in line to adopt him. Jonny and I asked to visit with him, just to see what he was like. We have a history with funny, mixed breed, long-bodied, short-legged dogs. There was Weasel of course, but many years before his time and this blog’s time, I had a dog named A Bear (long story behind that name) who was a basset hound cocker spaniel mix (amongst other things). We think this little guy is a bichon dachshund mix. After spending 15 minutes or so with him, we couldn’t tell that much about his personality given the stressful situation he was in. He didn’t seem fearful, but we needed to see how he would interact with our kids and other dogs before making the decision to adopt him. He might be terrified of our big family! Jonny and I kept asking each other what we were doing with this dog, but he was long-bodied and kind of funny looking…was that a sign that he was meant for us?
It was closing time at the shelter, so I filled out the paperwork for my kitten (yes, I did get one) and made an appointment to bring our kids and Pippi to meet the little white doggie the following morning. Job couldn’t believe it when we got home that afternoon with not only a kitten but the possibility that we might adopt another little dog, depending on how our next visit went. Well, as you can guess, the visit went really well. The little white dog loves the kids and loves our other dogs. Pippi was terrified of him and all his enthusiasm at first and even jumped on top of the picnic table in the shelter yard to escape him, but we knew she would get over that and she has. Our older dog, Trudy, liked him right away.
So here’s what we know: He is about 11 months old and we are his third family. The woman who surrendered him only had him for a couple of months. He was not housebroken when she adopted him, but had been kept in a diaper. She is older and had to navigate stairs to get him outside and I think it proved too difficult. I think his coat was in poor shape when she got him, but she had him groomed before surrendering him at the shelter so he is shaved pretty close. His skin is a bit of a mess and his fur is still stained around his abdomen from wearing the diaper. Much to our dismay, we realized after we got home that he is cryptorchid and will need more extensive surgery than a standard neuter. I am probably starting to give you more information than you need, ha! But, remember we had a goat with this same issue and he died after surgery, so we are a little nervous. Anyway, this little guy will require a lot of love and training. We have joked about naming him “Puddles” or “Hiker” because he loves to hike his leg. His neuter is scheduled for early August (wish it was today) and hopefully things will get easier after that.
You guys gave the best name suggestions! I love so many of your ideas! I sat with a pad and pencil and wrote them all down and then circled the ones that I thought might suit him, though we are still figuring out his personality which makes it hard to decide. Larkspur thought of “Snowy” right away because of TinTin’s dog, and I love that that was the most common name that was suggested by all of you! However, he did come to us with a name, albeit one he doesn’t respond to which was part of the reason I thought we would change it. The woman who surrendered him called him, “Ollie.” Silas and Job started calling him that right away, and by the time I had a narrowed down list, Job told me that he really wanted to keep the name “Ollie.” Mabel will tell you that it’s short for “Oliber,” her pronunciation of Oliver. So after all my obsessing and all your wonderful ideas, he’s keeping his original name after all.
As far as my kitten goes, I wanted to give him a fancy name. I thought maybe “Alfredo” from La Traviata because I’ve been listening to it a lot lately. But, Seth dubbed him “Possum” the first time he saw him and that seems to have stuck. Not the fancy name I was planning on, but kind of cute. Possum Alfredo? Ha!
p.s. Here’s an affiliate link to that cute book, Paper Mice! Mabel loves it and I cut out mice for her and for Job to keep inside of it.
Rest in peace, Weasel. My dear, dear, little doggie.