The Glorious Advent Approacheth

Today is the day! Miss B., our rescued, red tricolor Australian shepherd, comes home late this afternoon. She will be kind of groggy, since she’ll be fresh from a spaying–and let me tell you, I am already angry at her former owners, who let her get to be three years old without spaying her. (It really is best. ANYWAY.) Everything is prepared–a nice canvas crate for her to retreat to, a couple of doggie beds in rooms we’ll spend a lot of time in, fresh bowls (one for water, one for food, one for the dishwasher) and food and treats, toys, a spare leash and two spare collars, bags for waste removal, toenail clippers and brush–when I went to the pet store yesterday, the clerk insisted on helping carry my purchases to the car. I guess it was a bit overwhelming.

Miss B. comes from the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, an excellent organization. They’ve been just wonderful! Funny story: my regular climbing partner volunteers there on a weekly basis, and after climbing yesterday I went to go see Miss B. and let her know I hadn’t forgotten about her. My climbing partner showed up during the visit too, and we had a nice chat. And then there was a tap at the window, and I look up–and there’s my across-the-street neighbors; they are contemplating a play partner for their current hound. Small, small world. Miss B. gave me an arch look, like “Do you know EVERYONE here, human?” Then she went back to giving kisses and being a guard dog.

I got a chance to get to know her a little better during my visit. She’s extraordinarily smart and inquisitive, very agile, and a very loving dog just aching for a job and a family. As soon as we got it settled I was the alpha she immediately started looking for things to do to help me. She adores giving kisses, loves leaning up against me or resting her head on my knee, and is very interested in what’s happening around the perimeter of her territory. Plus, she’s so adorable it just short-circuits me.

I will try to keep the updates to a minimum, since spamming the airwaves with “OMG NEW DOGGIE SQUEE” gets old after a while. And please understand if I don’t post many pictures. We are going to be very busy, but I’ll at least try to get a couple shots up.

Last night I went to a climbing clinic over at PRG with my bouldering partner. It was fierce. We both had a great time, and I am sore this morning. Dropped knees, high steps, flagging, severe overhangs…we did it all. My bouldering partner’s a very Zen climber–she’s methodical, and is grace personified on the wall. Me? I just throw myself at it and hope something sticks. I climb like the Tasmanian Devil dances. *wry grin* Sheer enthusiasm sometimes makes up for a lack of technique.

Anyway, today I have last-minute errands to run and checks to make sure the house is prepared for the Glorious Advent. The cats are all excited too–they know something is happening, and the two older ones are all, “WE HAVE SEEN THIS SORT OF THING BEFORE” while glaring at the youngest, who is mystified and kind of oblivious. (Miss B.’s former home had felines, so that’s good.) The kitties have several places to go to escape, should they need it, and the introductions are well-planned. I expect our oldest, crankiest cat to simply perch on something high up and announce his displeasure; our middle cat (sweet little tuxedo kitty, our lover, who got kicked in the head by Squirrel!Neo) will be upset until he figures out Miss B. is WARM and FURRY and NEEDS LOVE, at which point they will become bestest friends; and our youngest cat will hide under my daughter’s bed, like he does every day. He’s the kitty who will have the most difficult time adjusting, I think, because he only likes my daughter. She’s his human, and he is not interested in anything or anyone else unless it’s the food bowl. In any case, we’ll work through problems as they arise. It should be hilarious.

Since Miss B. is a herding dog, I expect her to try to herd the cats. Fun times will be had by all. Also, for those of you asking, I do not know how she responds to squirrels. I did try to explain to her yesterday about Squirrel!Neo (“He’s got a crooked tail, and he’s magic. Plus he knows kung fu. I AM NOT KIDDING.”) but she just gave me another arch look. “REALLY, HUMAN,” she seemed to comment, “I CAN HANDLE A RODENT OR TWO. THEY HAVE THOSE IN AUSTRALIA. BIG ONES. THAT KICK YOU IN THE HEAD.”

Oh, Lord. This is going to be fun…

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