Yes, Lala knows. She was there when I decided I needed more. A wife was just not enough. I needed another girl to love.
Oh, my god. I’m head over heels.
So here’s how it went down: Ever since we moved here, I’d been thinking about getting a dog for me. I have Harriet and Miss Idaho, of course, and they love me, but their little heads explode when Lala comes home, and I love how she looks at them, and I wanted that. Plus, I wanted a tall dog, one I could run with. Harriet hates running when it’s not in order to catch a squirrel.
So last week, we decided it was time. By that I mean I decided, and Lala was very good to me about it. I went out looking, ending up visiting five shelters in three cities. One pup, a cattledog named Darby spoke to me, and I adored him, but he thought Miss Idaho was prey when we introduced them at the shelter, and that’s not cool. She’s not even much of an appetizer, you know? Quick snack, and that’s all. Not worth it.
We met Clara at the Oakland SPCA, a wonderful, wonderful place. Clean, well-run, nicest people in the world working there. We met her, petted her, liked her, played with her, and left her to go look at another place. After we left, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. It was weird. And then when I decided suddenly and irrevocably that she was the one for me, I was terrified that by the time I got back to the shelter, she’d be gone (she’d only been on the market there for one day, yesterday, and another family had been interested in her). I dropped Lala at home and drove hell for leather to the shelter where I picked up my dog.
She’s perfect, by the way. You know why? Let me list the ways:
* She’s a border collie, a sheepherder. You know me and sheep. (Mom, I bet you had dogs just like her on the sheep farm growing up, right?) (No, I know I don’t need sheep. Not really.)
* She doesn’t bark, even when Harriet and Miss Idaho are going crazy right next to her, barking at people on the sidewalk.
* She isn’t scared of any noises, not even the vacuum cleaner.
* She’s soft and long-haired, and doesn’t mind brushing.
* She rides in the car with the top down and smiles at things, but doesn’t freak out. Just sits and smiles.
* She’s the best walker ever, neither pulling nor hanging back, just walking next to me and nudging my hand with her head every once in a while. Oh! That must be herding! Cool.
Those are the pros. The cons are few: She splashes a lot when she drinks. She poops BIG. Damn big. I was used to little dogs, I suppose (Clara’s 48 pounds and a year and a half — won’t get much bigger). She’s super energetic and would be a chewer if we let her. But she’s being crate trained which she already seems to like, and she has plenty of toys to throw in the air and catch. Which she does. Because she’s CUTE.
Her name: Colleen, the nicest SPCA worker ever, named her Claire after her sister because of her sweetness. MY sister Christy came over last night and said "Clara" which I liked even more. Then Lala came home and said "Clarabell" which is her professional dancer name, which suits her down to the ground.
More pics you say? Well, all right! This is coming home yesterday. Can you tell we’re happy?
These are from our first real walk today, up in the national forest which is 5 minutes away from our Oakland home:
I’m in love.
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