The dogs do little but sleep and wander the yard on Thursday and Friday. We go on walks each morning down to the creek. They like to sniff the long grass that grows along the bank. I barely keep Jazzy from jumping in after a frog who leaps out from under her nose.
I buy them supplies and post a fundraiser for them. I’m worried about paying for what they need, especially if they have medical concerns.
The rescue has little money and few resources, which is more or less normal for rural animal rescues. The big hearts of rescuers make them open their homes and their wallets over and over again.
The systemic problems of their communities in regards to spaying and neutering dogs, as well as the tendency of irresponsible owners to dump dogs in the community, make them stretch their resources as far as possible to save as many animals as they can.
In many rural counties, such as the one these dogs came from, animal shelters are small or nonexistent. Often the sheriff is in charge of animal control. Animals are held briefly in minimal facilities to be reclaimed or adopted. Sometimes, especially in the case of owner-surrenders, animals aren’t held at all but are euthanized on site. This is what would have happened to these dogs had House of the Happy Cats and Dogs not stepped in.
We have friends over Friday and Saturday night. The dogs make friends too. They roll on their backs, side-by-side, to have their bellies scratched. They nudge hands, hoping for pets, then lie down when they don’t get the attention they were looking for. They show themselves to be polite, good-natured, and very grateful for any love that they can get. They are happy to sprawl out on the deck, wander about exploring the yard, or play with one another when the humans don’t want to pay attention to them.
They play with each other like old friends. They move together like old friends too, a synchronized dance despite their physical differences. Jazzy is just tall enough that Rasta can walk underneath her. Sometimes, she walks just underneath her and stands there, lifting Jazzy very slightly off of the ground. Other times, Rasta is in Jazzy’s way, so Jazzy leaps over her, which doesn’t seem to bother Rasta at all.
I Introduce the dogs to the chickens in their pen in the corner of the yard. They are curious, then uninterested. Soon I let the dogs range loose in the yard while I’m outside. They don’t bother the chickens. The dogs come when they are called and when they bark, which isn’t often, they stop when I ask them to.
I teach them to sit, down, and stay quickly. Perhaps they knew the commands before, or maybe they are just quick learners.