Something a little different for this edition of Caturday, wherein we transform the Endurance into more of a shelter…
Well, we weren’t ready, really. We figured that once the crew of the Endurance diminished through -ahem- natural attrition (old age), we could consider the addition of a canine member to the 26 foot craft. Naturally, life works on a different schedule. I was at work a few days ago when I heard dispatch over the radio directing people to an area East of the property pronto. I was third to arrive and found out someone had disposed of a puppy in a dumpster. Yeah, that was about as bad as it sounds.
Whatever their reasons might have been, this was on Labor Day and the trash was going to be picked up early, so it’s not hard to imagine what might have happened if someone had not reported seeing it happen from a distance and called us when they did.
The three of us debated what to do for about six minutes. Four minutes in, the question was who does the pup go home with? Texts were sent, calls placed, and I drew the short straw. Rode the motorcycle thirty miles back to the Endurance, picked up Rudha-an and the Lander, drove back to work and picked up the scared little beastie. The nugget, as we got to call her at first, is a pretty healthy looking Daschund-Beagle mix with a red coat.
First thing we ordered was a crate, so she and the catonauts could walk around without… Cross-cultural misshaps. A harness and leash allow us to take her for walks, and on those days when temperatures rise above 100 degrees, we pile up in the Lander for a short drive to our local arboretum.
There, the nugget can romp on the shady patches of grass, track through dead leaves and all that good stuff while we keep an eye out for snakes and other dogs. We also started basic obedience training, especially since we found out at the vet that she is neither spayed nor chipped.
After that, we had to find her a name and settled on Pepita, the “little pumpkin seed”, and on those days when the yipping and rambunctiousness get to be a bit much, PITA for short.
Naturally, this has been somewhat of a shock to the system for the pointy eared people, who originally executed a strategic retreat under the couch.
By now, they spend more time lounging in view, on the back of the couch or at a window, and occasionally onto the bed when Pepita is in her crate. Tito is much less disturbed than the other two. He has come as close to withing two feet from the pup despite her growling. Tito moves slowly, isn’t fluffed up and doesn’t tense up in fear when we pick him up. By now he is the one she is most accustomed to seeing, and I think he will be key in bridging “cultures”, our ambassador Tito.
Despite the original protests (Attica! Attica! Attica!) all the cats are managing to eat, drink and continue to use the litter box. As for Pepita, she hasn’t had an “accident” indoors, managing to do her business during one of her walks.
This will take time, just as the cats were still getting used to life in the trailer, but we can cautiously say so far, so good.
Tito spent a couple hours sleeping under covers in bed with me yesterday, while Jenny parked in her spot on the pillows between my head and the wall.
Titanescu comes out more often as well, but wants nothing to do with “собака” (the dog) yet. She barks, he hisses. Still, “war is more than just a bark away” at this point…