Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jacob, Michael, Chickens and Church

This post, for a change, is not going to be sad, for the most part. A week ago Saturday, Dianne and I drove out to the Mount Vernon area, 2 hours each way, to meet what we hoped would be her new family member at a Chihuahua rescue organization that had approved her for adoption. They had an "open house" for people to meet the doggies, but she was the only one who was approved. The weather was perfect and our hopes were high. There were about a dozen of the little critters separated into two collapsible cages. I waited in the car for a moment with Java while she got an initial look at them. She brought one over to the car for me to meet who I instantly recognized from his Petfinder page as Michael, a sweet 6-year-old tri-color long coat whose only flaw was that he had no teeth (since the previous owner either didn't or couldn't get him the attention he needed to prevent this). He captured both of us instantly, and I prayed that even if Dianne decided on another doggie, she would feel led to take little Michael as well.

Another little dog she looked forward to seeing was named Caleb at her suggestion; he was white, shorthaired, and less than two years old. She felt attracted to him, but he didn't seem to have the personality or the compatibility with Java that we would have preferred. Still, he was strongly in the running for her since she liked the idea of a younger dog who would be playful like Josh was. She visited with most of the other little dogs but seemed to be mainly torn between Caleb and Michael. As she stood with her back to the cage that contained mostly tan shorthaired Chi's, all or most of which we thought we had visited with, Dianne felt a swat on the back of her leg. She turned around and saw a little face looking up at her as if to say, "Hey, lady, what about me? Look at ME!" She asked, "Who is this?" and was told his name was Jack. The reason we had not remembered seeing his Petfinder profile was that he was marked as "No kids" since he had once bitten a child. The rep went on to explain it was a case where a woman who had kids (which the doggie had no incidents with) moved in with a boyfriend with kids, and one of the boyfriend's kids were harassing the little dog (to which we both thought, well, we would bite in that case too, and also, she should have kept the kids and dumped the boyfriend, ha). She picked up Jack and he seemed to lean into her. He was so sweet and gentle, and he also seemed to interact well with Java. So now, she was torn. She felt so drawn to both Jack and Michael. She had totally intended to adopt just one dog. But how could she leave one of them behind? She finally decided, to my delight, to adopt both. As she explained, she (we) had chosen Michael, but Jack had chosen her.

We brought all three doggies back to her home and were alarmed that evening when Dianne first held both Jack (who she has renamed Jacob) and Michael - and Jacob, who weighs 6 pounds and is 20 months old, went after Michael, who only weighs 4 pounds and is 6 years old, besides not having teeth. Dianne gave Jacob a good talking to in which she emphasized this would NOT be tolerated and that she is the queen mother, while Java (who is age 12 and weighs 12 pounds) is queen, and the two boys are princes. Jacob looked up at her so earnestly as if he understood every word, and then he hung his little head. So this confirmed that he is not only very smart but that he wants to do the right thing. There have been no such problems since, though she still keeps Jacob in his crate at night while Michael and Java sleep on the bed with her, which I think is wise till everyone gets more acclimated. Both little boys are crate trained and Jacob is OK with sleeping in his crate.

On the way to the rescue place, I asked Dianne, "What do you suppose Rex brought home last night?" She said, "Not another dog!" Nope, we have all the doggies we can handle for now! After a few guesses, I said, "Four baby chickens!" As with many of the critters he has rescued over the years, I had no warning about this and initially, I was not pleased, due tothe lack of warning and the additional time this would take from his needed clutter control. He explained that his boss at the dog kennel recalled he had mentioned about six months ago (she has a good memory) that it would be nice to have chickens so we could have fresh eggs, and gave him these four baby chickens from a friend of hers. Each one was a different color and one was a little larger than the others. He had an extra guinea pig cage they could be kept in for about a month, at which time he would put them in an outdoor coop. The guinea pig shavings worked for them, and he got chicken feed plus feed and water containers for their cage. He even got a heat lamp that shines over them 24/7 to approximate their mother's body. So he's taken excellent care of them. In spite of that, the largest chick died after only about 6 days. We don't know what went wrong, but he instantly cleaned the entire cage in hopes the remaining chicks would not get infected. So far, they have been fine. We won't know for awhile if they are boys or girls. It would be nice if we end up with 2 hens for eggs plus one rooster!

The day before Rex brought home the chickens, I thought earlier that day that I had finally made the difficult decision about what church to commit to, after going back and forth for months, and still having either doctrinal or distance issues with the remaining churches I was considering. I decided to go to the evening Lenten service that day (a week ago Thursday) at the traditional Presbyterian church that was too far away (14 miles) but that I felt I loved enough that I could overlook the distance. I had not been back for several weeks but felt I finally would know what to do after I went to the Lenten service. But something happened that evening, concerningwith both the doctrine and distance. I heard something at the service I won't go into but that just didn't set right with me. And the drive back in the evening reminded me how much I dislike driving up the highway at night, even in nice weather. I suddenly realized that though I am not ready to join the Methodist church in my town just yet, that I will continue attending there and will probably join later this year. Last Sunday seemed to reinforce my decision, with a Sunday school class that was small but very friendly and enjoyable, and services that (while lacking some of the liturgical elements I'd grown used to) include enough hymns and traditional elements to suit me, in addition to being a place I think hubby would enjoy if he ever gets more than a rare Sunday off. While I still need to check out the choir (I had too tiring of a work week to get there this past week), I feel I finally have decided, and this is a relief.

Since I now have a large garbage pail size bag of baby ghans and outfits to donate to charity, I may go back to Barbie gowns soon. First I need to make a mini table topper with Opera #10 thread for an exchange on Swap-bot. Also, it's nice to again be able to do my mile and a quarter walk to and from the park n'ride most weekdays now that Daylight Savings is here. I was sure this would start making at least a small difference in my continued lack of weight loss, but I still have lost virtually no weight, so that is discouraging to say the least. But I am still not willing to give up the foods I enjoy; I need the stress relief after a long workday. So -- as in all the previous recent years, nothing in this area is changing and I'm starting to believe it never will. I don't want to believe I am destined to remain 40-45 pounds overweight, but what else can I believe after years of this nonsense? Please God, let something finally happen to prove me wrong. I can't stand looking and feeling like this, and I can't stand hoping year after year that it can finally change but never does.