Update on Sandy, the Stray Dog:
After taking her to the vet's office to look for a microchip and not finding any, we decided to keep her, sort of. I still check the lost dog ads but more and more I'm hoping there won't be one. I haven't put a collar on her yet and I still need to take her to the vet for shots but I think she's ours now. I spoke with one of my neighbors and she seems to think the dog was living nearby. She said she saw her when she walked her dogs in another neighborhood. If so, maybe she has two homes now. I wonder. I do know Sandy is very happy living with us. She is always right outside the door: morning, noon, and night. When I walk Buddha, she comes along with us and loves to roll on her back in the grass. She runs and plays with us now too. She gets along fine with Buddha and she has an "understanding" with the cats. The other night I threw down a bunch of popcorn for Buddha. Popcorn is his favorite food and he shared with Sandy. They both were running around the room picking up all the popcorn pieces side by side.
Always, she runs down the driveway to greet us when we drive up. She is very well behaved when we bring her inside and we've been bringing her inside more and more. Winter is coming fast and she's going to need protection from the cold. We put a dog bed on the front porch and she sleeps there for now but as it gets colder I expect she'll be spending more time inside. She's been very well behaved every time she comes in. But she's ready to go out whenever I open the door. Sometimes she runs off into the fields and I wonder where she's going. But I know she'll be back. That's how it is with strays. They don't run away when they decide to adopt you. I had a "stray" Dalmatian for ten years.
Sandy is coming to the barn with me now too. The first time she went out there, I was chasing the horses around the arena. She started chasing them too. I yelled at her and she quit and stood over by me. Now, she stands around with the horses but doesn't bother them. Yalla! is very curious of her and Sandy is happy to sniff and be sniffed.
A few weeks ago, she was barking at one of my other neighbors when he came over to talk to me. I had seen her barking at him at other times too. I thought, "that won't do. She needs to be friends with all my neighbors or they'll call the dog police on us." So, I went over and talked with him and told him her name. He called her over and eventually she warmed up to him and let him pet her. I asked if she was a nuisance and he said no and that clearly she was our new dog. I agreed with him.
The only negative I've come across with her is that she smells doggy. I'm not used to that because although Buddha has bad teeth and bad breath he doesn't smell like a dog. Sandy's coat is very thick and wirey and I've often seen her standing in the rain, enjoying it.
Often, as I drive off, I'll see her sitting in the middle of our long driveway as if to say, "this is my place". And I think to myself, "yes, it is".
Though we're Strangers til Now - song: As the World Falls Down, artist: David Bowie, album: Labyrinth