It was odd, this morning, not attaching the dog to her 20' leash and putting her out the front door for her morning wee. And it's quiet without the clicking of claws on the linoleum in the kitchen, snorting and little noises she makes eating and drinking, and little vocal sounds she makes when she's trying to either bully the cats or entice them into playing with her.
My mom and sister have told me that the dog is nervous and upset, and wouldn't eat yesterday. That she didn't get along at all with the other dogs (she likes other dogs just fine, through a layer of fencing) and ran over my aunt's little dog. That she was clingy and unhappy, but was just as sweet as pudding to my mother and sister.*
I am not happy. My kids aren't happy. The dog isn't happy.
The cats? They're fine with the situation.
I'm going to be spending some of our reserves to repair and improve the house's saleability over the next couple of years, while Odysseus is getting his degree, and while he's getting established at what he calls a "grown-up job." After that, I'll be cutting as many financial corners as I can and socking away as much money as I can so that we can get at least a good downpayment together for 20-40 acres with a house in the middle, so that we can fence in an acre or so for kids and dog to play in, and not have neighbors pissing in our business.
For now, though, one of the things we will be doing today is taking down the dog's pen, spraying the fence-line with weed-killer, putting down ground cloth, and putting up a raised bed garden. Marigolds in the corners to get established, then tomatoes and peppers for next spring.
I am tempted to find the nastiest, smelliest fertilizer to put down, but that would more likely cause more problems for the kids. And for me, when they've decided to dig in it, and then come in for a bath.
*There is every chance that we won't get my dog back--my mother's dream dog has always been a Scotty dog, and her puppy-mill rescue is still really people shy...which my dog absolutely is not. My dog may end up being my mother's dog.
16 minutes ago