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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Otter is home

Wow, what a hectic Saturday! I went to pick up Otter at Pet Depot, and he wasn't there yet so I visited Big Lots next door. While shopping, I ran into my uncle; then while we were talking, I saw my mother-in-law enter the store. Now, I've never had a good relationship with her, and see no reason to start now that DH is dead.

But, as ever, I was polite and talked a few moments with her. I asked if she'd visited the VA and ordered the footstone she'd wanted to put near DH's dad's grave. She said she had...and then dropped this bombshell: their family was thinking of getting a headstone for DH -- a double one, so my name could be put on it when I died. Um, what do you say to that? I was aghast, probably just mumbled, "Whatever."

The thing is, DH and I had talked about this lots and lots of times and he said over and over HE DID NOT WANT TO BE BURIED IN THAT CEMETERY. No more than I want to be buried in the cemetery ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTY where MY father is buried. So I'm in a quandry: Should I just ignore what they intend to do, or let my mother-in-law know that DH WOULD NOT HAVE WANTED a headstone. The footstone from the VA I think is okay; DH did serve during the Vietnam Era War. But to go so far as to put a headstone where NO BODY OR ASHES will ever be? That seems a bit extreme...and a waste of money, space and worse, just plain ridiculous. I'm debating what to do.

Back to Otter, he's a perfect pet. No barking. I've never heard him utter ONE bark, though he will occasionally whine when I am out of his sight. The Pet Depot was a mad-house Saturday; the local animal welfare organization had about ten dogs, numerous cats/kittens and all were excited. Dogs barking, except Otter. I got him a bit later, and brought him home. Of course, he's going through a period of adjustment, but so far, so good. He is the sweetest, quietest dog imaginable, and I love him to pieces.

I haven't introduced him to the cats, though I have had his "smell" on me when with the cats, and the cat's smell on me when with him, and none of them seem upset. Today I bought a huge crate at Tractor Supply, and when I eventually introduce them, I'll have Otter securely in the crate until I feel sure they can all get along. Or not. For now, Otter (or "Ottie" as the rescue people called him) is living part-time in my empty bedroom.

Also, it turns out that my vet raised him from a tiny pup. Someone dumped him there, and they took him in, raised him; he's spent his entire life of one-and-a-half years in the vet's boarding quarters. His health is superb, but of course, staying in such an environment, he has "emotional" issues. He's lovable (due to some attention by the vet and family and assistants) but also feels more "secure" in a small, confined space. Outdoors he is very nervous. I don't know that some of this behavior can be changed, but heck, he reminds me more of a cat than a dog! Scared of everything!

We'll see, and time will tell. For now, it's great to have him here and enjoy learning about him, trying to help him feel secure and loved.

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