Sunday, December 26, 2010

Introducing Aces Smith-Friess!

Notice anyone new above?

Here, let me help you. This... Aces. Here's what happened:

The doorbell rings at 8 a.m. on Dec. 23 and it's our next-door neighbor:

She explains that the day before, she was in the grocery store parking lot when some lady came up to her in the rain and said she needed to move out of town and couldn't take her dog so here, see ya later, buh-bye. Or something like that. Also, the dumper handed over another horrifying outfit -- which we will get to shortly -- as well as food, a bed and a toy. I can only imagine what was going on there that someone would need to do such a thing. Very disturbing and sad.

So my neighbor took this dog, handed to her at random, home. But her husband wasn't into having a dog and, in particular, a small one. And, I am imagining, they said to one another, "What about those gay guys next door who already have two Chihuahuas? Surely they or some of their gay and/or small-dog-loving friends would take her!"

I told the neighbor we'd consider what to do. That meant that by lunchtime I was pondering whether and how to surprise Miles for Christmas. I called the vet to ask if he could check her out, which they were happy to do that evening for free as a "new pet" visit. Here I am with the dog waiting at Desert Inn Animal Hospital:

The thing is, we already have two dogs, 7-year-old brothers named Black and Jack. Incredibly cute, but 100% mine. They are intensely territorial and possessive of me to the point that they still, nearly six years since we rescued them from the shelter, bark at Miles when he comes home. They sit like tumors on my sides when we watch TV and accept Miles as their Lord and Savior only when I am busy for long periods, out or away. It's not a fulfilling pet experience for him, but I *do* walk them, feed them and spend more than half of every waking day with them.

Yet the bias is also because of their personalities. They don't care for pretty much anyone other than me. While I fully understand that, it's sad for Miles.

The vet told me that this dog was an intact, in-heat female of about 1 year of age, about 8 pounds when not clad in ridiculous and demeaning clothing. (Jack is 11 pounds and Black is 14 pounds.) She was very healthy, although she'll need to be spayed and that could cost $250ish.

I decided we ought to give this dog a try. I would spring her on Miles on Christmas somehow and, if she didn't fit in our household for some reason, someone via this blog or Facebook or Twitter would surely welcome her. We've done it before, remember?

For an hour that night, I socialized her with Black and Jack. Then I got our neighbor to take her for a night. On Christmas Eve I took a break from making homemade butternut squash gnocchi and port-dijon filet mignons (there is a photo, but it was as delicious as it was un-photogenic) to run Aces, as I suddenly started calling her, to the home of my Little Brother's mom, Stacey.

Yes, Aces. We have Black and Jack, so the Vegas cards theme felt right, but calling her Queenie seemed just a wee bit too gay, even for us. Anyhow, here's me with Black and Jack on our final morning before life as we knew it changed:

Stacey kept Aces until Christmas afternoon when we went over for the holiday meal. I had bought a pink collar and a pop-up crate at Target, and I was going to actually wrap it and have Miles open it. We're always joking as we open gifts, "Is it a puppy?" But I accidentally brought Aces out in her crate when I thought Miles was outside. He wasn't. Surprise!

They bonded very quickly! They sat together the rest of the evening...

...and then when we got home, too.

Later, we started crate-training her since she seems to have an inkling about being housebroken but we're not sure. Here she is in her crate:

Aces has a very comfortable personality. She's like a sack of sugar, happy to be held by whomever wants her. She's conflict-averse, so when Black and Jack dominate me, she's inclined to go to the other human. That bodes well for Miles.

How are Black and Jack adjusting, you ask? As well as can be expected. They're a little confused and irritated but also intrigued. But Aces holds her own, growling when they get too near. So I think there's some assimilation going on. Here are their very first group photos:

Those and the first photo in this post tell the story, which is Aces trying to be herself while Jack is curious and concerned and Black doesn't really care at all.

For the most part, I've backed off. When Miles is out, I certainly cuddle with her and have walked her, but we're working on keeping her as "his" dog to the extent that's possible. The good news is that when he came home, she went right to him and I was suddenly uninteresting. I can't imagine that, but I'm glad for it.

Perhaps, though, Aces is mad at me because I insisted she model the other hideous outfit that her abandoner gave to my neighbor:

Check it out:

I'll never put that on her ever again, but I do understand if she's forever bitter. In fact, maybe that was part of my plan!


detroit1051 said...

Miles looks like he's in shock. Pls post a follow-up pic of Miles and Aces all smiles.
(And, thanks for rescuing a sweet dog who otherwise would have faced an uncertain life.)

Michael said...

Great Christmas story and great gift. Our current dog is 'my wife's he at one time came to me regularly but anymore he's completely hers. I can understand getting one for Miles though, as our previous dog was my 'puppy'.