Raven: The counter surfer

I got up this morning and in the spirit of Thanksgiving (which is next Thursday) I made peanut butter cookies.  I had the cookies cooling on the counter and had pulled the last batch out of the oven and set the pan on the top of the stove.  I went to the bathroom and in moments I heard the familiar sound of paws on the counter.  I ran to the kitchen and she had already stolen 5 and a half cookies.  I scolded her and she peed everywhere and kept trying to make up.  Mike anticipated my anger and temper and came running down with the intention of protecting her from me yelling at her.  But Raven is so innocent and has such a sweet face that I just couldn’t bring myself to do more than shake my finger at her and fuss.

I really think that my reaction is muted because of Darby. I use to get so angry at Darby that I would lock him out of the house or lock him in his cage.  I would yell at him and if he was terribly destructive I would spank him.  And this happened just 3 weeks before he died… that has haunted me.  I have thought for a long time as to if a smart dog like Darby was unhappy here in the house because I tried to impose rules on him and when he violated them he got punished and in the extreme case, got a smack on the butt. So, I think Raven reminds me so much of Darby that I can’t bring myself to treat her like him for fear that she will pass and I will never get to apologize or make up.

So, Mike arrived and I was just scolding her.  He was harder on her than I was.  That surprised me.  I do like this little dog, and I do feel like she is an opportunity for a second chance to deal with Darby’s soul.  But that choice has fortunately been taken from me.  She has been adopted.

Well… Mike went on a hike and not 5 minutes after he left I hear the crash of metal and I go to the kitchen to find pans and various cooking utensils all over the floor with Raven frantically licking everything that she had pulled from the sink.  Yes, I had put all of the utensils and bowls from making lunch and cookies in the sink and she had retrieved them.  I scolded her… but now I had a delima.  I was about to go out and cut brush in the yard.  But I couldn’t possibly leave her in the house free.

So, grabbed her by the collar and took her to the basement and locked her in the cage.  I hadn’t put my shoes on yet, but I left her in the cage.  She barked her head off… sounded just like Darby… just was barking.  No howling or whining… just barking.  I put my shoes on, and then went outside for about 2 hours and cleared brush.

When I got inside, I let her out and she just mauled poor Remy.  I took them outside to let her run some energy off.  In the process, I got a ball and threw it for Clifford.  But he was being possessive and wouldn’t give me the ball back.  So, I backed him into a corner and spent 10 minutes convincing him that I should have the ball.  I got it, and promptly put it away after fussing at him for not giving it to me willingly.  All the while, Raven stood there watching the events and just seemed really intrigued by the interaction.  She is a smart dog… she learns by watching… and I suspect she will take a ball and see if I force her to give it back.

But that opportunity won’t come because she will go home in a week.  This morning when I was in bed, she came down from Mike’s room (she sleeps up there with Remy) and jumped on me.  I had gone to bed at about 1:30 and I already had the covers over my head.  She started digging at the covers to get to me. Then got distracted by some noise and left…only to return in a few minutes and continue digging at me.  I eventually rolled over and played with her till she got tired and fell asleep beside me laying on my chest.

I will miss this little dog a lot.  She is a counter surfer… she gets up at 6am and demands play time for about an hour, and she gets into everything.  I hope the new owners realize that if the house gets quiet… she is up to something… Treat her like a 2 year old.

A big part of me wants to keep her but logic steps in and says that she will not let me make up for Darby and she isn’t a replacement for Darby.  He died in a terrible way through our negligence and it haunts me every day. But I can’t let my own guilt for Darby’s death affect the reality that Raven is too much for me at this age and she deserves and needs a better home than I can give her.

Still… I have to put her up there with Roxy.  Yea… remember Roxy.  I loved her and was about to adopt here when I took her to an adoption event.  No-one had told me that she had a good application.  So when her new owner showed up and took her, I just cried as they drove away without me getting to say goodbye.  She peered out the window at me as they left.  I never saw her again and I never went back to another adoption event.  I still get teary eyed thinking of losing Roxy.  I won’t let myself get that way with this little dog.

But… when I am ready for another Roxy, Darby, or Raven… I feel confident that the dog and the personality will be there.  After all.  If Roxy, Darby, and Raven all have this same personality that makes me fall in love with them… then another will come along… I hope.

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