It’s looking like it may be a Halo-less summer. Halo does not want to come home.
There are a few reasons for this; first and foremost Tanja is a lot softer on her than I am. I know how devious and manipulative Halo is and I don’t like it. Tanja thinks those aspects of her temperament are amusing. Also, there are children present pretty much 24/7 which to Halo is a dream assignment. Food hits the floor at every meal so we know that appeals as well, added to which children generally smell and taste of food much of the time. Tanja has a sunroom which Halo loves. She gets to sleep on the bed. She gets to ride in the front seat of the van (my old Caravan in fact) instead of in the back. She gets to sneak cat food and doesn't really get into trouble. Plus Tanja is home all day everyday and takes Halo on most errands so she has company pretty much all the time.
Tanja said that for the first few days Halo shadowed her all the time which ultimately meant that one day Tanja turned to find Halo asleep on her feet in the kitchen. Any insistence that she go lie down was met with ear cupping and head hung low. And so she stood. After a couple weeks though she seems to have decided she can leave Tanja for parts of the day to nap.
Halo has also weasled her way onto the bed and I know exactly how it happened. She puts her head up, then slides her neck along the mattress, then a shoulder, then a foot and then, because it’s so silly and sweet, you relent, she leaps up, settles into a tiny ball and sighs. She then stays put the entire night.
Tanja has also discovered the benefits of having a large dog in the van while she pops out to run short errands with the kids waiting in the van. Who ever would enter a vehicle with a dog that size sitting in the front seat looking at you with a baleful eye? Tanja says she is also an amusing backseat driver since sharp corners will get you a glance that says “Ahem. Excuuuuuuse me?” I know that glance.
The children have adjusted admirably to the dog addition. Sofia, who is 3, calls her ‘Hello’ and while not much in charge of the dog she does enjoy her company just the same. Annika at 6 years is more like me, she says "Halo, come here” and if the command is not completed post haste it turns into ‘HALO! Come HERE!” A girl after my own heart.
Halo is smothered in treats and hugs and admiration … and if the house is willing she will be made a new home there after her last litter and a spay. I can’t think of a better retirement for a more deserving dog. She has done such an incredible job for me and I cannot deny her the very best forever home.
Some people ask if I'd miss her and the answer is yes and no. Halo and I have never seen eye to eye - there are just some relationships that don't work out personality-wise. I love the dog and want the very best for her and know that what she needs is not something I can give her. I can 'use' her to further my breeding plans but ultimately it wouldn't be fair to her or me to be constantly at odds. She has given me some stellar puppies and ultimately that is the point of a foundation bitch. Soon it will be time for her to step aside and let the youngters prove their mettle and she can retire in comfort with a family that can give her what I can't.
Now Raimi … he's never going anywhere ... my heart stops to even think it.