Sloan's new family

...I think she likes them!
The first meeting was a resounding success, and confirmed for me my feeling that they were exactly the right family for Sloan.
I think she adored lovely Lina, and I also think Lina is exactly the right age to know how to properly treat a little dog like this.

QQ warmed up to Christie (the first time they met, over the holidays, I think Q was a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of strangers, and was not quite as forthcoming).
Sam was just glad to see the last of the invading puppy. Poor guy has had to put up with a lot this year.

It was also nice for QQ to have a little time with Lina...even if it wasn't much. But I'm sure we'll visit them (and Sloan) from time to time when we're in the Vail valley.
Meanwhile, I think Sloan is going to be thrilled with her new home, new family, and new surroundings. I really don't think we could have found a more ideal situation for a little puppy who's life started out on such a traumatic note. Wishing her well.


Sloan's story, onward and upward!

Well, we have thought long and hard (and it was a terribly difficult decision, as you can see!) but we have decided to give Sloan to our friend Christie and her beautiful family up in Vail.
Christie and her family clearly wanted her the most, and were (to our eyes) the absolutely perfect situation for little Sloan. They will absolutely adore her, which is what she needs.
This is a lap dog. As you can see, there is no question about it. She needs to lounge and be cuddled, to curl up in laps and on soft cushions. She needs tons of love and a safe environment. In the end, we had to admit, this little dog, as much as we love her (and I, at least, love her very, very much) is not suited to our adventurous, rough-and-tumble family. I am so glad to be able to give her the perfect home and the perfect life with a wonderful and loving family in the Vail Valley...and I think we all have to admit, it ain't too shabby a place to live!
As for us...someday, we will find the perfect dog for our family, or he/she will find us. We are not in a hurry. And then we will have saved yet another dog...and we're suckers for rescuing dogs!

Long live Sloan with her new family!!


Sloan's story, part two

Sloan has bounced back very quickly from her ordeal, and turned into the eager, cheerful, fun-loving puppy that she should be at her age. As you can see, in spite of having been pushed out into the snow, she is nevertheless happy and eager to play in the snow in our backyard.
I took her to the vet for a checkup and her first round of puppy immunizations this morning. The vet found her to be healthy, clean and well cared-for, and just generally a fine specimine of her presumed breed(s). The vet said that what she most resembles is a Brussels Griffon Terrier (smooth-haired variety, not the bushy one...although she does still resemble an Ewok around the face). She also said that she might as easily be a pug/terrier mix.
Sloan likes to climb.
She also likes to sleep in my pajama basket.
I (we, I guess) are still very conflicted as to whether to keep her or to give her to one of the many people who have professed to be eager to take her off our hands (yes, we have a winner...we just haven't decided whether we can stand to give her up!)
Her affection, eagerness and willingness to learn make it difficult for me to think of giving her up. She is clearly beholden to me for rescuing her (it was rather a long and dramatic rescue, so she had plenty of time to contemplate her fortune), and her devotion and intense affection are very gratifying. Still, like I said, she is not at all what we had envisioned as our next dog. We are athletic people...outdoor people. We are big-dog people. We're a bit rough around the edges. That, and I personally already have a dog who adores and dotes on me. When it comes to dogs, I am fulfilled. It's M. who lost his beloved Akita mix this past year, and I hate to saddle him with a 7-pound critter with a snub nose and marmoset whiskers who would probably wear a sweater and sleep on a cushion if you let it.
But then again...
...I just don't know!
Every time she skip-hops and then does a commando roll, every time she cocks her head to one side and then the other when I speak to her, every time she sighs and tucks her nose up under my chin, my resolve falters.
And I can not believe she is nearly 100% housetrained and eager to please at such an early age.
Here she is standing on my keyboard and sniffing my Pinot Grigio. Yes, she did climb up there on her own. Like I said, she's quite the mountaineer.


Who would do this to a dog?

This is Sloan's story.
Sloan is a puppy - a very young puppy. I don't know how to tell how young, because I'm not very familiar with puppies, but she's a baby. Her teeth are just finishing coming in. She is tiny. This is what she looked like when we first brought her home - scared and sad. She had only just warmed up.
It was a cold, cold morning in Denver. The sun was trying to warm up the streets, but the wind was blowing hard, sending gusts of snow flying across the ground. M. was home with QQ while I went for a quick morning run. Just as I got onto the path around Sloan's lake (yes, we named her after the lake), a man and a woman (unrelated) stopped me and asked if I could try to catch two little dogs which were runnning helter skelter on the path. The man explained that he (driving by) and the woman (walking on the path) had seen someone pull over next to the lake, open the car door, push the two dogs out, and take off.
The man had driven back to the maintenance office for the park and told them there were two strays. They had said they'd try to call the dog catchers - but the dogs were running fast and scared, and the man drove back to try to catch them himself. No luck.
I pulled off my headphones, bent down, and tried to coax the dogs to come near. They were very skittish. The adult dog - the size of a terrier and white - was extremely scared and did not want to be caught, snapping and growling every time someone came near. I focused on the smaller one. It was very fast and very nervous, and I couldn't even tell what it looked like, what with the wind and blowing snow. At first, I thought it was an adult miniature, but as I chased it around and it began to slow down, I could see it was just a puppy.
After that, I was determined to get hold of the puppy at least. It was so tiny, in that cold it would not have lived long. The older dog seemed like it would bite me if I even got near it. Finally, I got down on my knees in the snow, and the little one let me lay a hand on it. I scooped it up.
I took off my parka and wrapped the puppy in it, and walked back to the park offices. The man had told me that they were ready to take it to the shelter. When I got there, all the park employees were terribly nice. They all crowded into the office to take a look at the little dog. Each of them (all men) discussed whether they could take in a puppy. None could, though they were all regretful. The head guy told me that his regulations were to send it to the city pound. I asked about Maxfund, a no-kill shelter with medical benefits that we have volunteered for in the past. He said that would be much better - he knew of the shelter, but the city isn't affiliated, and he's a city employee. I said I would take the puppy to Maxfund if he'd lend me a phone to call my husband. He seemed very glad that I offered.
I walked back toward home with the puppy wrapped in my coat, shaking violently. It very quickly began to snuggle, shoving it's head up under my chin and licking my nose from time to time. M. met me halfway with the warm car. At home, we could tell how young she really was. She was hungry, and ate and drank heartily, but seemed very healthy and not overly thin. No infection of the eyes or nose, no jaundice. A good-looking puppy.
As she warmed up and began to relax, her little personality started coming out. She is sweet and extremely effectionate, loves to cuddle, and follows on my heels everywhere I go. She is playful and full of energy, rolling and tossing toys around, skipping and climbing on things. She even seems to be half housetrained - she pees outside like a good girl, although she did poop on the floor once when I took QQ to Target to get food and a collar for her. I'm kind of amazed she's even partly housetrained, as young as she is.
As I write this, she is curled in my lap with her head on my arm. She hardly weighs anything.
At the moment, M. and I are 50/50 as to whether to keep her or take her to the volunteer shelter. She would be snapped up, I know. Good-looking, healthy strays like this who haven't lived on the streets, particularly puppies, are in high demand. On the other hand, we were sort of half-looking for another dog to replace the one M. lost last summer. Still, this was nothing like what we had in mind. We never wanted a mini-dog. Plus, with a toddler in tow, it would be a serious challenge for me to train and look after a puppy.
We shall see.
But...here's my question: who does this to a dog?? Who pushes a tiny puppy out of a car into the cold. Who throws away a perfectly good dog? I still feel wounded for the dog that wouldn't be caught. It's a tough time of year for a small dog on the streets. I hope someone was able to catch it eventually...even if it was the dog catchers. Cruelty to animals, that kind of heartlessness, always cuts me to the bone.


Art gallery and coffee among friends

On her last day in town, my mum, Q and I took a rare jaunt downtown to Lodo to visit a gallery with a friend (who is a fabulous and celebrated pastel artist, and I wish I could post some of her work here, but I don't want to invade her privacy!)
The weather had turned cold (and would only turn colder!) so the Q was well-bundled against the chill.
How cute is she in a snowsuit? She has several (and, actually, she has two of this one since they were a hand-me-down from her twin cousins, Gideon and Gabriel!) and she's equally adorable in each of them.
Look how proud she is to be walking with LaoLao!
And LaoLao was looking particularly elegant this day, I might add!
With my mother's dear friend, a former Woodstock artist, and more recently a resident of the Castle Rock area, where she has been doing a tremendous amount of beautiful work! Just maybe, if she'll let me, I'll post some of it one of these days. She is truly a master.

QQ was very excited to be reunited with the huge, weary bear outside the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (faithful readers may remember her meeting him for the first time during the DNC last summer).
Greeting an old friend with a pat on the nose.

...and willingly taking a seat in his soft and well-worn lap.
He does look tired, doesn't he? It's not easy to host all the children that walk up and down the 16th Street mall on a daily basis. Today was a quiet day (the biting chill, after a week of spring temperatures, had most people scurrying indoors!)
Sweet, right? Well, it looks like affection, but mainly this gesture is used by Q to gain attention from someone who is attempting to converse with someone other than her. Yah, she's a little demanding that way.
...and she knows it. But she also knows the irresistible power of her own charm. Sigh.
Mommy and Q, fortified with Starbucks, heading back through Lodo.
Here, she tries to get the bear's attention, too!
"Ahem, kind sir, you might notice that I'm back...I'm sure you missed me while I was gone?"
Candy apples always look so lucious in the window! Too bad they're so troublesome to handle. With a toddler in tow, you quickly learn not to carry things that require too much vigilance.


Happy Chinese New Year!!

We celebrated the Chinese New Year with a group of adoption friends down at Jan's house near Sloan's Lake...and Ruby's family showed up, just ten days home from China!
Ruby is a star, very advanced at nine months with several large teeth, a calm and social personality, and many vocal and coordination skills.
Kris was sweet enough to bring gifts for all of the new parents, and QQ was thrilled to open hers.
QQ and Ruby sharing lolly-pops.

QQ and LaoLao.

Rebecca's daughter Samantha has grown by leaps and bounds, and was very solicitous with the little ones! Not to mention that gorgeous hair that she's grown in the past couple of months!

Jeanenne is a kid magnet, and QQ gravitated to her right off the bat.
QQ and Samantha sharing shirts.
Ruby doing a gratuitous supermodel pose. Or maybe she was doing a little late-night yoga?
Jan's gorgeous holiday table, with the addition of Kris's red envelopes, in honor of the season.
Egg drop soup, dumplings, and egg rolls, followed by Jan's deliciously flaky steamed fish.
Kim and Ruby, enjoying the spread.
Good food, good wine, and good company.
Jan communing with the Q.

QQ and Samantha, getting to know eachother.

How cute is this? The book actually belonged to Ruby, but it was swiftly confiscated by the older kids!
Barb has a sweet way with the little ones.