Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Visiting the Inmates



Yesterday, we went to visit the dogs.

First, we had to go to the quarantine center and pay for their stay there. All the people I dealt with in the quarantine area were natives and they definitely project an attitude of, "Get your own island, lady." They don't smile back when you smile at them; they cut you off when you are saying something; they speak in a monotone as though they are clearly bored with you. Nothing I couldn't handle though. I remained relentlessly cheerful as though oblivious to their attitude. They do have my dogs after all. I don't want to antagonize them.

Usually when we come home from a trip, the dogs are hysterical with joy to see us. We always send Ben in first because he is the most able to handle being mauled. We expected them to be doubly frantic after all they've been through this week.

Oddly, as we came walking up, they just stood in their cages and looked at us. As we got closer, they began to wag a little. I wonder if they thought they were being punished and we were just here to taunt them through the cage bars. There was nothing like the frenzy I had expected.

Even after they were released from their cages and could get to us, they were fairly calm. They were happy, but in a subdued way. Rigger seemed especially bothered by the hysterical barking of all the other dogs in their cages. I think he is just confused and overwhelmed by this whole situation. Evidenced by the fact that he threw up while he was standing there with us.

We had to walk them about a block to the military kennels where they will stay until we get a house. The people there are very friendly and helpful. And they have a fenced in park where you can take your dogs and play with them during visitation instead of having to sit in the kennel where the dogs stay.

It was sad to leave them there when it was time to go. They had finally accepted that we were really there when we had to walk them back to their pens. They walked to the back of their pen to get a drink of water and Ringo picked up his rawhide bone and turned around to see us shutting the gate of the pen and leaving them in there. The bone fell out of his mouth and he ran and put his front feet on the fence and started barking at us. It nearly broke my heart.

Hopefully we will get to visit with them a lot and they will accept this new routine soon.
It's only for a few weeks (I hope).

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