My house is now dogless. It's very weird. We got The Dog only last year in June, but it seemed as if we'd had her for years.
Needless to say, Sunday sucked. A lot.
The handoff went well, as such things go. She was scared at first, being back at the shelter. But then one of the guys who'd worked with The Dog when she was there before came over to us, and I saw something I'd never seen before. The Dog wagged her tail, and then jumped up on him. I've never seen her do that with anyone besides The Husband and me. Clearly she not only remembered him, she liked and trusted him. This gave us a lot of comfort as we kenneled her and walked away.
I spent the rest of Sunday cleaning the house. All the doggie blankets went down to the laundry room. The few leftover dog toys (the ones that she didn't like) were washed and put on top of the dog crate. The crate was washed out and prepped, as were the food and water bowls. There was MUCH vacuuming, and many destroyed dog toys and old beef bones were unearthed and thrown out. And once all that was done, I cleaned off my desk for good measure.
After that we let the cats out. The poor loves have been stuck upstairs since we got the dog. For as many times as we had nearly had them rehomed, I was very glad all those plans had fallen through. They were very skittish at first, but quickly were back to their old demanding selves.
It's very odd, getting used to cats again. The Husband has several times attempted to get the cats to sit purely out of habit, and he also forgot that they always lie and pretend they haven't been fed yet. And they're so short! The Dog was over 80lbs - the cats are each less than 20. I have to keep reminding myself to look for them, or I'm afraid I'll step on them or kick them.
Of course, we've already had one Hairball-of-Displeasure - all over my netbook, which was on the dining room table (that they aren't supposed to be on). Fortunately the netbook was in its case, and I was willing to take that rather than have them decorate the stack of library books sitting next to the netbook.
The hard part now is not having that dog to greet us when we get home. No face in the window or big lanky form on the couch, no collar tags jingling or claws clicking on the floor. No kisses. No lean. No wag.
The Cult of the Dog is a sickness as much as a social phenomenon. After being separated from the cats for so long, I'm seriously having a hard time remembering why I was such an adamant cat lover. All the arguments my dog-owner friends always used keep flashing through my head. "Cats only are nice to you when they want something. As long as they're fed and their box is cleaned, they don't care who takes care of them." To which I always previously answered, "Yeah, so?" It's like cats are friends with benefits, and dogs are the steady live-in SO. Apparently I've decided it's time to settle down.