The update on the eagerly awaited dogs is not a good one, alas.
The dogs that were so quiet and easy-going at the Grove needed a LOT more room than the Beloved's house and yard offer. (We'd been concerned about that, but they spent all day sleeping at the Grove, and were reported to be couch potatoes. Not so much, when they got here.) The dogs that were supposed to be good with cats hunted them. The dogs that were house trained relieved themselves all over the rug, with complete unconcern. The dogs that were obedience trained recognized no obedience commands I've eaver heard of. No, wait, that's not entirely true. One of them had a vague notion that "sit" means something sort of. Occasionally for a second. The dogs that were best friends at the Grove fought badly -- in my years of living in the middle of a Norwegian Elkhound pack, back when my mom was in the dog showing and breeding life, I hadn't seen house dogs fight like that.
They couldn't be left by themselves in the house -- on account of the cat chasing and the relieving themselves all over the rug -- so The Beloved went and bought crates, and the crates worked for one of them but the other had hysterics.
We don't really know what happened to them, but our guess is that at the Grove they were ok, but that coming into a house with one person, and being the only dogs, took them back psychologically to the situation they'd been rescued from, and that situation was worse than anybody thought. They loved her, they loved me, they wanted to please, they're darling and bright and beautiful, but they can't be placed together, and they need a lot more time and work than anybody knew.
(I want to say very clearly that we don't think the Grove was at fault here. They'd had the dogs as puppies; they'd known them well then; the dogs had been placed for about 6 months or so and then had come back; we think that, very simply, the dogs are different dogs at the Grove than ehy are in a home, and that the reports of their training were greatly exaggerated.)
The upshot of all this was that we both pretty much lost a week out of our lives; The Beloved was living with the dogs, but I was over there giving her a chance to leave the house when she needed to, and we're both shattered about it. She drove the dogs back last Thursday, and we've thought about whether we could take either of them -- especially the less damaged one -- but we've come to decide that it's too much. Training a puppy takes a lot of patience and time, but it's a surer proposition than retraining a dog that's already been taught some bad things. And they just need more room than a small city townhouse provides.
So that's where things are. Thanks to those of you who contacted me about the exciting news that the dogs were coming. I wish that things had worked out. Just today I opened up an order from King Arthur and I see that I'd ordered dog biscuit mix.
The child and I are researching small dogs, one that would fit legally (and physically) into my apartment.
At present we're focused on the seldom seen Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
So maybe a puppy will be in the future.
But at the moment our hearts are broken.