It was almost noon. Bella and Buttercup were having their last cuddle, though neither of them knew it.
I took a few more last pictures of Bella before it was time to leave.
When it was time, I loaded Bella in the car, which was a comedy of errors. I'm so used to all the dogs being so good at the front door, but today when I opened it, Lizzie and Polly raced out and down the street, in the middle of the street. I got Bella in the car and ran after the other two dogs. Fortunately, Polly was already on her way back, and I got her into the house, then like a stupid idiot started shouting about treats to Lizzie, who thinks with her stomach and, after a momentary hesitation, followed me back into the house for the promised treat.
Bella and I went up to Petco, which, because of the holiday weekend wasn't having the usual SPCA adoption day, but just meeting people who had asked about specific animals. I traded Bella for Shiloh, who seemed happy to see me.
There was none of the usual "adjustment period" when I brought Shiloh back. I didn't have to be as careful of him as I did before. His collar is gone and he is starting to put weight on his broken leg. It wasn't long before the three little dogs were playing.
With two dogs her own size, Buttercup quickly became one of the gang. She's going to be such a big dog that I know that she will soon be bigger than her older playmates.
When dinnertime rolled around, I fixed a special bowl of puppy food kibble and puppy canned food and mixed it up for Buttercup and locked her in the cage. She ate it all. Obviously there was not going to be any problem with nutrition after losing her mom.
She whined a bit and wanted to be picked up. I cuddled her until she decided to teethe on my chin, and then I put her down. But she seems to have adjusted effortlessly. She's made the big leap to the big guys.
As for Polly, she has been sharing my lap with Bella, and not really happy about it, but she and Shiloh settled into their old positions in my lap and Polly even rested her head on Shiloh's back.
So it seems that our new situation is good.
But it's a bittersweet day, because it ended with the news of Ashley's leaving the SPCA, for good, personal reasons, which I applaud. But she has been our rock and I just don't know if things will be the same without her.