Daily Dose o' Cute

[Also at Daily Motion.]

Scenes of Dudley settling in at home, playing with Iain and me, and starting to make friends with his kitteh sisters. Also: Clips from the car of Dudz eating the "doggy cup" of Culver's Frozen Custard he was given at the drive-thru, just for being so darn cute. Set to "These Are Days" by 10,000 Maniacs.

By request, here's an update on how things are going: Dudley continues to be an absolute dream. He's just the sweetest boy—loving and well-mannered and delightfully silly. Wherever we go, he is a spectacular ambassador for retired racers, and everyone wants to pet him and kiss him and give him treats, and he laps up the attention without getting overexcited; he seems to have an intuitive sense to be gentle with children and adults who are unsteady on their feet for any reason.

At home, while Olivia isn't quite sure if she's the boss of Dudley, Dudley is certain that she is. Last night, Iain was on the phone with Space Cowboy, and I was sitting and chatting with KBlogz, who was visiting, and neither of us had noticed that Dudz had emptied his food bowl and was giving us the "I'M STILL HUNGRY!" signal. (He is an excellent self-regulator, and walks away when he's full, so if he communicates that he's hungry, it's because he's HUNGRY.) With neither of us catching his desperate doggy plea, he walked up to Livs, who was sitting beside me, and gave her one big "WOOF!" He doesn't bark often, but, with those giant lungs of his, when he does, you know it. Livsy didn't even flinch; she just gave him a disinterested expression that seemed to say, "Don't look at me. I ain't your keeper." I got him more food.

A week or so ago, I experienced a really nice moment where I was struck by how well Dudley's transition into becoming a part of our family has gone: I was in the kitchen making dinner; Iain was unloading the dishwasher, and the girls and Dudz were all milling about, rubbing up against our legs, angling for dropped food and the occasional head scratch. It was exactly the scene for which I'd hoped when we adopted Dudz—all of us together in the kitchen at dinnertime, all the furry residents getting along, one little happy family. I felt so fortunate and so incandescent with gratitude, so full of joy that I thought my heart might burst.

I hugged Iain from behind, pressing my cheek against his back. He turned around in my arms, and we talked for a moment about how pleased and relieved we were everything was working out so well with Dudley. "It's to'ally the fookin' best, apple cheeks," he said.

Our shared life isn't perfect—Iain's got diabetes; I've got PTSD and some as-yet undiagnosed chronic inflammatory disorder; we've got unpleasant ongoing family issues stretching across two continents; our finances aren't always the best; et cetera blah blah snore, lol. But damn if I didn't feel like the luckiest woman in the world, standing in that kitchen with my inimitable partner, our three beloved cats, and a grinning dog.


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