Sunday, March 16, 2014

Negotiating for Sheep

The power of Faith. Maybe there is a doG.
In the last two weeks, three different people have met Faith, and decided within minutes that they wanted to take her home. I swear that dog needs an OKCupid page. I mean, who can resist this sort of thing (right).

As dog divas go, Faith is pretty cool. She has a remarkable ability to get humans eating out of her paws. Fur and all. And she is perfectly willing to inform you that no, you really aren't done giving her scritchles.

Since the world is all about her, Faith decided that a bidding war is in order. She told one suitor - well, she signed, and I translated; you all know how this works - that if the suitor would get her a sheep, Faith would happily move in with her. The suitor's apartment, it should be noted, is around 300 square feet, so I thought this was pretty hardcore of Faith. I helpfully offered her (the suitor) some help.

Since I was traveling down to California as this came up, I offered to bring back a sheep. You know: one of those famous California surfing sheep. There are a bunch grazing over at Stanford; given the local mountain lion population it's unlikely anyone would miss one. "Please, don't", she said. Yeesh. I mean, it's not like it's that hard to keep a sheep in a small apartment, right? When I got to the airport in San Francisco on the way back, I texted her claiming that I had forgotten the sheep at the Stanford barn.  "Thank God", she said. Somewhere in the process, as I was having fun shearing this story for all it was worth, somebody pointed out that if I tried to bring a sheep back I might get stuck at TSA. Frankly, I thought it more likely that the sheep would get stuck by TSA, but let's not go there.

Then there was the question of what to name the sheep. And of course, there's really only one name for a sheep that is going to be the focus of the kind of overwhelming publicity that patterpatter is likely to bring her. But you're going to have to wait for it. "Oh no," I can just hear you saying, "this is really going to hurt."

There was also a discussion about sheep needing grass to graze on. I said that California produces lots of grass and I could bring some of that back too. Garberville isn't that far north of San Francisco, and I had some time to kill, so why not? Strangely enough, Faith's suitor (who works in a respectable professional field) wasn't interested in California grass. I guess the folks in Garberville need a better advertising slogan or something.

It's frustrating when people won't take your carefully thought out, wildly inappropriate gifts, isn't it? And for pesky practical reasons, too. When this happens, there's really only one thing to do: get creative.

And it turns out that biologists have been working for years to come up with a kind of sheep that is specifically engineered for small apartments and won't eat your carpets.

Folks, meet Dolly.

Don't tell Faith, though. A sheep in a small apartment is doable. But a Border Collie?

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