Taking my cue from Esquire magazine’s “What I’ve Learned” feature, I give you this…
CHARLOTTE REDE | SPITFIRE, 2 YEARS OLD, PORTLAND, OREGON |
Interviewed by George Rede | Photographs by Lori and George Rede
It’s been about three months or so since Lori and George adopted me. They took me in on a “fostering” basis but was there any doubt? I mean, really, look at this face. Who wouldn’t want me in their home?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful. After running the streets for so long, and doing it for a time with my kid, I really appreciate the domestic life. Regular feedings of kibble, countless snacks, rec time and, best of all, a big pillow in front of the faux fireplace. Heaven.
The biggest adjustment? Well, as you can imagine, I was used to doing what I wanted whenever I wanted. Know what I’m sayin’ ? Now, I only go outdoors when they say so – whenever I’m about to pee myself or, if they’re thinking ahead, before it gets to that point. I’d rather run free but, hey, I can put up with the leash and harness.
It’s a pink harness, if you need to know. George calls it my “bra.” Whatever.
People see it on me, they assume correctly that I’m female. And they assume I’m docile and approachable. Which I am, mostly.
I don’t like other dogs. There, I’ve said it. There’s a lot of woofin’ going on in the neighborhood but if you’d been through what I’ve been through – basically survival mode for more months than I care to remember – you might have a chip on your shoulder, too.
My kid? Honestly, I don’t know. That’s a terrible thing for a mother to say, but we were separated at some point between our being picked up by the county animal shelter and sent to The Pixie Project, the nonprofit organization that placed me with the Redes. I can only assume my puppy was fostered and adopted, too. I really wasn’t ready to be a mother. Too young.
Yes, I took a behavior class at the Humane Society. It was for beginners. My buddy, Templeton, was there. She’s also an adoptee. Belongs to Simone and Kyndall. She’s pretty chill. But like I say, I’m not much into other dogs, so I wound up getting one-on-one time after the class was done. And you’ll be pleased to know I did get a diploma.
Otto is the bomb. I gotta say, he is the best brother I could ask for. Lets me jump all over him in the morning. You know, give him a wake-up call. Nip at his ankles. Bite him on the neck. Beat him at tug-of-war with the play toys. Sucker doesn’t have a chance cuz I’m so much quicker. But, like I say, he’s the best.
Sleepless nights? Oh, so you heard about those, huh? Yeah, I was having a tough time settling down. I felt bad that one or the other of them had to get up at 2 am to walk me, but things are OK now. They got me a soft-fabric kennel, put it up in their bedroom and it works just fine. I like being in the same room when the lights go down. Not that I’m needy or anything.
How do I describe myself? Energetic. Lively. Fun. I’m all about the fun.
How do others describe me? Oh, I’ve been called lots of things. Feisty. Adorable. Smart. Cute. I think they all fit, don’t you?
Nicknames? George calls me “Carlotta” and, lately, “Bronco.” Lori calls me “Pipsqueaker.” Again, whatever.
Resolutions? Uh, not really. I suppose I should try to behave better on the leash but that’s not gonna happen overnight. It just isn’t.
The best thing about living with the Redes? They really do like me. No, it’s stronger than that. They love me. I’m glad they’ve given me a chance to get off the streets and into a stable home. I don’t take it for granted.
Read a previous interview with Otto (“The fourth child”)