She ran into the home, flew down the hall, past the humans waiting to meet her. Making a quick right turn, she ran to the window and came to a stop - frozen in front of a small green bird who moments before was happily enjoying a stress-free life, swinging on its perch. Arayo didn't move a muscle as she watched the small creature who's only protection from becoming a Newfy hors d'oeuvre were the tiny wires surrounding it.
Arayo has a prey drive. If there is a list of creatures who are a serious threat to small furry and feathered things, Arayo's photo would be near the top.
Having offered to watch Aryao while I returned to the Seattle area to do some business, the Hudson family now had a new challenge on their hands. How to keep a killer newfy away from their two parakeets and three extremely tasty looking kitties. As Arayo lunged for the bird, family members grabbed the cage and secured it upstairs behind closed doors in a bedroom. For the next few days, any time Arayo went "missing", she could be located waiting in front of that door, willing it to open. When it finally did, we discovered Arayo, cage on floor, nose in cage, bird probably on the way to heart failure. A call to a neighbor sent the flying family pets to live elsewhere during my little hoodlum's visit.
Although, like all of us, I suppose, Arayo has her faults, something about her is just so magical. She stole my heart immediately and managed to worm her way into Donna's as well. She calls Arayo "the happiest dog I've ever met," and describes how "she'd wait until we started to stir before she'd leap on the bed, roll over and hog my pillow, legs in the air and that tail wagging, wanting her belly rubs."
I knew I'd left Arayo in a safe and happy place while I was gone, but was having slight twinges of concern as Donna's daily e-mails of how Arayo was doing showed more and more attachment to and appreciation for her antics. I half expected to arrive in Hartford and find myself at the airport with no ride home and the Hudson's phone numbers suddenly disconnected!
As has been the norm on this unusual road trip, we've found Newfoundland owners to be just amazing - their warmth and hospitality far beyond anything we'd have dreamed possible.
Thank you one and all.