You changed my life back in July 2015. I saw you on Facebook and something just happened to me.
I didn’t even know that I wanted another dog.
People were always sending me pictures of dogs desperately needing a home. My heart went out to every one of them but I made excuses in my head.
I didn’t want to upset the settled equilibrium of my two dogs.
I wasn’t in the very best place financially
It would be hard to take three dogs on holiday
The list went on, so I did the sensible thing and resisted
There would be someone better than me out there
In a way, I was being kind to them.
Then it all changed when I saw your face.
The thing is, a very cute mini dachshund like you had people begging to give you a home. Your photos were followed by comments of ‘Please can I have him he’s so cute!’
I knew the rescue lady,… she wasn’t responding to the barrage of requests.
Something didn’t add up!
I found myself lifting the phone.
After a few niceties, I found myself saying ‘What’s the story behind the mini dachsie? bells are ringing here!”
The lady took a deep breath ‘Ahhhh Dappy’
And so it began.
You had previously had five different owners including foster homes. You were an ex-stud dog, kept outside and taken to the vet to be put to sleep when your services were no longer required.
I waited patiently, there had to be more.
Then it came.
You had bitten several times, including someone’s face. You had attacked a cat so badly he nearly lost his eye.
I remember this conversation so clearly, for some reason, I was sitting on the kitchen floor at the time. The next words hit me hard.
“He’s virtually unrehomeable Lou”
Wow, 2 years old and unrehomeable!!!
I wanted to offer you a last chance saloon, but first, the other half had to agree and we discussed you for hours. The little bit that we knew about you worried us, but you had used up all your chances.
What was the very worst thing you could do?
Bites heal, scars fade. You were six inches tall, what real damage could you do?
The next day you arrived.
I loved you from the second I saw you.
I changed that horrible name you came with.
I felt bad, you came with nothing in the whole world except a name that you didn’t respond to.
I made you my Mr. Darcy
Oh, what a good boy you were in those first weeks. You really excelled yourself, showing off, being cuddled, trotting outside when you needed to.
Everyone loved you!
I never really took my guard down with you and warned people that you were unpredictable and should never be trusted… but even I got caught out.
Remember when I plumped the cushion before bed?
You thought I was attacking it.
So you attacked me.
When I absentmindedly picked up a toy without thinking who it belonged to?
It was yours.
You sunk your teeth into my hand.
What about when I bought you a lovely bed with a soft blanket?
You wee’d on it.
So I washed it.
You wee’d on it again.
You wee’d on my chair, my clothes, anything new that came into the house.
You weren’t happy until you had wee’d on EVERYTHING!
Then there are the walks.
You get to the top of the street and decide you don’t want to go any further.
What if the house is burgled when you are not there?
What if it is struck by lightning or set on fire?
When you are not there
You must go back..RIGHT NOW!
For a little dog, you have a big voice. No one comes to your house without an invite. The squirrels and pigeons laugh when you bark at them.
But that will never stop you.
Whilst we are being honest sometimes I would like to wear a cardigan, dressing gown coat etc without you climbing inside it. It can be rather restrictive and glues me to one spot.
I know that you think it is the cosiest, safest, warmest place on Earth
Secretly I love it too!
But not every hour of every day.
I want to tell you all the things that I love about you too, it’s not right to talk about just the bad things.
I love your warm little body and the sight of your bum waddling away. I love the look of sheer delight on your face when I give you a treat and you sprint away with it to enjoy by the fire. I love it when you sigh with contentment just before falling asleep. I love that you want to protect me and you want me to belong to just you.
It wouldn’t be the same without you.
Fewer arguments, if I’m honest.
Life would be easier, but more lonely.
I want to tell you a few things that would make your life so much better.
“It’s time to relax, I will never hurt you and I will never let anyone else hurt you. You are not responsible for this house and everyone in it. You don’t have to urinate on something to make it yours, we are happy to share and so should you. If we leave you with your sister for a few hours, we always come back, there is no need to worry. The most important thing is that you learn to trust me unconditionally. I know those bad things happened to you and that is why you hold back….but you are safe now!
I wish you could tell me what has happened to you to make you such an anxious boy. Together we could work things out and make things better.
Questions bombard me.
What were you like as a puppy? Did anyone ever love you? How much of your past life can you remember? Do you miss someone? Were you ever cold or hungry?
I will never know.
Everything’s fine now.