I guess you’ve read Tessa’s account of how she came to live with us. Just remember that me and Seamus were adopted first. I let Tess know that from time to time. Keeps her in her place. Don’t get me wrong, I tolerate Tess, but she’s a cat and you can’t always trust cats to do what’s best for the family. They have this self-interest personality that can really get on my nerves sometimes. But I didn’t start this to talk about Tessa, I wanted to tell you about my adoption.
You can see me there in the photo, I am the one in the front, the long haired Cairn terrier. The scruffy looking pup behind me is my Shih Tzu brother, Seamus. Although we are a bit dodgy on his pedigree (who isn’t in America), we suspect Shih Tzu/ Lhaso Apso mix only because he loves cats, thinks he’s a cat, but I’ll leave that for him to tell you.
The photo was taken on a cold winters morning after we had been taken from our home and driven in crates to this old farmhouse in the country. There were three women at the house, the lady who drove us in the car and one who greeted us with pets and love. The third woman was real nervous and stood back to watch us. I could tell with my terrier instincts that she was unsure how to be with dogs, but I ignored her and enjoyed all the hugs.
I heard them talking about us. We were nervous and unsure why we were in this strange place, unsure what we were supposed to do. Humans don’t think we understand language, but that’s Ok, it gives us the edge over how we choose to respond to a command. Ask a dog and they know the word TREAT in any language.
The nervous woman was looking back and forth between me and Seamus, asking if she had to choose one or the other. I didn’t like the sound of that and gave a good bark to let her know, but they must have misunderstood cause next thing we were plunged into a warm bath and getting a good scrubbing.
I tell Seamus that we are here for a bath, but he is three years old and still zonked out on pain meds from the vet. Some procedure they gave him. He’s a bit dopey, but that’s how he is usually, still a pup and follows me everywhere. Not only does he have to pee where I pee, but he squats and pees like me. I told him that boy doggies lift a leg against the tree and let go, but he thinks my way is more civilized, less mess and works for him. Ok, fine, whatever, some genetic switch got rerouted. Not my problem.
After the bath the other two women left and we were alone with the nervous woman. It was obvious that she had no clue what to do with us, so we found a warm place on the couch and settled in until our real family came to get us. Days, then weeks passed and they never came for us. I became really nervous and over reacted to the slightest touch or sudden sound.
Then one day mom went to kiss me on the top of my head and I lashed out to bite her. Good thing she pulled away because I was going for her little nose as if it were a treat. Boy was she furious! And hurt, with tears and blubbering words that had absolutely no meaning for me. Seamus slunk off to another room while mom and I worked it out. Basically, it came down to me accepting that my old family was gone and this was my home now. Which really wasn’t so bad, I just hated not knowing where I belonged. I had given my love to one family and was abandoned; and now I was asked to do it again. Could I trust that this time I would be loved forever?
Well, mom said it’s an age old problem; that if we don’t take a chance and trust in love then we’ll never know; and that I would probably end up in some orphanage for rebellious cairns with weekend visits from her and Seamus. So I wised up, calmed down and got on with getting to know this new family. Really glad I did.