I’m not quite sure how I ended up here: with a new family, writing my own column on the internet. Being a part of a website about the wisdom of dogs.
Of course I have always known that humans need dogs to lead them. Every dog knows that.
But until a year ago, I had a perfectly normal life.
I was a happy three year girl. My human loved me. I loved him. He took me for walks. We roughhoused. We played tug-o-war. If I pulled really hard when we played, he didn’t mind. I could jump up on him, and he didn’t mind.
First, he stopped taking me for walks. His family came over more often and he let them walk with me. So I realized it was his way of sharing the fun. His family is my family, so I was glad to take them on my walk.
Then, he didn’t want me to jump up on him. I’m a good dog, so I didn’t jump. He didn’t want to play as much either. That made me a little sad.
But I knew he still loved me, because he wanted me to sit with him. We spent our time on the couch. He petted me a lot and I shared his snacks.
We started getting even more company. A lot of new people came to visit us. I love to meet new people and most of them gave me pets and said “what a sweet dog.”
It’s true, I am.
Then I started going on sleepovers with families I didn’t know. It’s okay, I liked to meet a new family. But I’m not sure why my human doesn’t come with me. His daughter takes me and talks to the family. I look for interesting smells and a comfy place to sleep. I am a good house guest. If they say “no, stay away from that” I mostly do.
Unless it smells really good.
The next day his daughter would come back for me and take me home. I am not sure why this is happening, but I go along with it. My human is always happy to see me when I get home.
When I got dropped off at Suzanne’s house I thought it would be the same. We had a pleasant evening, the bed was comfy, and the food was good.
The next morning, I waited by the door for my ride home. No one came for me.
Not that day or the next day or the day after that.
Suzanne was nice enough. She did her job. She fed me and kept my water bowl full.
She took me for walks, but she wasn’t very good at it. Sometimes she pulled on the leash because she didn’t notice the smells I did.
She bought me toys and she tried to play with me, but she didn’t do that right either. She didn’t want me to tug as hard as I can. If I tried to roughhouse, she said “No. Too rough.” and quit.
I was not a happy pup.
I don’t think she was a happy human either.
One day Suzanne sat me down and we had a talk.
She said that she knew I missed my family and that she wasn’t the kind of family I would have chosen. She’s right about that:
She is too quiet.
There are not enough people coming to visit.
She doesn’t play games right.
I was surprised she realized this because humans usually are not that smart. Maybe I had underestimated her.
Then she said something that really surprised me:
She said I was not the kind of dog she would have picked out. Seriously?!?!? She always picked big fluffy dogs, I guess.
But she also said that she liked me as soon as we met. She knew I was a good dog.
And she thought we should make the best of it and learn to be a new family.
So I agreed to try. At least until my human comes back.
(Okay I sort of know he isn’t coming back for me.)
Sandy’s former owner was terminally ill and could not care for her anymore. I’m sure it broke his heart to give her away.
I sent him photos of her in as she settled in, playing in the yard, being a happy dog. Unfortunately there was no way to communicate this to Sandy, so she never understood the gift he had given her: the gift of a good family.
© Copyright Suzanne Grosser