Crafts are my passion, Cats are my obsession

My crafting adventures, my cats, my dogs, my opinons - I never did keep a diary as a child, but I'm doing it now!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Now for a long overdue introduction.....

Of course, the first few weeks of January were difficult. Not being greeted at the door by a tail wagging furry body. Empty spot in the living room. Toys laying around, instead of being dropped at my feet or in my lap....

Very hard indeed - though, it was a busy enough time at work, so my mind was somewhat occupied... Weekends were roughest - but again, had DH to commiserate with, and when he was at work, it was shopping/errand running day...

Toward the middle of January, though, DH started having to work overtime for a while - inventory time. I was suddenly alone in the house. VERY alone. Yeah, I know, I had/have the kitties. But it wasn't the same. And they were missing Bear, too. Yes, animals grieve, too. They really do. And it isn't just anthropomorphizing. There is a distinct sadness about the look in their eyes.

Anyway - I decided, that first Sunday that I was alone, that I couldn't wait any longer. That the house was too empty. DH thought it was too soon, but I couldn't handle it... So, I started an online search.... Looking first at the border collie rescue website. There wasn't really anything on there that seemed to "fit". I wandered a few more sites, but didn't find much. So, I told DH that I might go to the shelter that Bear came from when I did my weekly shopping the next day. I said that I would see if I felt like going there when I went out, that I would take it as a sign that it was meant to be, but if I didn't feel like making the trip, I wouldn't. (remember in my last post, I mentioned that the store had moved since we got Bear? I guess it was an important point, after all.... they moved farther away from where I live). So, when I woke up, I really didn't feel like bothering. Which meant, obviously, that it wasn't meant to be.

So, when I was getting ready to go out of the door, I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to go to a different shelter - one that I'd never really bothered with much in the past. I did shop there once or twice, since they were a few blocks away from where I live. But, they to had moved to a new location - larger, cleaner - but still not too far away. And quite close to where I do my shopping for groceries.... So, I stopped in there. Wandered through, past all the cat rooms - no cages, just large open spaces with lots of toys and nesting areas and scratching posts.... very comfortable for the kitties... But, I wasn't in there to look at kitties - I was looking for the dog area. They also have a store doggy greeter. This is one who was badly abused. Despite her physical scars, she is a very friendly sweet dog (really makes you wonder about people). Anyway - of course I had to pet her, and scritch her chin... when I stopped, she barked at me. Friendly bark, of course - not sure if it was a "thank you" bark or a "hey, why'd you stop?" bark... Anyway, at that point, I had just reached the doggy areas...The dogs weren't housed quite as generously as the kitties, but still have nice quarters... a kennel area, with toys, food/water, and somewhere to sleep... also, a window into the store. On the window, they place information such as the name they've given the dog (which of course, you can change - but they name them when they come in to the shelter), when it was born, etc. Well, when the store doggy barked, I was just about up to the first of these doggy windows.... and up popped a pooch to see what the bark was all about. His eyes met mine.... I continued on to check out the other windows... there was an older rottweiler, a pair of Jack Russel terriers, and another pair of chihuahua crosses... I am not fond of "rats on a leash"; I much more recently heard someone refer to the Jack Russels as "Jack Russel Terrorists" and must admit, that about describes these high-energy dogs (besides which, they were a pair, and I really wasn't interested in that); and much as I think Rotties are very nice looking dogs, and no more dangerous than an other when raised with love, I was really in the market for another border collie. But, there was that first dog.... Now, I should mention, that when I was little, I did the dreaming like all kids do of what kind of a house I wanted when I grew up. My dream included a "pet room" - where I'd have (actually, I forget the number now, I think it was like four or six) German Shepherds. I've always liked the way they look, and how intelligent they seem to be. We have a neighbour, whose son is a retired cop. He has a couple shepherds - and I learned that these dogs are capable of making a sound that isn't a bark, isn't a whine, but is sort of a combination of those sounds - - - and quite unpleasant at that. I decided I wouldn't bother ever owning a shepherd; only continue to admire them from afar.

Anyway - I found myself enquiring about the dog in the first window. His name, according to the window, was Delko. So - his story was that he was born at the beginning of July last year, and had come into the shelter at the end of September, along with his sister and brother. They had chosen theme names for them: Calleigh and Horatio were adopted rather quickly, but Delko was the shier one of the bunch, so he was often passed over. (the names, for those who aren't fans, all come from characters from the TV show "CSI: Miami"). There was some suspicion about mistreatment when he was younger, as he was extremely shy around men - shy enough around strange women, but really afraid of men. Also, he had a docked tail. I asked if this was due to any particular injury or anything, and was told that no, when he was born, the people who owned his mother (who was a German Shepherd - but you guessed that after reading the previous paragraph, right?) believed the pups where rottweilers, so had their tails docked at birth. Apparently, "Horatio" was all one colour, the same colour as Delko's light tan (there's going to be a picture at the end of this post, so you can look now or wait) and "Calleigh" had the same colouring as Delko, but longer fur. I am still shaking my head - though I'm over the sadness at what his tail could have been. (I know why some breeds need their tails docked, and why others have their tails docked, but I'm not in favour of it when it doesn't have to happen). Well, we talked for a while, I asked about adoption procedures/applications. After a good chat, I asked if it was possible to "meet" Delko, spend a bit of time with him. So, I was taken into the room they use for introductions. Then, they brought him in. He came through the door, beelined for my lap, and he looked up at me with such a sweet look - remember when I first saw him and he looked in my eyes? Well, I think it was love at first sight for both of us. I mean, gee whiz, he was curious, and interested, and intelligent looking - aware of his surroundings, not just resigned to live in a cage the rest of his life....

So, I took a couple pictures, drove to where DH worked, and arranged to come back that evening so DH could also meet Delko. It was a rough first meet - Delko had been sleeping, and I've really noticed that when he's tired, he tends to revert back to that shy, frightened pup, though he's getting better daily. Anyway - it was a rough first meet, but by the end of the visit, the worker at the shelter announced to the others, "Delko's going home!". That still chokes me up a bit - not, "Delko's been adopted", or "someone is taking Delko", but that "Delko is going HOME". That yes, he is going to a home, not just a shelter cage, not just being fostered, but that he is going to a forever home.

Well, those first few days/weeks were a bit rough. After all, I'd just had a 12 year old border collie. Now I had a six and a half month old "teenager" with issues and baggage.... especially trust issues. A teenager with intelligence, and a sense of humour. It took a lot of work, and it is still ongoing, but most of those issues are fading away. He still doesn't like to be touched by feet - even accidental contact causes him to jump out of his skin. And he takes a bit to warm up to strangers and children - but he's really coming along. He took his time getting comfortable with DH, but now worships the ground "Daddy" walks on... And he's really turning into a sweet, loving, lovable doglet.

Ok, he's now a year old, but I call him a doglet, because even though he was technically a puppy when we got him, usually when you say that you got a new puppy, people expect to see a wriggly little fluffy clumsy ball, not a half grown doglet... And, I couldn't call him a dog, since he isn't an adult. So, I refer to him as a "doglet". :) Oh, and we kept his name, since he had it for so long and was getting quite used to it, and would answer to it, and I'm not so good at thinking up names....

So - without further ado, or babble, since this post is getting long - I present: Delko (aka Del, Mr. D, or D - he's learning to answer to the nicknames, too)

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