Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Welcome to Disaster City

Angie, Kip, and Chris are away.  I didn’t like this at first. I mean, they bring me to live with them, and then they leave me by myself. Was this going to be like the shelter, just with better food? Then I learned that every day, they came home. I didn’t need to bark, or try to tear up the dog bed or escape. And when they came home, I was able to go out into the yard and play. Angie would throw a red ball, and I would go get it. As soon as I put it in my mouth, it made a squeaky sound--so I bit down on it and it made the sound again! I don’t know what I liked best, the running to get it, or the way it felt in my mouth. If I wanted to keep playing, I brought the red ball back to Angie when she called “Sammie, here,” and she told me to “drop it.” At first I didn’t think that was a great idea, but that was the only way we could keep playing.

We also started to work on my manners.  These are some of the words I learned: Sit, stay, here, down, heal, take a break, kennel. The better I got at doing what the words meant, the more fun I got. I would get snacks, head rubs, and ear rubs; and always, Angie would tell me what a good dog I was. She didn’t always say it the same way. I liked the different sounds that she made, like “Good dog, beautiful girl, smart puppy, that’s my Sammie, way to go, yes.” When we were finished working on my manners for the day, she told me “all done,” and then it was usually time for dinner. I was starvin’ Marvin after all that work. When it got dark, the house was quiet and we all went to sleep. I was starting to enjoy my new life, but it was about to get so much better….

One day, Angie loaded me up to the kennel in the car. She wore different clothes and especially different shoes that were black and big. The pants had all these pockets on them. We were in the car for a long time. I was too excited to sleep. Road trip! Just the two of us. We finally got to where we were going, and I didn’t know what to think. Of course there were new smells, but when I got out of the kennel, I saw piles and piles of rocks and concrete, taller than a person, bigger than the yard, and then Angie said, “Welcome to Disaster City, Sammie.” 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

When we go inside the house, the cat goes even before me. That silly cat is acting like he is top dog, sitting on everything, tail up in the air, giving me the stink eye. Angie, Kip, and Chris let me walk all around. I have never been in a place with soft surfaces, cool hard floors, and windows. There are so many rooms, not just one like the shelter. I just don’t know how to act because everything is new and different. I could not go slow, just fast, running around, putting my paws up on something because there were food smells that I wanted, jumping on Chris who is not that much taller than me when I am on my back legs.  And I was hungry and thirsty. This place was mine, all mine, and I was ready to go, go, go. That was about to change….and for the first time I heard the word “kennel” and learned about house rules.

I did go kind of crazy and when Angie put a stop to all of that, I was not sure what to think. Even though I didn’t like the shelter, nobody there told me what to do, and they pretty much left me alone. Now that I was in a new place I had to learn new ways. There was so much, and looking back on it now, it seems like it didn’t take that long…but then again I have been told I was selected from a Gifted Animal Program at the shelter. I guess the first thing that I learned was who was the boss of me. The main boss was Angie, and Chris and Kip not so much. And that grumpy old cat, Oscar, never! Here are the rules that I had to follow:
  1. Work before play.
  2. My kennel is where I stay when I am not working (at least at first…this changed after a while).
  3. No jumping on people.
I also learned that every day was the same, but in a good way. You might not believe this, that I brush my teeth in the morning. I wait for Angie to brush her teeth, and then she rubs my teeth with toothpaste that tastes like chicken, or sometimes peanut butter. And as soon as that is done, I go out in the yard to take a break. Then I eat, no leaving food in the bowl. I tried that once, to make it last, and that was a mistake. So now I eat it all, no snacking during the day. Back in the kennel where I have my entertainment center, a bone, a soft bed just for me, and a window that lets me watch what is happening in the yard…trees, squirrels, birds, and once in a while Oscar does something to tease me, like sitting on the other side of the window and staring at me, or giving me “the paw”…if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A New Home

The funny thing about being a dog is that time is not the same for us as it is for people. I don’t know if it was the same day, or the next day, or the next week, but I do know that these people came back, and that I left the shelter with them this time. All of the other dogs were loud like always. I turned my head as I walked past them to make sure that they saw me walk out of that place. Yea for me!

The lady had a collar and leash ready, and I had some trouble figuring out how I was supposed to walk with them on. Plus, I wanted to run fast, away from the shelter! We went to something that looked like a giant room, but with black circles underneath on each side, and the lady said, “Load up.” What the heck does that mean? There was a box inside that had wires around it, kind of like the gate at the shelter. She showed me something that smelled good and put it in the box, so I jumped up to get the thing and ate it. It was very good, but the best part was when she looked at me and rubbed my head and made some sounds that were fun to hear…”ooo, ood irl, ammie,” or something like that. I could feel my ears liking the way her voice sounded, and my tail liked it, too.

Oh, no, what is going on? We're moving! I'm having a hard time standing up, so I decide it might be better to lay down. That way I won’t tumble from side to side. Still, I am not too sure about all of this. Maybe I should have stayed where I was? The next thing I remember is everything is still, not moving around, and the lady tells me that we are “home.” Home, what does that mean? So many new smells that my nose is moving up and down, trying to make sense of all of them…human smells, grass, food, and a not-a-dog but another animal…hmmm, this is strange.

So here is where I meet my new family, or should I say my only family since I have never had one before. It took a long time, but I've learned their names. The lady is Angie, the man is Kip, and there is a boy whose name is Chris. And that other animal smell belongs to a cat named Oscar. I never met a cat before, and since this one was small with a long furry tail, I thought he might be another toy! So the first thing I did was grab that tail with my mouth and…never mind, because I didn’t get far. Ouch! Oscar used his paws with sharp nails to let me know he was not part of this game. And remember that leash?  Angie jerked on it and said in a voice she had not used before, “NO, LEAVE IT.” Wow, there are a lot of rules at my new "home!"