Continuing from yesterday’s post, this is an account of a dog’s life written from Dog #2’s perspective.
My name is Billie, and I’m a female staghound. I’m in a Dog Shelter, because my owner bought me from a pet shop and then decided, as I grew bigger, that I was too big for her house. I’m still only 7 months old, and I’ll grow even taller and ganglier.
The dog shelter is a strange and frightening place to be. I can hear other dogs to either side of me, but I can’t see them, unless I stand up and look over the wall and through the wire fence. Opposite me is a similar row of kennels, with other dogs in them. Sometimes when visitors walk past our kennels, we get all excited and start barking, but that’s because we all want to be the one chosen to go home with the humans. Sometimes I see my neighbours going out of their kennel to meet some humans, or even their cats or rabbits (I can’t see the cat or rabbit, but boy can I smell them!), and then they either get returned to the kennel, or they go home with those people. I wish I was the lucky one.
I can always tell when it’s feeding time, because all the dogs in the next kennel block start up a din. The food is invariably the same, though, but I need to keep my energy up to look good for visitors. The Shelter has volunteer dog-walkers and canine carers coming in every day, and I love it when one of them takes me for a long walk, so I can stretch my long legs, or even if someone just sits in my enclosure with me and gives me treats and teaches me new tricks. I’m a very happy and exuberant girl, and I can’t help jumping on people when I’m excited. Trouble is, I always get told to Sit when I jump up at humans. I can’t help loving people so much, I just want to go home with someone and give them lots and lots of slobbery kisses! I’ve found that if I comply with their cues to Sit or Give Paw, I get yummy treats, sometimes even chicken!
In the afternoon, the dogs get taken out again for a Toilet Break. This is only a short walk, until we’ve relieved ourselves. (My neighbour, a puppy, isn’t toilet trained and just pees and poos all over his enclosure, and then sits in the mess and wags his tail in it, ewwww!) Thankfully I’m fully toilet trained, and I know to hold it in until it’s time to go out again, before bed time.
I like to have a nap in the afternoon, when there are fewer people around, and fewer distractions. Sometimes a visitor will get one of us so excited that he or she starts barking, and that starts the rest of us off too. We have some dogs called “Boarders”, who are rather arrogant because they’re in the kennels while their humans are away on a strange thing called “holidays”, whatever it is. They have lots of toys to play with, some of them even have special food brought in for them, and they are only in the kennels for a few days, then they get to go home again. My human brought me to the Shelter, and I waited and waited for her to come and bring me home again after a few days, but she never did.
So now I wake up each morning, hoping to see my human again, or hoping to meet someone new who will take a shine to me and bring me home. I’m young, I’m sassy, I’m bright, I’m full of energy, I’m pretty, I’m friendly. Someone will come for me soon, I just know it.
Today, someone came to look at me. It was a young man and his girlfriend. As soon as I saw them approaching my enclosure, I bounded out of my bed and galloped towards them to greet them. I think I must have miscalculated my speed and the distance between my bed and the end of my run, because I damn near collided with the fence, and only just managed to skid to an ungainly halt. It made the man and woman laugh though, and I think that’s what clinched the deal. They stayed outside my run talking about me to each other, occasionally giving me a small treat. I think I impressed them with my cleverness at Sitting and Giving Paw on cue. They commented on how cute I looked, with my unusual black and white markings. Then they went away! Oh no, what did I do wrong? Come back!
A few minutes later, however, a member of Staff from the Shelter came into my kennel and slipped a lead onto my collar. She led me out to an exercise yard, where to my surprise and delight the same man and woman were waiting for me! I was so happy to see them again that as soon as the lead was unclipped from my collar, I did some crazy zoomies around them. I ran and ran and ran, until I was tuckered out. And then I trotted over to the couple, and tried to jump into their arms. They fell over, but they were laughing, so I took that to be a good sign.
And then I was put back in my kennel? Why??? I was shocked, to say the least, and distressed, so I paced up and down the length of my enclosure, unsure as to what to do. Did I do something wrong? It’s so hard to be happy one minute, confused the next!
Then suddenly, I was taken out again. But this time to the Office area, where a member of Staff took off my Shelter collar and gave me a brand new one. She also clipped on a brand new lead! The man and woman came over to me then, and started hugging me, you should have seen my tail wagging like a whirlwind, I was so happy! The man took the lead and I followed him and his girlfriend out of the Shelter and into their car. I’d been adopted, oh happy day! I was going home at last!