After the death of my most recent furball , I always knew I meant to get another dog. They always say that immediately bringing home a few friend sometimes helps the hurt- rip off that bandage and get right back in the game. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, but I had realized through the dogs I had loved in my life time: several labs, a Shepard, a bulldog, a few greyhounds that we had fostered; the dog needs to find you.
I just hadn’t found the set of dark eyes yet that would bore into my soul and say ‘I am forever bonded to you’. I had visited a few shelters and pet shops here and there and just hadn’t found the right friend. A few years had passed, the one remaining senior dog of my pack was still going strong so the need to find a friend for him wasn’t nearly overwhelming. I dedicated all my love to my poor elder dog until he too had to be put down do to an aggressive tumor that the vet couldn’t do much for.
Dogless , I was still trying to filled the void.
As I wandered into the local shelter again with a friend looking at the usual assortment of dogs, some that had been there for weeks; I found that set of eyes that I had been looking for. He was tiny, under weight for such a small breed, but his fur was glossy, his ears fully erect in a salute that earned him the nickname ‘Ears’. His eyes were penetrating my soul, he stood on his back feet performing a sort of jig on his hind feet each time he jumped up to get my attention. His little bark was nothing more than a mouse’s faint squeak. I bent down to stroke his glossy snout through the cage.
The volunteer at the shelter informed me that he was at least two years old, they assumed some sort of terrier and mini pinscher mix. His fur was black with rusty markings making him have the appearance of his much larger dog cousins like a Rottweiler. He had been there for a few weeks and they had been calling him Dustin.
I went into the visitation room with my new friend, hoping that he was a friendly as he seemed in the cage. Instantly I fell for the little pooch and hoped he felt the same. The minute I sat on the floor with the small beast he began to crawl into my lap, rolling around like a puppy as I tickled his belly and scratched his ears. I had read up a little on smaller dogs, knowing I would need one now in an apartment. He showed no signs of being dominant but he seemed to have the terrier hyperactivity. I wondered if he had that famous terrier temper. He had a full tail which seemed to support the fact that he was of mixed blood and not a full pinscher or something like a rat terrier as they tended to have a docked tail. I knew I was going to put down his deposit from the first lick. I promised him I would be coming back as soon as he got his shots. He was already fixed so as soon as the vet cleared him to go I’d be back.
The first night at home, I worried about what antics my little friend would get into. It had been years since I had a pup in the home and they had all been larger less fragile breeds. I had went around and puppy proofed taping up cords to telephones and lights, picking up anything small that could be chewed or swallowed. I refused to crate any of my dogs, the worst I had done was put them in the bathroom when I had run out to do errands or something as puppies so they would be safe. I tried to be careful walking around him to not step on his paws but I found as someone’s former pet he was already accustomed to stepping out the of the way of human feet. I didn’t want him on the couch so I tried to push him back when he jumped up on couches and chairs and that took with a firm ‘No’ after a few weeks. He seemed to know a few tricks from his former home and was housebroken with few accidents, loved walks on the leash though he pulled a little despite his 14 pound weight. He was a little noisy at times until you reassured him to stop. I gave up keeping to the floor as he liked to jump up on my bed for a cozy sleep or to wake me up in the morning.
I had changed his name to Severus, in honor of a fictional book and movie character whom I think fit his demeanor. People assume small dogs are snappy and aggressive but he has a soft side that is shown to me.
Saving this little guy was one of my best decisions.