Last year, about three months after our cocker spaniel died, I decided that I would get another dog; however, it had to be done after I moved since I refused to have a dog travel with me. Driving and living in a hotel with just a cat was stressful enough. I waited and waited until all the unpacking and painting was completed. I had planned to wait until all the remodeling was completed, but that plan became more flexible as time passed. It didn’t help that I found two shelter dogs I absolutely fell in love with. A ten year old male and an eight year old female Shih Tzu. Shih Tzu are perfect for me since they are small dogs that love to be with people and will love you right back. With just a little care, they are beautiful, smart and energetic. Really, they are just bundles of fun.
I found two on line at a shelter and decided to get one of the two. While waiting for their parking lot to be ice free, I bought food, bowls, treats, a bed, and all the necessities. Today was my first available day to pick them up. By this time, I had decided to get two so they would be company for each other whereas one would require a lot of attention. The black and white little male was named Hancock and I named the female Hannah. They were at the shelter for two months and probably have very little memory of living in a home. Being older, they are very calm about everything but slower to trust and love than a puppy might be. However, I don’t have to watch everything in the house be chewed or wet on; I prefer calm and slower much better. Now, after seeing them together, I am not sure Hancock would have survived the loss of Hannah. They are always either very near, right next to or on top of each other. Such devotion and trust for each other is admirable. What upsets me is that they are dirty, Hannah is overweight, and their grooming jobs are bad. They just look pitiful.
After signing all the papers, we put them in the front floor board so I could keep an eye on them during the drive home. Hannah laid down and seemed to take it all in stride. Hancock, however, sat with his back feet on the floor and his front paws on the edge of the seat with his head on his feet. It was almost as though he was praying that this would all work out; either that or God save me from this woman driver. At home, the circus began. I tried to get them to go outside to take care of business without the leashes. They eventually went out the garage door and immediately walked in two different directions. After some manuevering, they finally found the grass and sniffed as though that is a new concept all the while refusing to go potty.
Inside the house we go and after being hooked up to their leashes, we went back outside. Actually, I went outside and they plopped down inside refusing to budge. It was obvious that Hannah had seen a leash, but didn’t care for it, while Hancock resented, with every bone in his body, the invasion of his space and privacy. Once again, I pick them up and we go find grass. They obviously haven’t had any water recently because these dogs don’t have to go and don’t want to be deterred from their immediate job of investigating this new place to which they’ve been taken. Not being totally stupid, I decide to go with the flow and bring them back in.
Hancock knew what he wanted. Immediately, he got into the cat’s bed and curled up refusing to share even with his best friend, Hannah, even growling at her a bit . I think her feelings were a hurt, but she handled it with aplomb. Luckily, I had purchased a fleece throw meant for use in crates so on the floor it went and she claimed it for herself. Hancock curled up, fell asleep and soon there was the sound of soft snoring.
Through all this, Miss Kitty sat in my chair glaring at the three of us all the while not moving a muscle. Oh, I’m glad cats can’t talk. The things that cat was thinking shouldn’t be said out loud. I just reminded her that they needed a home just like she wanted a new home when she came to Emma and I. She didn’t snort in disdain, but her look conveyed that she wanted to. She finally moved out of the chair, but strenously avoided the d-0-g-s. Later, she came back and placed herself on top of the couch to keep an eye on these “creatures”.
Hancock has now joined Hannah on the fleece throw. Neither has moved away from the throw and both are resting. They still haven’t eaten or had a sip of water. Patience is the key here. Hannah won’t come near me, but is fascinated with the television, and she is the braver of the two. When I held Hancock at the shelter, he just became immobilized. It will take time and tender loving care to bring them back to their normal ebullience. Day one is coming to a close and we can hope that tomorrow will be better for all four of us.