I remember the first day I met her. It was a weird day right from the beginning. First, the people who took care of us…what were they? Kennel staff? Well, they took a really special interest in some of us. Not all, just a few of us. They took a really good look at our necks and then wrote something down. I didn’t know my neck had a size, but I guess it does. Then they took the collar off that I always wear and put this other one on. I don’t like it! It feels new! It makes my neck itchy. Scratch scratch scratch!
Then they took a look at how big I am and wrote that down too. They never cared before! Whenever I’d go on a walk with people, they’d just take that harness thing that smelled like lots and lots of dogs, unbuckle the belt part that went around, and slide it to the spot that fit me. Now they wanted to know how big I was. I wondered why, but lots of weird stuff happens that doesn’t seem to change anything, so whatever. I wondered why every single dog in the place wasn’t being measured, though.
Then they took me and those other few special dogs for a bath! That seemed normal enough. But then they gave us a really really good grooming! I mean, they always groom us, not as often as Carin grooms me now, but lots. But this grooming was huge! It was like they wanted to make sure I looked as beautiful as possible. Some of the staff seemed kind of sad. I couldn’t figure out why. They were happy, but sad. Can someone be happy but sad? I was confused.
After all that was done, they didn’t want us few dogs to get dirty. I was jealous. Everyone else could play and play and play, but we had to not get dirty. Why did that matter so much today? And why were we the only ones?
All of a sudden, one of the ones who had been showing me how to do all the hard work like staying away from cars and making turns and not sniffing stuff and not chasing squirrles came in and got me. But there was no van and no bunch of crates and no harness. I figured this would be another one of those times where they let some strange human who didn’t smell like they were from hear hold my leash and try to tell me to sit, down, heel. I’d do that with a few humans, get some pets, and go back to the kennels. But I don’t remember such a long grooming session before one of those times. I went with her, because I like her. I came into this room and another one of the ones who showed me all the hard work stuff brought in this other human. I now know her name is Carin, but at the time all I knew was She was moving really fast and smelled nervous! Why was this human so nervous? She sat down and was sitting very still. Then the person who had me brought me over. Sniff sniff sniff! Definitely not from here. Sniff sniff. Hmmm. Then she started talking to me, and I love pets, especially belly rubs, so I wondered if she would give me one. She did!
After a little bit, the people who taught me all the hard stuff gave me to Carin. they walked with Carin and I back to this other room. There was another human in there with another dog! Hmm! The other dog was called Beauty! She was another one of the dogs who got the big bath and the brushing and all the stuff with the happy sad staff. Hmm! This was a puzzle!
What was this new place? I’d never been all the way down the hall this far before. I’d been in the building when the strange humans would tell me to sit and stuff, but never in this part of it. there are so many things to see. What’s that? What about that? Who’s over there? Are those more of the dogs who got the big bath? Where are the people I know?
I whined a bit, but Carin told me “quiet.” Hmmm. She knows the q word. And she doesn’t like it when I whine either. Wonder how she feels about barking. But I didn’t feel like barking yet. I decided to try that later.
At first I was sure I was just going to be taken back to the kennels. This was just a really long time with this human. I’d seen a lot of humans, and they didn’t all stay around. There were the people who took care of me when I was really little until I was bigger, but sometimes I’d stay with other people. Then I came and stayed in those kennel things and lots of people took care of me,and some of them taught me the hard work stuff. Maybe Carin was just going to sit with me for a while.
We walked up and down the hall for a while. I wonder if I can convince Carin that heel means something else. Nope! She told me to walk where the other people want me to walk. Ok, so that rule is the same with her as with the other people.
Then she fed me, and I liked her even better. She had the food! But I still wasn’t sure. Lots of people had fed me and they didn’t stay.
We went outside so I could do my business, and I saw all the dogs who got the special baths! I thought I’d say hello, but oh no! Carin knew how to give corrections!
Then she said the words that mean I can do my business and I did it. But then Carin just stood there like a lazy bum. I pooped and she didn’t pick it up. Other dogs had pooped and none of their humans picked it up either. Lazy, all of them! One of the ones who taught me how to do the hard stuff came around with a big scoopy shovel and picked it up. That was weird.
Then carin brought me back inside and back to the room. Her and that other human were talking for a while. Then we all walked down to this big room and we all lay under different tables while the humans holding our leashes sat at the tables and ate. At my table there was Storm! And Anton! We all got to lay under the table together, but we couldn’t say hi! We would try, but then we’d get told by Carin and these other strange nervous humans not to do that.
The rest of the evening was kind of boring, except for the part where I saw Dynamo and just couldn’t resist saying hi. Carin did a lot of typing and talking, talking and typing. She petted me a lot too, but there was a lot of typing and talking. Man she loved to talk and type. She still does.
The wierd part was when I saw my favourite person in the whole wide world, at least my favourite person who taught me the hard stuff. She always called me Bird. It was Tamara! Wag wag wag! I wanted to come see her! Hi Tamara! You’re back! Where’s that cute little chihuahua? I like your chihuahua!
But Tamara didn’t care about me anymore. She wouldn’t look at me. She’d just talk to Carin! This wasn’t fair! No fair no fair! Look at me, Tamara! You always loved me before! Why won’t you talk to me now? Do you think I smell funny now that I had the big bath?
I didn’t know that Tamara wanted to look at me, but she knew that if she did, I wouldn’t care about Carin and would try to go to her. She wanted me to know that Carin was going to be the one who mattered most. I just thought Tamara didn’t like me. I had no idea that I would leave all those dogs behind and go far, far away with Carin.
Hmmm. Thinking about all this time that went by has me wondering something. It’s about the same amount of time I spent with those first people who took care of me after I rode in that truck with all those other puppies. I don’t really remember the time before that. But I know I had brothers and sisters and a mommy. but then they put us all on trucks and I met these other people. But I spent about as long with them as I’ve spent with Carin. Maybe I spent a little more time with them. Then there was Tamara and all those other nice people. I didn’t spend as long with them. Is Carin going to give me to someone else? Maybe I’m going to go to the woman who lives downstairs. She’s nice, but it would be really nice if I could just stay with Carin. I guess we’ll see. She doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to pack up my stuff. I guess I’m staying here a bit longer.