Doggy Doings and Other Matters
About four weeks ago we received news that a husband and wife had decided to give away their seven-year-old dog, Minnie. She was a Maltese-Shitzu. Accordingly a date was arranged for us to meet her. My heart melted when I saw her: she was so adorable. The wife, I noticed, was somewhat upset and endeavoured to control her emotions about the adoption. I wondered why the couple wanted to give her away. Perhaps because the husband was eighty years old: the wife was definitely younger and could have been uwell. I did not ask. Nonetheless our visit went well.
The next step was for the couple to visit our house and bring Minnie to see whether she could cope living there. Prior to their visit I vacuumed, dusted and tidied up so the house would look its best. The visit went well: Minnie had great fun playing with a toy teddy bear; she followed me around and was eager to explore the entire house as well as the yard. At one stage the wife burst into tears. She really didn’t want to give Minnie away. Nonetheless she thought us the perfect couple for their dog.
A date was chosen when they would drop Minnie off with all her gear and she would stay with us overnight to see how she would manage without her owners’ presence. There was one complication: our daughter and her family unexpectedly decided to holiday in Queensland. Would we look after their two dogs? I couldn’t say ‘no’ and was uneasy about settling in a timid Minnie as well as caring for my daughter’s boisterous pets. The younger dog, though three years old, wasn’t completely toilet trained and needed lots of supervision inside the house. I wondered how I would cope with the three dogs together.
Fate intervened. Come the following Sunday we received a call from the husband to tell us that the adoption was off – permanently. The reason was that on the previous day his wife had fallen down some steps and had broken her humerus and was in great pain. Apart from the dog there was no one home. When the accident occurred Minnie rushed to her side and licked the wife’s face constantly while she lay on the hard floor. With nobody around, Minnie cuddled up to her owner who was unable to get up. Minnie and constantly licked her owner's face to show her love and concern, all the while vocalising in affectionate, soothing doggy sounds until the arrival of the husband.
On his arrival, he could immediately deduce that his wife was injured and rang for an ambulance.His wife was taken to hospital. X-rays revealed the damage the she had sustained: a stress fracture in the humerus. Her arm was strapped and immobilised in a sling. On her return from hospital, Minnie would not leave the wife. Her devotion was such that they didn’t have the heart to give her away. That was why they changed their minds about adopting her out.
I can understand how the couple felt about their dog. In the meantime I shall be very selective in what kind of dog I will choose. One thing I know is that my new dog will have to be small and lovable – just like Minnie.