Sunday, I drove a couple hours to meet with a girl about a dog. This isn’t any ordinary dog; this was my dog. I had this vision in my head of what my future children would be like – they were always smart, healthy, funny, incredibly good looking, ;) and not covered in fur. I never imagined they would look like this.
Then again, these two clowns are definitely fun.
Anyway, I had a house with a big backyard; It was sort of magical. It was like a jungle covered in vines and trees and lots of green. It had a bridge and a gazebo, a greenhouse – even a little path that led to my hangout spot with a grill for BBQ and a hammock for naps. I even kept a garden for a little while.
And I had two dogs, McKenzie Gladys and Sarge. McKenzie came first. She was spunky and wild, didn’t understand the word ‘no’ and couldn’t be confined indoors without making it known that she needed room to run. She was a handful of a puppy. Now that she’s older, she is calm and only acts like queen of the castle sometimes, could-you-please-move-over-and-let-me-sit-on-my-throne? Such a drama queen – so emotional. But she is mine and I love her so.
Sarge is totally a little brother. He charges at her and bites her ears and ankles. He jumps up onto his back paws like a little bear (I even call him Mowgli man-cub). He’s so sweet and so loving. When I first got him, he was scared to ride in the car, he was also scared of stairs, heights, and tile. He’s just such a funny little guy that I couldn’t get enough of.
About 3 months ago, certain circumstances made me move hours away from my home into a small apartment. One dog in 648 sq ft is enough, but add another dog and three flights of stairs, and you’re asking for trouble. He didn’t know what to do with himself.
Sarge was always a chicken. He came into my life as an energetic, playful, annoying little dude who loved to pounce on his sister and then go hide under the dishwasher. If I couldn’t find him, I would look under my chair and there he was fast asleep, or he would be standing on his back legs with his head nuzzled on your shoulder. He was always silly; always a clown. I think that’s just who he was – a funny little character with a big ole head and a heart of gold.
When I moved into the apartment, he became different. He had never seen stairs before, and absolutely refused to walk up them. He also wouldn’t set foot on the balcony. I think the 3 story drop was enough to scare him away from all the windows. Being outside was no longer fun. He was leashed and forced to stay close to the building. There was a highway, a school, and 800 people around us making sure no dogs ever got to run and play. He was trapped. My happy little guy was now held back. Of course, I would sneak them to the fields at the elementary after the school cleared so they could really play, but life just wasn’t the same. He became almost skittish. He mellowed. I think he thought I moved to this place just to punish him, and he began to withdraw and act out. He was a sweet, dopey boy and I felt like I was hurting him. It was just wrong.
So, three months after I moved in, I began looking for a home for Sarge. Nobody was good enough for him. For the first time in my life, I felt like an overprotective mother who couldn’t let him go to just anyone. Then I got an email from Lenae. Lenae was from New Mexico and she already had two dogs, the English bulldog & the Pit Bull. and she was only 19 years old. All of these things were a negative in my book. She was too far, too busy, too young – but then she sent me a long email with pictures of her girls and her previous work at the Animal Humane and Rescue – she was also studying to be a behaviorist & was already familiar with the stubborn, playful bullie temperament, so I gave her a chance.
She’s kind of the best. We talked everyday for a month before she was able to make the long trip to Texas; discussing everything that could possibly come up before Sarge went home with her. Finally, Sunday night arrived and Sarge had to leave.
It was bittersweet to see him go. I met her in an open area so they could run and play before taking the 15 hour drive together, and he just ran up to her and pounced like he’d known her forever. It made me happy to see him so comfortable. It was like they were meant to know each other and it put me at ease.
As they drove away, I thought of his new life with a big yard and two new buddies to play with all day. Lenae makes homemade treats and doggy ice cream for the pups, and brought him a bunch of toys for the ride. She spoils them – which is the only acceptable life for a dog. My time with him wasn’t long enough, and I wasn’t ready for him to go, but she is their pack leader now – she is their family.
Sarge on the drive home to New Mexico. Looks comfy doesn’t he?
As much as I loved him, he needed this. He’s home.