Birgit Pratcher



The Late Christmas Gift

Posted by birgitpratcher on March 7, 2011 at 8:10 PM

The puppy-boy (Blade, our Husky) and I were wishing for another dog, so he would have a friend to play with. Paws and fingers were crossed in hopes that Santa would hear our pleas, since the daddy (my husband) ignored them.

Christmas came and Christmas went, no puppy, not under the tree or on the door step. Blade would remain a single dog with us until, maybe next year or the year after or whenever, sigh.

Roger (the husband that ignores Christmas wishes) said "we'll see how things are looking next summer, right now it's not the time for a second dog."

So, tails and ears hanging low, we trudged through life the best we could, the dog and me.

This winter was very cold, freezing temperatures day and night, even snow on Christmas Day! (Yeah, as if I liked that mess, brrrr.) Blade of course was thrilled, what better weather for a Husky  than a nice snow fall.

Around New Years the weather got a little better and on 2 January 2011 we had 67 degrees! (Fahrenheit of course).

Like so often we were missing a couple things in the kitchen, but waaayyyyy too lazy to go grocery shopping, so we went to the little Rite-Aid store close by. On the way home my husband suggested that we take a ride through the park. I was not at all interested, but then again, I was not on the wheel, so I had not much say in the matter and through the park we rode.

The park is rather small and in a car it seems even smaller, there is little pavement to cruise along, so you will get from one end of the park to the other in just 2 minutes flat. And then there we were, at the end of the pavement, where another parking lot is waiting for hikers to park their cars and disappear into the woods. Don't worry, they'll be back out in 20 minutes or less, like I said, it is a small park.

On the edge of the trees and by the parking lot we noticed something very peculiar, movement.

These woods do not house tons of wildlife, there are not enough trees for the wilderness to develop and I doubt that deer or bear would enjoy the tight space. A fox, rabbits and raccoons, yeah they will certainly hang out around here, after all we did find the skull of a raccoon before.

So, we looked and, believe it or not, there was a little black dog. No collar, no leash and no owner.

The only other people around were a group of young guys who had no clue where the dog belonged and a family with their dog on the other end of the park.

Of course my husband did not want to hear about putting the little thing into the car, no cage, no dog!

Well, the dog could not be left there, no matter how warm today was, the night would be cold and besides, there are too many dangers lurking to overcome little pray like this.

We rushed home, dropped the groceries, put Blade on his leash, stuffed my pockets with treats, a leash and a collar and walked back to the park. Not really a long walk, about twenty minutes, so it is manageable.

I don't think I walked as fast as I did this afternoon in years. My arthritic arm was hurting, but went ignored. After all, there was a little dog, all alone in the park.

When we arrived he was still in the same spot, apparently waiting on his owner to return in the car that dropped him here. When he saw us coming he hid behind a little shrub, even smaller than he was. The poor little guy was so scared.

He had a white strip going down his chest and while one of his ears was standing up, the other was flopping down and his tail was a bit short.

It took him a moment to give up his hiding spot and to approach Blade.

He remained weary of us humans, but, with the help of the treats I carried in my pocket, we got him to come a little closer and follow us to the water faucet.

His black fur had no shine and he was bloated. We pumped water and Blade showed him how to go and drink. He quickly got the hang of it and enjoyed the cool water.

A few more treats, a little more play-time with Blade and we were able to touch him.

He still was scared and not sure what to think of us, but he liked Blade and he liked treats.

After a while I got him to stick his little head through the collar I had brought and he was securely leashed up.

We had been waiting around the park for a while now and nobody had even thought about to come around or claim the dog, so we decided that he would to get to go home with us.

Of course my husband informed me repeatedly on the way home that we would not keep him, just a day or two and then take him to the shelter.

At least that was his story, a man has to have a story in order to cope with life and its puppies.

When we arrived home we fed him small portions of food, to make sure it would not make him sick. After all, we had no idea how long he'd been out there in the park without food water or shelter.

Upon closer inspection we noticed that he was much younger than we thought, no more than maybe four months old, but, lucky us, he was house-trained!

After a couple of days the bloating went away and we found out how painfully thin the poor little guy really was. It would take a lot of food to get him to normal standards, but we were eager to get there.

Of course we did run into some obstacles, dealing with two dogs, but in the end things always work out, don't they? Think about it, Santa granted us our wish for a second dog, a few days later than expected, but here he is, sweet, cute, loving and, most of all, healthy and happy.

We named him Knight, figuring a small, scared, timid dog needs a big name to make it in this world.

And yes, he is here to stay, did not even take 24 hours for the daddy to decide in our favor and to fall in love with him. Of course Blade and I knew all along that Knight would stay, we just figured we let the daddy find it out on his own, like that he will have so much more fun with it.

Come back next week to read about the bits and pieces we found out about the little Knight and how we learned to deal with certain problems that can arise when there is suddenly a second dog in the house.

Until then, stay safe, love your dog, cat, mouse or horse or what ever animal shares its life with you,




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