I had a great interview with a rescue dog this week. I know all you poocheroos are happy, like me, that more and more humans are decidin’ to rescue, right? I dunno why, but those stories really give me wet eyes, ‘specially when it’s the Christmas Season.
Tex Martin’s an old fella, around 10 and a half, close as they can figure. He’s a light chocolate-colored chihuahua, good bit of gray around his face. And he’s blind. Totally.
We knocked, and a grownup man opened the door. There were two girls with him. The older one was holding Tex, who was sniffin’ like mad in our general direction.
“Come right on in, young fella. An your helper, too. I’m Tex Martin. This is my Grampa Keith, and my Mom, Fallon, she’s 12, and my Aunt Kyla, she’s 9.”
Tex kept wigglin’, till his Mom set him gently on the floor. He made a couple small circles, his toenails clicking on the floor.
“Pleased to meet you,” I said loudly so he could go toward my voice. He perked up his ears – well, one of ‘em. The other was sorta flopped over, gave him a rakish look. Boink! He bumped into my Assistant. “Oops, sorry,” he said. “I’m blind as a bat. Always runnin’ into walls and trippin’ over my water bowl.”
He located me pretty quick and executed a perfectly nice Wag-and-Sniff. Then his Mom scooped him up and we all settled around the dining room table, Tex comfy in his Mom’s lap. “Thanks so much for making time to share your story,” I told him.
“I’m happy to do it. Maybe it’ll get more humans to think about adopting us older, handicapped pooches. So – I started goin’ blind quite a while back. My other family, they were always nice to me, but they didn’t know to take me to a vet. So, when they realized I couldn’t see ANYthing, they didn’t know what to do, so they brought me to the Humane Society shelter.”
“Oh, Woof! That is Seriously Soggy Dog Biscuits!” I sympathized.
“Yeah, pretty much. The humans there are real nice, and I even got an Angel sponsor, but I figured my chance of getting adopted was basically slim to none, what with my age and bein’ blind and all. I was pretty sure I’d never have an actual Forever Family.”
“Yet here you are.”
“I KNOW! Amazin’, right? Here’s what happened: The Humane Society has a bunch of young volunteers, and some of ‘em read to us.”
“Say what? Read to you?”
“Yep. And my Mom’s one of the readers. Us pooches’d go into the reading room one atta time and she’d read to us for a half hour each. It was great. I’d usually sit in her lap, and close my eyes and snooze and listen. I always felt so safe an comf-tubble. Humans think we just enjoy the sound, but we like the stories, too. My favorite’s ‘Harry Potter.’ So, me and Mom just bonded. When me an Mom were having my last session of reading and it was time to find a foster family for me, I was sad cuz I wanted to still be with Mom. And Mom said that, when she was reading to me, I was all happy and relaxed and she was, too.
“Well, My Grampa had planned to get a German Shepherd cuz he’s a Big Dog Guy. But my Mom persuaded him to adopt me. So, instead of getting a big, young, brand new dog, he got a little bitty, old, pre-owned dog! And now he’s glad. He says I’m a Goofball, and that I’m so laid back I’d be a good surfer. Mom says if I didn’t already have a name, she’d call me Dude.”
“Tell me what your life’s like now.”
“It’s great. I sorta know my way around here: I still bump into stuff, but not hard or anything. Mom and also Aunt Kyla and Grampa all love me to pieces and I get to snooze on their laps and get carried around as much as I want, which is most of the time. I have three toys but I don’t really play with ‘um so I’ll probly donate ‘em to Pooches Less Fortunate. I also get to go to the Bark Park and play with other dogs. I’m not scared or anything and I NEVER cower. But I am gettin’ up there, so I just run around in little circles and for not very long. And I play with a nice poodle neighbor. I’m gonna get up the nerve to ask her name one of these days.
“I don’t get to go to work with Grampa cuz he has a rest-runt and there are Rules. But, when he gets home and takes his boots off, I sit right in front of ‘em till he picks me up. Then we watch TV and he scratches my head and neck and feet. It’s our nightly ritual.”
“Any favorite food?” I inquired.
“Humm, I’d say, pretty much, anything. If there’s eating going on, I’m IN!”
“Sounds like this’ll be a really Merry Christmas for you.”
“The Best, Bonz! My first Christmas with my Forever Family. I never thought I’d get another chance, or that anybody’d want an old, blind pooch. But now I have a Pawsome Family, and a Mom who’s totally dedicated to me and other Pooches In Need. She’s even thinking about moving to Switzerland for college, ‘cuz they’re Very Big On Dogs. She’s teaching me all about Animal Rights and helping my Fellow Dog. Mom’s my Hero.”
Heading home, I was thinking about sweet, laid-back Tex, and the girl whose love and determination gave one small, elderly, blind pooch the best Christmas present anyone could wish for – a safe, happy Forever Home and a loving family.