Home At Last

IMG_0344When Mom and Dad first brought me home from the animal shelter, I was still young and very naive.  I didn’t realize that people have tons of rules, and that I was expected to memorize and obey all those rules if I wanted to live in peace with my human family.  I had to learn where I was allowed to sleep (my dog bed, my crate, or the floor) and where I wasn’t allowed to sleep (everywhere else, apparently).  I had to distinguish between the dog toys that I was encouraged to play with and the children’s toys that I was forbidden to chew on.  Most importantly, I discovered that while it’s perfectly acceptable for humans to “potty” inside the house and that they even have designated rooms for it, I am expected to go outside every single time I have to relieve myself.  (And if you think squatting in the yard first thing in the morning when it’s ten degrees outside is easy, you’ve obviously never had to do it.)

Luckily for me, I’m a pretty smart dog.  I’ve memorized almost all of the rules, and I’ve also figured out that if I do need to break one or two, it’s best not to let Mom or Dad know.  Take my sleeping arrangements, for instance.  I know for a fact that the most comfortable place to sleep is the living room couch, but Mom and Dad don’t like to see me on it.  So I make sure they never do.  I wait until they are out of the house before I climb on the couch for a nap, and when I hear them returning, I just jump off and run to the door to greet them.  It’s a great system that keeps all of us happy.

I’ve also figured out that if I’m a little hungry, all I have to do is go stand by the back door until someone lets me outside.  Because every time I come back inside, I get a dog biscuit.  Mom and Dad argue all the time over who started that tradition, but it doesn’t really matter, because it’s set in stone now.  So whenever I want a snack, I just “ask to go outside.”  Then I stand on the back porch for a few seconds, scratch at the door to let them know I’m ready to come back in, and voila!  I get a dog biscuit.

But one of the nicest things I’ve learned is what happens when the holidays roll around.  Thanksgiving is next week, and already Mom is bringing home tons groceries in preparation for the big feast.  There will be lots of food I know some of the leftovers will go in my supper dish.  And this year there will be two little ones at the table who I can count on to toss some tasty tidbits my way during the meal itself!  A few weeks after Thanksgiving comes Christmas, which is even better because Christmas means extra food AND presents.  What more could a dog ask for?

51A4A3C2-A7FE-49C0-B318-67D49D6D1DB5I’m actually pretty proud of myself for how well I’ve adapted and I know that I’m lucky to have found a loving family. Because there are lots of dogs still living in shelters who would give their right paw for a chance to finally have a real home.  Just something to think about, for those of you who might have room in your hearts and home for one more…….

67 thoughts on “Home At Last

    • Thank you, Miss Janis! Sadly, my mom read the same thing, which means I don’t get any turkey this year. But if I play my cards right, I’ll still get some bread, stuffing, and maybe even some potatoes. And that’s good enough for me! Love, Finn.

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  1. This post is absolutely fabulous! Haha I smiled and chuckled the whole way through, it’s so well written. Love the dog biscuit section in particular, Finn sure us a cutie! Thanks for encouraging others to adopt dogs from the animal shelters that are all too full everywhere with animals needing loving homes! Such a heartwarming post. Thank you. I’ll be sharing it with other dog lovers !

    Peta

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂 Such a beautifully written post…lots of love to go around in your house! Our pets certainly do train us and they do an amazing job. With their joyful playfulness and darling expressions, it is hard not to fall for their lessons! (That old biscuit trick works every time.)

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    • Thanks, Linda! Yeah, he’s got us trained to give him biscuits whenever he wants for sure! He’s also convinced my husband that he’s supposed to get a “taste” of whatever it is we’re eating. I don’t go quite that far, but he does pretty well with me too. I always say if he was a human, he’d be an excellent IRS auditor, because he’s good at collecting everything he believes is owed to him!

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  3. Very nice, Ann. Our latest addition, a beautiful tortoiseshell cat that was part of the county’s catch, neuter and release program a few years ago, lived under our house for several months before agreeing to come inside and live with Jim and I and the other two felines. She has been such a joy, never completely gave up her feral temperament.

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    • I’m so glad! And I hope you realize what a huge accomplishment that is. Many people have tried to get feral cats to come and live with them and they just won’t do it! I think that’s a huge testament to you and Jim that you were able to get this one to overcome her fear and move inside with you!

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  4. What a good pup! Thanks for sharing the dog’s view! Too many new adopters don’t consider it and this time of year, it’s really important. I’ve never seen statistics on it, but I bet there are more lost dogs and bite incidents around the holidays when we too many of us fail to take into account the stress of disrupted schedules and house guests on our dogs.

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    • I think you’re right! And I know that right after the holidays, there is an uptake in people turning in their pets who turned out to be a bit more work than they bargained for. It’s sad how many people add a pet to their home without really understanding what’s involved for the animal, and how they need time to adjust and understand all the rules that we expect them to live by.

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  5. Finn you’re such a handsome fellow and so smart …. great to beat these humans at their own games!

    You will be glad to hear most Australians now have 1-3 dogs each. Yes often three each as one dog would be exhausted from all the walks they were dragged out on during lockdown. So they had to get a few dogs to keep up with their regulation exercise … they only allow us out to grocery shop and for daily exercise. Although that’s changing now and I do worry how all those dogs will be managed once everyone returns to work 😦

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  6. I love this, especially the bit where Finn (?) asks to go outside whenever he’s hungry. My Finn also snuck in a few unauthorized naps on the couch, although he outgrew it over time.

    My Finn also came from a shelter, and I strongly second your plea to search your local shelters first! We’ve found some wonderful animal friends that way. Just this past October, we adopted a chicken from a nearby shelter. We christened her Angie since we got her on the feast of the guardian angels, and she’s one of the nicest birds I’ve ever had. She’s so calm to hold and pet–really quite unflappable as chickens go. : )

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    • Thanks, Cathleen! I’m glad to know you’ve gotten some of your pets through shelters, and fascinated that you have a pet chicken! I’ve never had one, but a friend of mine’s daughter has several, and she says they are just lovely creatures and absolutely adores them. Just goes to show that when we open our hearts and our minds, there’s always a fun surprise coming our way!

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      • I never kept chickens until the pandemic, but I had parakeets as a kid, and chickens seem to respond to the same kind of treatment. Mine all have different personalities, and they even get jealous of who’s getting petted. We have a large oak branch in their run area, and I’ll set a few of them up on different perches to stroke their feathers. Sometimes they’ll crowd each other out of the way, as if to say, “Don’t pet her–pet me.” I started off keeping them for eggs, but they’d be worth it even if they never laid any. : )

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