I came into the world one hot July day but I remembered little about it. I only knew that I was surrounded by warmth and licks from my mother whose name was Heather and my siblings. Sometimes I got occasional glimpses of my father whose name was Jack but not often. I saw the light of day for the first time in something they call a kennel. It was a place where animals like me stayed whilst their humans were away. The people who owned this kennel also bred dogs - Border Collies and Bichon Frise.
We had “maids” to look after us and keep our living quarters clean. It was a noisy place with constant barking. The Bichons were opposite my family and they yapped all the time but my mother told us to ignore them and always behave like ladies and gentlemen which we did. Now and again, different people would walk in and stand looking at puppies. Quite often they would disappear with a puppy and we would never see it again. We did not know where they went or why.
Everyday was pretty much the same but, regular as clockwork, a day would come around which was a bit different because the kennel closed much earlier on that day. I did not like this day much because we were left to our own devices for many hours. Well, it just happened to be that particular day and I knew it was time for the maids to shut up and leave us because we had just had our lunch. I and my siblings were on solid food by then. So, I was very surprised when a lady and gentleman walked in. I was curious. They did not even spot us, they went straight to the Bichons. Strange things these dogs were, bundles of white curly hair and they seemed to be on springs, leaping up and down all the time. Well, this couple stood there looking at them and the man shook his head.
He was obviously not impressed. The lady continued to talk with the kennel owner but the man wandered over and suddenly saw us. He called the lady across. She came and looked at us and shook her head. I heard her say something about “big feet” and “big dogs”. I gathered later that the man had told the lady that she could only have a small dog and she pointed out to him what he had told her. A conversation ensued but in the end they walked away and all was quiet.
I was even more surprised when less than ten minutes later they came back again.The kennel owner was not best pleased. He was anxious to close. Well, they walked back to my family.I had seen all this type of thing before, so instead of pushing to the front as my brothers and sisters did, I decided to be very laid-back and casual. I sat at the back of the stall with my head cocked on one side taking an interest in what would happen next. I was very surprised when the man pointed at me! In came the kennel maid and picked me up and took me outside our pen so that they could get a better look at me. She put me into the arms of the man and I knew immediately that I liked him. He had big strong arms, kindly eyes and was very gentle. He stroked me and smiled at me and I could not resist reaching up and licking his face. His face broke into a big beam. Then he handed me to the lady and I liked her as well. She had a soft voice and hands even more gentle than the man and she gave me lots of hugs. My siblings were all whining because they wanted to be cuddled as well but I was the lucky one.
The next thing I knew I was being carried outside, away from my family. I never even had the chance to say goodbye to them. We went into another room and the man and lady whom I came to know as Boss and Mrs. Boss sat at a desk and signed some papers. Then they walked around picking out things, dog food, something called a collar and a lead and some fluffy things called toys. All the time I was waiting to be put back in the stall, this was making me a little nervous. I did not know what was going on.
Suddenly I was outside in bright light and the air was filled with different smells, aromas I had never experienced before. I was carried in the lady’s arms to something I came to know as “the car”. It was strange in there, smaller than my stall and I was very scared when the man turned a key and a loud noise and vibrations shook me and we started to move Yes, move and without any legs! The world started flying past and I could make no sense of it. Yet, somehow it was strangely exciting and the lady stroked me all the time and told me I was beautiful.
She was very kind even when I did something naughty. All the excitement of what was going on, the movement of the car and the fact that I had had my lunch upset my stomach and I could not stop myself. I was sick all over her. She did not get cross. They stopped thecar by the side of something called “the road” and she cleaned us both up. After that we continued in the car. I was tired and feel asleep. When I woke, two more people had appeared. I did not know who they were, but they were a young couple and very close to the lady and the man. Apparently, we had called at their home so I could be shown to them. They came out to the car and petted and fussed me for a while and then we drove on again.
Eventually the car came to a stop. I was carried up to a door and inside . No concrete floors here but soft stuff under my paws. Now there were all sorts of other new smells. After a few minutes of looking around they took me through another door and for the first time I really saw the outside. Green stuff under my feet, the warmth of the sun on my back, air smelling fresh and sweet, a sky so wide and blue. This was nice, I liked this. I did a little wee and they told me that I was a “good boy”. Then I was taken back inside, given some more food and some milk. They made me a nice comfy bed and I fell asleep. It had been such a strange and exciting day. I wondered whether it had all been a dream and when I awoke I would be back in the kennel with my mother and seven brothers and sisters. Little did I know that the next day would be even more exciting and I was to meet some new companions.
To be continued....