Saturday, 2 January 2010

The Nightmare Before Christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the town
The snow kept on falling and covered the ground.
The cold kept you home, by the fire burning bright
Because the ice and the snow was a terrible sight.

And out into that terrible weather trotted Thing One and her friend, and naturally they dragged home trouble. Or at least, they dragged me out, to go and get trouble for them. Trouble, it appeared, was a dog. He’d been running around, without collar, all day apparently, and now night was falling and the girls couldn’t just leave him.


It’s dark, there is a blizzard. Cars are sliding around. I picture him running into the road. I wince. I picture him trying to sleep in the snow. I can't just leave him.


We trudge around a bit, asking people if they know him, recognise him. Nothing. The snow beats us back and we return home.

We can’t keep him. We have a dog, an old dog that is troubled with arthritis. We have kittens, one of whom has severe congenital abnormalities and needs special attention. We have a toddler who is at face level of a dog, one who is unknown and may snap. And we have Christmas in FIVE days, with all the upset of routine that brings. And besides. He is somebody’s pet. They will worry about him. They will want him back.

So. I call the dog warden. Who isn’t working. I am directed to the 24 hour warden’s kennels across town. I look at the iced roads and sigh. I pile dog children and Himself in the car. We attempt to cross town to the kennels. It takes us nearly an hour to drive three miles.

The kennels are horrific. Open to the elements, and it is minus six, with ankle deep snow, whipped higher by the winds. I look at Himself. Please, can we keep him. No. He is firm. We leave the poor dog, and we drive away, me weeping silently so the girls don’t see.

At the start of the week, I call the warden. Nobody has come forward for him. He has been sent to a re-homing facility where he must wait for a week.

We have a week. The girls and I start to scheme.

For all the reasons listed, we cannot have another dog. Our family, however, is fair game….

As soon as the week is up, we drive to the re-homing centre, with Silly in tow. Silly isn’t sure, but we work on her carefully. She says yes. Hurrah!

Three days later, in time for the New Year, we are allowed to bring Trouble home again. He is an amazing dog. So polite, so well trained. Just a puppy still, yet walks to heel, and waits to be given food – not even sneaking off with The Babe’s dropped treats. He’s friendly and playful, and tries so hard to please. He’s perfect. I have no idea why anybody would ever abandon a dog… and especially not such a great dog like this.

I’m so glad that Silly has adopted such a lovely dog. He suits her perfectly and she suits him. What a wonderful ending… or rather, what a wonderful beginning for them both.

Happy, happy New Year indeed.


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