It’s a Dog’s Life…

I am not sure I can think of any more amazing creature than a dog.

I had parrots, fishes, turtles, cats and plenty of different animals growing up but I could never bond with them as much as with a dog.

My first first dog’s name was Zai. His actual name should have been Snipe (coming from Vanda’s lil minion in Sport Billy- a cartoon that I was watching as a kid) but I guess I was too young to pronounce it properly. He was a white Bedlington that was acting pretty much like a little human being, totally unspoiled and totally adorable.  He was able to unwrap chocolate eggs and eat the chocolate, if we made the mistake to leave those on our coffee table. He was able to sense when I was sad and listen when I needed to talk, he was not answering very well though xD He was my little brother, we grew up together and he lived till the age of 18 (their life-span is aprox 13 years).  He passed away in the hands of my dad, his big love. They were soulmates. I was 6 when we got him and old enough to realise and feel the loss when he passed. I always envied the relation Zai and my dad had, one could not just spend the day at home far from each other. Zai was always around his feet when he was reading, sitting with him when he was watching tv, loved going for walks with him, being sick when my dad was sick, even if it was nothing contagious. I remember my dad had to stay at home from work because of some pain in his back and leg, I can’t remember exactly what he had, some herniated disc issue or something similar. Zai was spending all day with him. After 1-2 days, Zai could not move very well and seemed in pain, we got him to the doctor and surprise-surprise… Zai had the exact same thing my dad had (now try to picture my mom’s and my face when they told us). Anyway, a deep-dog relationship like this is what I always wanted.

Few months after Zai passed away, with my dad being devastated, very bitterly hurt and my mom very puzzled about this, I decided it was time to get my own dog. My own lil creature to adore and cuddle during nights. I was of course not over Zai yet, but seriously, 5 years later I still am not and I don’t think I will ever be. But I needed to move on somehow. So one of my friends had this amazingly cute fur-ball, a girl dog, tiny and cute. I’ve seen her as a tiny puppy and I really really liked it. I have never heard of this breed till then so I started researching about this furry-ball-dog called Shih-Tzu.
The history of this breed is just amazing but it’s not the time for it. She gave me the phone number of her breeder and I contacted the nice lady asking her if she has a male puppy (somehow I always pick male dogs). She had two and asked me what am I exactly looking for. I didn’t really know what I was looking for, I just wanted a new dog-friend and I hoped I wouldn’t have to spend a time in Hell before he gets potty trained. She told me to go over there and check the puppies she has, so I took my cousin and we went over. The breeder had lots of dogs ( it was loud in there) all in a perfect condition (I swear their hair looked better than mine). There was the first time I really actually saw a Shih-tzu with long hair. She was really beautiful, just sitting there on the floor (they were not allowed on the furniture, of course when you have a dozen of dogs that’s expected, I guess) with her amazingly brushed coat surrounding her, watching us quietly, I immediately fell in love with those high-maintenance lil devils, and although I have read about their coat and had decided to keep my dog’s hair short I instantly changed my mind. The breeder asked me if I live in a flat, I told her yes, so she told me ok, I will give you the young one that is very quiet because the barking that you hear is the other one I have available. And so it was, she made the decision for me and it was the best. I got my lil furry-ball in my hands and then all I could think was “Uh oh, he is so tiny I’m gonna break him” (I’m a very clumsy person and usually step on everything around me, surprisingly I never stepped on him so far but those credits are to him).

My cousin was melting while watching him but I didn’t see his face till we actually got in the cab to go back home and I turned him around to give him a hug. He was SO tiny, SO adorable, SO cute and something rare for a puppy he was smelling like a baby! Oh! Did I mention he had a blue bow? xDBack then, he was not bigger than 2 packs of cigarettes, actually he was smaller than that. So, I was with my cousin, in my living room, both totally excited trying to find him a name and taking pictures of him to send to my mom. Of course, you that have seen a Shih Tzu puppy should know that they are actually quite ugly as puppies, they pass the ugly stage around the 3rd month but till then one eye looks west and the other east (they have HUGE eyes), so she shows me a picture, his first one, on my lap and I was like “Oh boy he is really not photogenic”. We started laughing of course because no matter what he looked adorable. So staring at the picture I was thinking he looks kinda spooky. And there it was. The dog on my lap was and still is Spooky.

The first days were interesting. Really interesting. Spooky of course was not potty trained. How could he be? He was drinking some water, making two steps and peed on himself (lol) and I suddenly became very aware of the fact that this is not Zai and I have no idea what I’m getting myself into. I admit it, a couple of times I cried about it. Thinking back now, I just believe it was tension. I was just stressed and not sure if I was really up to this challenge. Turns out I was, turns out Spooky was really no challenge at all. He was very easy going, he was really understanding, he was able to get potty trained (ok we had some accidents but that was expected) within a week and he was enjoying balloons (I love balloons so this was our bonding experience).

My mom who was against of me getting a responsibility like this in my life really wanted to meet him and my dad who was 200% against getting another dog and getting through what he went through again was starting to be curious about my little gremlin (oh I have lots of those). So, it was the 4th of July and I had to give some exams from my 3D studies in the morning. It was the first time I would leave him home alone for more than 20 minutes (yes till then grocery shopping was done in 30 minutes). I had to go early in the morning (around 8) and I would be back around 12 or 14 maximum. I had put Spooky in my bathroom (where I was leaving him when I was out and also during night so he doesn’t wonder around, not that he could break anything but I could really lose him in my flat) and half the way through my exam I started missing him SO much, no way I can describe it. I tried to focus as much as I could, write as fast as I could and at some point I was finally finished (don’t worry I passed). I run outside, got into a cab and told the driver to get me home as fast as possible. He did. So the plan for that day was that if I am done till noon and get home early, I take the plane and go to my mom’s and stay there for the summer. If not, the day after that. I was already packed anyways and I already had my ticket  (and Spooky’s) already.

So finally I was re-united with my puppy and pretty much ready to leave. I called my mom telling her I am done, we can make it in time to the airport, we’ll be on our way soon and I called another cab. This was Spooky’s second car-ride and I can tell you he was very confused. Of course, what I realised once at the airport was that, having a puppy with you is what can easily make you miss your flight (no we didn’t but we were close). Everyone had to stop to pet him, ask me about him and of course Spooky was more than enjoying that. We had to pass security and scan our things at some point, which I had no idea how to do with a dog. Especially with a dog that I could not leave on the floor as he didn’t yet have all his 4 vaccines and he should not get in contact with pretty much anything. I explained my dilemma to the police at the airport and they just told me to hold him in my arms. So I did. Of course, geek me, I had to have my laptop with me so I had to stop and open it for them to check it. I couldn’t really do this with a dog in my hands and when they saw me thinking how to pull this through, 4 pair of police arms showed up out of nowhere asking me if they can hold him (they took turns till I was done). Spooky had already his own Fan-Club and was really enjoying the attention. What he did not enjoy was the pressure in the plane. He started whinning and the air hostess even came and asked me if my cat was ok xDWell, can’t blame her he sounded like a cat. Probably even a cat getting stabbed. It was pretty much the first time I did not panic on an airplane. I was trying to be as calm as possible and I was so self-controled I was actually quite proud of myself.

Once arrived at our destination, my mom was waiting for us in the luggage claim area. Spooky’s travelling baby-basket didn’t really let you see what was inside so she was very very impatient and curious. Once I took out the furball for her to hold she was pretty much screaming all excited. My dad who, as I said before, was very against us getting another dog, fell for him badly. Entire summer vacation, he was getting Spooky in his arms, showing him around the house, or around the garden, talking and playing with him.

So… This was Spooky and my first adventure… There will be more soon as, not to brag about it, but my dog is hilarious xD

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