Happy Tails and Their Journey: Eric and Me
(Every “Happy Tails and Their Journey” story is about the animals adopted from Animals Taiwan and their new owners. We hope that through Happy Tails, more people are able to understand the significance of pet adoption and the joy that adopted pets can bring to humans. Please love your furry children for their entire lives, and they too will love you unconditionally for the rest of your life.)
Four years ago, our Maltese, Polo, died of a heart attack and went across the Rainbow Bridge. We kept his bed and unfinished vitamins at home which was painful for us. We then decided it was better not to keep his things as Polo would stay and refuse to find peace in heaven. We thought for a while of how to deal with those things. Though the veterinarian said that we could return the vitamins, we still hesitated, as if Polo would come back.
One day a voice in my heart said, “Better put our love into action and help other dogs. Let’s donate the Polo’s things.” But where should I donate them? Suddenly I thought of AT, which I had previously contacted in order to rescue a stray dog on the street. The friendly and enthusiastic staff from AT gave me a lot of suggestions. Finally I successfully rescued the dog and found a loving home for him. After the initial contact, we visited the association. I was very impressed by the cleanliness and neatness of the environment. Since then I have been in contact with AT from time to time.
One day I received an e-mail from AT, asking if I would like to help with the Chinese blogs and messages for adoption. I immediately agreed because I have been thinking of doing something worthwhile for the animals. We received a lot of rescue stories and although I had much sympathy for the dogs, I did not pay much attention after each article was published, until I received this: Eric’s story!
I kept watching this frowning child with a doll in his mouth as I was working on this article.
Two months later, I found out that AT has a sponsorship program. I immediately decided to sponsor Eric. I was told his foot injury was recovering well, and he was able to stand. AT also encouraged us to visit him, and take him out for walks. About a month after sponsoring, Daddy and me officially met Eric at AT. In order to “bribe” him, we brought a gift, a toy dumbbell. When we took him for a walk along side the embankment, he played with his little toy all the time. What an adorable boy! Since then we visited Eric almost every weekend and bonded with him. We therefore decided to take him home!
On the way home, we opened the windows to let Eric get familiar with the smell of his "new home". When we arrived home, we realized that Eric was much bigger than we first thought and we found the entrance was simply too small for him to turn around in, and only half of his body could fit on his new bed!
The first thing we did was to give him a good bath. After we dried him, he was lying on the ground, not responding to our calls at all until Daddy called him “Dummy". He actually turned his head and smiled at us, and so his name became “Dummy”.
The next two days he was nervous when we left home for work, so I came back home early from work to accompany him all afternoon. He was so happy and excited to see me and gave me a really big hug. We started to worry that he could not get used to being alone at home and we couldn’t get him a companion as he is aggressive towards other dogs. During a walk with Daddy one morning of the first week, Dummy bit Daddy when Daddy tried to stop him from a fight. Daddy was so angry that he even wanted to send Dummy back to AT. We asked for help from AT, and the situation seemed to have improved gradually with the suggestions from the dog trainer Mr. Huang. However, he bit Daddy again during the third week. We once considered sending him back to AT, but really could not bear to do it. Nearly a year later, I was bitten during a walk with Dummy because I tried to discourage him from fighting. He managed to puncture my knee with four deep wounds which took six months to recover from. During this nerve-racking time, we watched a TV show "Dog Whisperer" on National Geographic Channel. Gradually we found a way to train him and keep him away from fights. Although Dummy still often tries to fight, we now know how to control him and at least how to protect ourselves.
Dummy loves to play with his dolls! When guests visit us, he will take his little toys to the guests and invite them to play with him. He even sleeps together with his toys. I think this is a security thing.
Two years ago during the hot summer, we traveled with Dummy to Hualien. We realized we had never played with him in the water! We had the stereotype in our minds that every dog loves to play in the water. However, when Daddy pulled him into the sea he was so scared that he hurried back every time his feet touched the water. He refused to go into the water no matter how we pulled him. His “hands” even grabbed tightly to the stones on the seashore. So we decided just to sit on the beach and hope he enjoyed the atmosphere, but his legs still stuck to the ground when lying down leisurely just in case that water decided to come and get him.
We are so happy to be with Dummy. We take him out for a stroll whenever we are free. We did not know how good he is at mountain climbing until we went to the Dakeshan Forest Recreation Area! We always feel that Dummy understands our words, so we often talk to him. We strive to make him understand that all we want for him is to be safe, healthy and happy. His presence in the family has helped us recover from the pain of losing Polo. We cherish every moment of being together.
Finally, I would like to thank AT for having rescued Dummy and the vets and volunteers for taking such good care of him, so we could have the opportunity to become a family with Dummy.
By Dummy’s Mommy, Tina