Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Life on Mars

It's a warm place, and there's a schedule. You know what's going to happen and when it's going to happen. There's comfort in the routine. Sometimes you get to run. Mostly you get to sleep. There's good eating and rubdowns, all on your terms.

Then it stops. No more running. A change in the schedule. Different people. They pull you from your crate, your little apartment, and put you in a truck. The truck goes forever and when they pull you out again it's a different planet. It's cold and there are more new people. The people give you pills and shots and a bath, and then it's a different crate. That's alright, because soon there is a new routine. At least it's still a kennel, even if the turnout is bizarre, all cold and icy and this snow stuff is garbage.

But you haven't been there long, only three weeks, when they pull you again. More shots and pills and suddenly you're waking up and something is gone. Something you liked, a part of you. Your belly is upset too, gurgly and unsettled and you know something is wrong even if you don't understand worms. It's all sore and weird and not even a whole day later they drag you out of the kennel, through the snow, and there's this woman.

She's okay. Words happen between you, even if not out loud. She touches gently. She asks, you answer. She's okay. She touches the good places, finds the itchy places that always need stritching.

You lean. You lean hard. When she gets down on your level and slides an arm around you, you push into it and sigh. You lean. You nudge. There's eye contact, and you nudge her again and sigh, a long one this time. Thanks, lady, for a moment of comfort and connection.

Then that lady puts you in a "van" and there's more driving and then there's a "car," which is worse than the van, and there's more driving.

House. She says that word when she leads you in. House. How much more will there be? There's a dog here, and she likes you well enough. That's good. And that Woman is here, the nice one hasn't left you. That's good. But so much else is wrong. So much else is terrifying.

This is the wrong crate, and the wrong food, and the wrong bed, and one of these people is freakishly small and loud. How much more are you supposed to just take? There's a noise. Bark! That shiny surface keeps showing you a dog like you but he looks scared and he has no scent. Bark! A new person came in the House. Bark! People are outside on the streets. Are they going to take you? Are they going to make you sore? Are they going to change something? Bark! 

There's a limit. Small Person hasn't touched you or yelled at you or anything, but the sight of him is too much so when he walks by your bed you tell him. You warn him, and Woman removes him for you. But then later he makes a noise down the hall and even though you can't even see him you are fed up. You scramble up and snarl and Bark! Enough!

Woman has you on a leash, because she always does when you aren't in a crate, so nothing comes of it. But the leash comes off and with soft words she makes you go into the crate. "It'll be okay, Monsoon."

Whatever "Monsoon" means. Now it's crate all the time, but when you get out there's walkies and sniffing. And after the smaller people are asleep at night, you can come out and play with toys. Toys! You want to tell everyone about toys! Toys are the best!

Now it doesn't matter as much if the Small Person is around. He can't get you. You can even sleep through his noises, except the loud ones. The Woman stays. You can see her. That's good, you like it when you can see her. Sometimes she leaves the room, but she comes back. Sometimes she leaves the house, but she comes back. That doesn't stop you from yelling for a while, but you settle. There's a soft bed in your new crate, and there's a stuffie to put your head on.

Maybe the sudden awful changes will slow down or stop. Maybe you can relax, in a while. Maybe you can settle, and learn this place and these people. There's toys, after all, and cookies. And glorious toys that SQUEAK.

It'll be okay. As long as everyone goes really, really, really slow.


  1. This sounds familiar. It's amazing that dogs can be so malleable, so adaptable, to all the changes we throw at them without even asking. Hang in there, Monsoon! You may not know it yet, but you've landed well.

  2. Welcome Monsoon! It sounds like you've had a lot of new experiences lately. I'm glad your settling in and having lots of fun with your toys.

  3. What a beautiful Monsoon you are. Not a lot of words here, but I am smiling inside because I know you are in the best hands ever. Welcome home! :)

  4. what a great way to describe how it must be for them. We only feel the excitement of having a new friend with us; it's good to remember that it can be confusing for them. I adore his name tag! Wherever did you find it?

    1. Miss Holly, I got those at PetCo., can you believe that? They've updated their do-it-yourself engraving station thingies and there are a lot of styles and colors to choose from. My ENTIRE contact info fits on the back in bright legible print too. I was impressed with the quality.

      And of course Lanie got a new one to match. :D

  5. Oh, Monsoon, you have landed in the best possible place ever! I'm so happy for you and your family. You're going to be one happy boy with that woman! :D

  6. Well Monsoon may your future be full of stuffies and cookies and soft beds! You're one lucky boy, fella! Deccy x

  7. Not only will it be ok Monsoon.....it will be better. You'll see. You are fortunate to have come into such a loving family. :o)

  8. You will love your life with that woman and her family, Monsoon.

  9. You really have a way with words Alisha! Welcome home Monsoon! I'm so looking forward to meeting you in the fur!! xoxoxoxo

  10. Beautiful post; I'm all teary! Welcome home Monsoon!

  11. Very sensitively written post from a newly homed Greyhounds point of view. Well done:) Love Monsoon's new tag too!

  12. Beautifully written and familiar. Gorgeous black handsome boy Monsoon.
    Best wishes from the UK
    Sara and two more black houndies Tillie & Raven