(and other pet related thoughts)
Recently, my Thomas died very unexpectedly. The previous evening he was laying in his usual spot on the couch next to me while I was stroking his soft fur thinking how much I enjoyed this time with him and that I’d still get to enjoy it for a long time.
The following day he was gone.
I find myself looking for him on the back board of my car when I go for a drive, I find my hand reaching for his little head when I go to the bathroom or when I am in our spot on the couch.
While missing him so much, I thought that we could perhaps give a good home to a rescue puppy. After paying the adoption fees, purchasing a play pen and toys, we collected little Toby, six weeks old at the time. My partner has never raised a puppy. Toby cried incessantly and couldn’t be consoled unless he was on my lap. After a sleepless night (for me), we realised that Toby was not a good fit for us and made arrangements to drop him off at a foster mom the following day. The foster mom let it be known that she felt that I had failed Toby.
I felt a lot of guilt but was reassured by the adoption agency that Toby had already found a forever home.
I still missed my Thomas but I’d resigned myself to the fact that we are not able to raise a puppy as our home is cat home, we have four cats, we couldn’t get an adult dog as they might pose a threat to our cats.
A few weeks went by and on a Sunday afternoon, I decided to start looking for a little Toy Pom. I found an advertisement for the most beautiful little poms and started speaking to the seller on whatsapp. The website had the most beautiful photos of a number of dog breeds. Much to my surprise, the seller said that the new baby could arrive by me as soon as Monday and shockingly, he said the baby would be sent by courier (pet courier). The buyer has to pay the full amount before the pet is “despatched”. My daughter and I decided to call him. Long story short, we were almost scammed.
I continued my search and found a reputable Toy Pom breeder. But let me digress for a moment. I am not in favour of breeders, puppy mills or anyone that exploits animals. I do think that there is a place for responsible breeders. Not all dogs have the same temperament and not all dogs are suited to all homes, where in our case, we have cats that we have made a commitment to.
Back to where we were. It so happened that the breeder had two puppies that were two weeks old at the time. She sent me all the relevant documentation and my partner paid the deposit fee for me. Now all we had to do is what for 7 weeks.
In the weeks leading up to fetching Luna we felt like expectant parents. The week after I found the breeder we drove the hour to see her and to meet the breeder. Over the next few weeks we bought play pens, brushes, toys, training pads and I read countless articles to update my knowledge on how to care for a puppy. We bought food and my daughter made soft, cuddly blankets.
Seven weeks later, the day finally arrived and we went to fetch her. What a day it was. My daughter moved in the morning and we were to fetch Luna by 11:00 am. It had been raining and the sand roads had turned to mud. After driving up and down from one mud road to another to reach the breeder’s house we found ourselves totally stuck in the mud. I called her and told her of our predicament. Luckily, her husband has a van and was able to pull us out of the mud.
Luna is finally home and keeps us on our toes. Integrating her with our cats is interesting but she is smart and learns quickly.
Our pets are family members and I still miss Thomas but Luna is very dependent on me so my attention is occupied with giving her all that she needs.
Pets bring so much joy to our lives and I am reminded that we have a responsibility to them. We are after all their caretakers. I dream of a world where all animals are recognised as souls and not seen as the next tasty meal or a commodity to be traded and exploited for their coats, organs, children, meat and milk.