Chapter 1: My Puppy Days
I grew up on a farm in southwest Virginia, about a day’s trot through the woods from where I am now.
My sister and I used to roam the farm, and we’d have a hoot chasing all the livestock—which we got yelled at about a lot. I loved it though. I have a scar from getting tangled in barbed wire that reminds me of those glory days.
Chapter 2: Country Dog Goes to the City
One fateful day, my owner got tired of us messing with the farm animals, so he dropped us off at an animal shelter that wasn’t too pleased to have us, either.
We think they were going to do something terrible to us (not sure I want to know), when a nice lady picked me out of the group and put me in a crate in a van with a few others dogs she picked out from the shelter (goodbye sister – I didn’t see you on the van!).
Next thing I knew, we were taken out of the van at a big city, and a nice girl took me to her house. She was kind, but she wanted me to jog with her. Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy running after animals well enough, but jogging seems like a waste of effort what with no one to chase after, so I would lag behind. Hmm. Off to another home.
The next folks who took me in were a kind couple with a dog who reminded me of my sister—we didn’t get to chase any animals together but we got along real well, and having her as a friend helped me get used to city life.
Chapter 3: How I Met My Family
The second fateful day happened when the nice people I was living with took me to a gathering of other dogs who were all wearing vests like me, and lots of strangers were petting us and talking to the people with us about what we were like. That’s when I caught the eye of my family I have now.
They were there talking to everyone in some kind of official role, I couldn’t tell because I was a little anxious with so many strangers around. But when they saw me, they paid special attention. I couldn’t tell them from Adam, but they seemed to think I was a big deal.
I heard things like,
She’s very calm for a young dog, and if we get a young dog now, she’ll be a good age when we hit the road.
Look how easy-going she is, even with this crowd.
She’s not as big as we like, but she has a big-dog temperament, like a piece of sturdy furniture.
I perked up at “furniture” because I’ve just learned how entirely delightful it is to sleep on a couch. Could these be my people?
The very next week, the couple with the dog I was living with had something big going on at their house, so I went with the new couple as a temporary foster, as they called it.
Their house seemed fine, and they took me on plenty of walks (no jogging, thank goodness). They didn’t let me on the couch though, and they didn’t have another dog to be friends with. But they sure did like me, and I liked them well enough.
Turns out I never went back to the couple with the little dog, but we did all meet in the park and at a brewery (my people love those), so I got to say goodbye to them and to my dog friend. I miss them, but life goes on, and boy howdy did my life really change since then.
Chapter 4: Life in the City
Here’s a brief rundown of what it was like living with my people in the city before we moved into this tiny place where we live now.
- lots of walks,
- a warm fireplace,
- individual attention, and
- a few neighbor dogs who really turned me on. I loved running into them on walks and at the local outside bar.
- Not allowed on the couch! I’d sneak up while they were gone and late at night, and even when they were there on the couch I’d set a hip up there, just to let them know how important that couch was to me. I think they finally caught on (see below).
- Too many stranger city dogs who don’t even know the proper butt-sniffing greeting, so I would give them a growl sometimes. This lead to lots of treats while walking, so no big deal.
All in all it was a good life, and I’ve gotten real close to these people.
The man has me learn to do stuff he wants me to do (like, he feeds me only at certain times!), but he’s an excellent petter and will get down on the floor with me to wrestle, so he’s good in my book. Plus he takes me on the most walks, always with treats when we see other dogs.
The woman isn’t as bossy so I like her, too. She gives me treats and talks to me in this silly voice, so she’s good in my books as well.
Chapter 5: Camping = Country Life with Comforts
The best part about living with these people in the city was when we’d take this tiny house of theirs out to the woods and stay there for long weekends.
I love riding in the car (NAPTIME), and I love exploring new smells, wading in creeks, sleeping by an outside fire, and just hanging around that tiny house. I didn’t even mind sleeping in there because I was right by their bed in my own bed. I’m easy going as long as I’m with my people.
Chapter 5: Our New Home
So it turns out that their plan all along was to get this new tiny house (bigger than the first one) and live in it, camping all the time!
You betcha I’m happy about this. I don’t even mind being connected to a long line out front of the tiny house, since all I do is sniff around looking for this lizard I want to catch, and then napping in the sun.
The best part of this new chapter in my life: I get to sleep on the couch! All that work I did to train them really paid off.
I love this latest chapter of my life, and to top it off, I hear my people talk about moving around, exploring the countryside. I’m looking forward to seeing the desert, walking though new mountains, even going to the beach. But I can wait!
Editor’s note: Banjo’s story from my view is in a previous post, here.