For Nellie, a Forever Home at Last
By B. Lewis
It will take a long time for me to get over the loss of Lucky, my beloved dog of many years. But life goes on.
I managed to live without a canine companion for four weeks. I kept reminding myself of the kennel fees, the trips to Costco for food, the freezing-cold morning walks in the winter, not to mention getting drenched during the rainy season. But, by week five, my resolve to live without a dog collapsed utterly.
I was a frequent visitor to rescue websites and ended up at the SPA’s impressive site (www.spasanmiguel.org). It featured pictures of available dogs, and by clicking on one of the pictures, you could see a short video. WOW! Since I am over 50 (actually over 60, truthfully over 70), I was looking for an older dog, imagining us growing still older together, and thus found Nellie.
Some people may have heard the adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Wrong! Her current vocabulary (“come,” “sit,” “wait,” “where’s the ball?”) is very solid. We are currently working on “down,” “leave it,” and “out of the kitchen.” I am hoping the latter will sink in really quickly, since I’ve lost a couple of sticks of butter and today’s breakfast muffin to her.
Nellie is about eight years old and had been living at the SPA for more than half of her life. I was concerned how she would adapt. Well, I’m happy to report, she’s adapting beautifully. She eats well (and in a very lady-like manner I might add); she allows me to groom her (although she gets antsy if I take too long). She barks when someone approaches the door. She greets my friends by sniffing their shoes (if they have dogs at home, they get a second sniff, of course). Last week, she came for help when she stepped on a thorn. I’m impressed, Nellie dear.
At one time in her life, she must been traumatized by moving vehicles, since she is extremely frightened of being out on the street. She and I are taking forays into the larger world very slowly. Right now, leaving the door open, we travel a few feet to the right, a few feet to the left—and then back into the garden. But I’m convinced that in a few months you’ll see both of us going for our morning constitutional.
I would be remiss not to thank the staff and volunteers at the SPA for taking such good and loving care of my Nellie while she was waiting for her forever home.