Four years ago today I was all ready for a new chapter. I had bowls, beds, collar, leads and kibble. I was about to pick up my new fur baby from the home where she was being fostered. It was also the day I was going to try and move on from being totally heartbroken after the loss of my last little pomeranian. I’d had a doted on fur ball called ‘Delilah’ for nearly sixteen years. Six months earlier she’d passed away. The world had tipped on its axis in a way that is difficult to put into words. For those of us who have fur family, the death of a loved cat or doggo is an absolutely gutting event. It can be quite hard to come back from. Delilah could never be replaced (and never has been), but I’d come to the conclusion the best way forward was to love another pup.
Some weeks earlier I’d been told of a little pomeranian cross who’d been left at a shelter and fostered by a rescue group as she wasn’t coping. I was sent the facebook link. Such a scared little face staring at me from my computer screen. The shelter had called her ‘Diva’. She’d been fostered for about 24 hours when I messaged the organisation and was subsequently sent a form. The communication regarding Diva was that she was rather traumatised and would need time to settle with her foster. She would also be a very popular dog as far as adoption went, as she wasn’t even a year old. I dutifully filled out the form, pressed send and left it to fate.
I will qualify that my application was ……. enthusiastic. A subheading of ‘I’m really desperate and will spoil a dog to death and have heaps of doggie stuff and knowledge and can you pleeeeez let me have her pleeeeeeeeeeeez’, would not have been inappropriate.
To my surprise the phone rang a mere 48 hours later and it was Diva’s foster carer inviting me to come and meet her. I was there faster than you can say, ‘I really want a dog’. She opened the door and I was greeted by a lovely greyhound, a foxy type terrier and my fur child to be. I walked into the kitchen area and this little, skinny, insane pup danced around my legs. I knelt down and she climbed into my arms. I will always remember the familiarity from having held Delilah for so many years, yet the strangeness of her different little body.
“She’s not toilet trained”, said lovely Cathy her foster carer. Diva quickly illustrated this by peeing all over the kitchen floor. “She also barks a lot”, which Diva eagerly demonstrated by having a nice yell on the back porch. “I don’t think she’s been trained at all…..”, as Diva clambered up on chairs, scratched at my legs, pooped under a table and generally wrecked the joint. “You can adopt her as you seem like the right person”. Magic words. Those papers were signed in a heart beat.
This small, peeing, squealing, neurotic pup was mine. All mine. Cathy was later to tell me that, unless there was a disaster, Diva was allocated to me when they received my application. I desperately needed a dog and she desperately needed a momma. Diva stayed with Cathy for a few more weeks. Then the momentous day came for hand over. June 1st, 2015.
The first lesson I learned on day one was that Diva objects to cars. LOUDLY. She objected without drawing breath from Wollongong to Inner Western Sydney in peak hour traffic. She also objected to a bed on the floor; spending the first night screaming her nut off to sleep next to me in the human bed. She was difficult to housetrain, yelled at every dog she met on lead and was extremely demanding. If you are waiting for me to continue on and say all that resolved you’ll be disappointed. She’s now beautifully housetrained but the rest of it is a bit of a fail. I’d put it more in terms of we have an understanding. I understand what she wants and she gets it. Of my three fur kids she is certainly the most difficult.
I’ll never know exactly what happened to Diva before she landed at that shelter, but it’s easy to deduce it wasn’t good. Perhaps it’s better not to know. In her nearly five years of life, four have been under my wing and I accept she is a bit of a damaged doggie. She sleeps jammed next to me, snores outrageously, demands food and attention and is a slight liability on walks. Heartbreakingly, it has also transpired she has a damaged lower jaw which has probably happened in circumstances I don’t wish to imagine. As years have passed (and after some necessary tooth removal) that’s resulted in some serious tongue leakage.
She does make valiant attempts to be a guard dog. She seems impressed with her own ferocity, which is rather endearing. She’d never hurt a fly but I appreciate the effort she goes to if nothing else.
This is an opportunity to thank Wollongong Animal Rescue Network (WARN) for bringing Diva into my life. http://www.warn.org.au/ So many dogs need a family to call their own and they do a wonderful job. This was very much a happily ever after.
Happy ‘Gotchya’ day little Diva. Mummy loves you very much. xoxoxoxox