Great Dog Story and well worth the reading!!!!! PART ONE READ FIRST
They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie as I looked at him lying in his pen. the shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly. I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.
But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local
news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.
But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted
of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner. See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is
how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike.
For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls - he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes. I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he
settled in. but it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.
I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and
"come" and "heel,"
and he'd follow them - when he felt like it. He never really seemed to listen when I called his name - sure, he'd look in my direction after the fourth of fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever. When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.
This just wasn't going to work. He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell. The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for the two
weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search mode for my cellphone amid all of my unpacked stuff. I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest
room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the "damn dog probably hid it on me."
Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter's number, I also found his
pad and other toys from the shelter.. I tossed the pad in Reggie's direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most
enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home. But then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that? Come here and I'll give you a treat." Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction - maybe "glared" is more accurate - and then gave a discontented sigh and
flopped down. With his back to me.
Well, that's not going to do it either, I
thought. And I punched the shelter phone number.
But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that, too. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice.".... .....
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