Rosie was completely different! I had been asked to take Rosie in on a foster arrangement, and my boyfriend Brien had agreed solely on the premise that it was temporary (let’s just say the adoption of Stanley had caused significant trouble in paradise already). With Rosie, it was definitely not love at first sight. She was the most miserable dog I had ever seen. She looked incredibly old (she was 10) and was very very overweight. I stroked her head and she didn't open her eyes or acknowledge me at all. She was 100% indifferent to my existence.
Brien and I sat down to share an apple and consider the fat, lethargic, uninteresting dog in front of us. What happened next scared me beyond belief. The fat dog I thought could barely walk sprung from the ground with the speed and velocity of a hawk straight toward the apple. Before I even knew what was happening, the entire apple was in Rosie's mouth, and one chomp later, the apple was gone - along with a substantial piece of my finger. Rosie, having then figured out that I was actually a valuable food source, finally decided to acknowledge my existence and proceeded to wag her tail and yap happily.
We got Rosie home and she immediately peed inside. Which she did repeatedly every chance she could. Feeding her was like feeding an unintentionally ferocious crocodile that hadn’t eaten in a year. It was fair to say Brien was in a very very dark place. First I take Stanley home without consulting him and then THIS. Thank goodness it was only TEMPORARY. I proceeded to make it my mission to find this dog a home FAST. Before she ate us.
Before long, I convinced my colleague Janelle to take Rosie home for the weekend to "just see how it goes". I put Rosie in a taxi with a bag packed and hoped for the best. 10 days later she was back. Sigh. The peeing inside and food aggression had been too much. Upon picking Rosie up, it became clear she had been offered a non-stop beagle buffet for 10 days. Oh dear, oh dear. It was not pretty. Rosie was HUGE.
Rosie was literally being killed with kindness. It just wasn't funny anymore. I needed to take action. Nobody would adopt Rosie in this state, even Stanley was repulsed by her obesity. Brien and I decided we would look after Rosie for another month tops and if we couldn't find her a home, we would take her back to the rescue shelter. Rosie was put on a strict doggy bootcamp regime.
She began to slim down. A new spirited lively dog was emerging. Rosie was like Benjamin Button, she was looking younger and younger, and completely blossoming in our care. She was also clearly making herself at home. Uh oh. A month passed. And then another. And believe it or not, another. Any half- hearted attempts to re-home Rosie were waning. Unlikely bonds were forming.
Without invitation Rosie decided to absolutely adore Brien, sitting on his knee in the absence of food and only allowing Brien to cuddle her. Brien had gone from a "no dogs inside" type person to sleeping with Rosie cradled in his arms. I naturally found this rather amusing and continued to stay quiet about the prospect of returning Rosie.
An hour passed with no phone call. I thought the traffic must have been bad. Then another 40 minutes went by and Brien still hadn't called. I tried his phone. He didn't pick up. About another hour went passed and I rang again. This time he picked up and grunted that yes he was back. I made my way home. I walked into the apartment only to find a very frustrated and flushed looking Brien, and at his feet stood a self satisfied wagging Rosie.
"She's staying," he grunted. He then walked into the bedroom and slammed the door. I realised Brien had been unable to say goodbye to his little girl.
Rosie had found her forever home at last.
For a long time, life in Hong Kong with my rescued family was grand. My love for Rosie grew and grew - the more love Rosie received, the more patience we had in her, the better and better she became. A new dog emerged. A beautiful, sweet and affectionate little girl who was a world away from the dog we picked up 6 months earlier.
Then came a wedding and a honeymoon. Followed by nausea, fatigue, a lot of crying for no reason. Yep, you guessed it, I was with child. After the initial shock wore off (and let me just quietly say it took a wee while) Brien and I decided we wanted to raise our child in New Zealand. We prepared the dogs for international travel to the land of the long white cloud.
In the meantime, something very special was happening. Stanley knew no different, but Rosie knew there was a baby coming and developed a beautiful bond with the child inside me. She would sleep for hours with her head resting on my growing stomach, and her whole demeanour changed as her maternal instincts kicked in. I had a difficult pregnancy and Rosie became my best friend, never leaving my side and giving me unconditional love and support as I felt worse and worse. She was always there with her big beautiful eyes staring straight into my soul.
Fast forward half a year. The dogs LOVED New Zealand and their new home right by the beach. Because I wasn't working I spent loads of time with them both as we adjusted to our new clean and green existence. I honestly feel that both dogs got a new lease of life in the fresh air, green grass and clear skies. They had never been better, ESPECIALLY Rosie who was now acting like a puppy with limitless energy and enthusiasm.
Because I was so close to my dogs, and they were extremely attached to me, I did worry about the impact a baby would have on the pack dynamics in our house. I researched thoroughly on the best way to introduce a baby to my dogs and did all the things that experts recommend so as not to encourage aggression or jealousy.
I needn't have worried. When I bought my beautiful baby Quinn home, the following two things happened:
1. Stanley had a quick sniff and decided his biscuits were more interesting. He still shows major indifference unless Quinn is eating.
2. Rosie lay down beside him, rested her head gently against his leg and did not leave his side until the day she died.
Rosie passed away very suddenly last year and we all miss her terribly. Especially Brien and Quinn. A piece of our family puzzle is missing and we will never forget her.
www.thedogstreet.com, my online dog accessories store, was born in honour of Rosie and all rescue dogs like her. Without fail and regardless of whether the business is in profit, for every collar, we throw a rescue dog a dollar.
Be the person your dog thinks you are!