Wednesday, February 02, 2011


My boy is lying stretched out next to me, half on the meditation mat, half on the floor. The room door is locked so he can't wander off anywhere. Not that he will, unless I get up to go to the bathroom. Then he races behind me and I come out to find him slumped on the floor mat outside waiting, in case I am trying to pull a fast one and escape.

After that he trots peaceably back to the room, curls up on the meditation mat, shifts position, moves to the corner near the cupboard, that will do for a while, then back to the meditation mat which has cotton peeping out from various holes because Arnold decided to dig. His favourite bed is of sand and he loves to scrabble out a hole for himself and lie in it, but since the renovations are done, there is no sand to be had for love or money.

So he makes do with trying to dig up the floor, floor mats and of course, my long-suffering meditation mat which is looking rather the worse for wear and which has a fine layer of black hair all over it.

He lies with his mouth slightly open, twitching, through which you can tell he has started to dream. He no longer whimpers in his sleep but sometimes, he starts to woof. Then I reach out a hand and pat him on his tummy. And leave my hand there for a while. And he calms down and stops woofing.

He was "fixed" over the Christmas holidays and the absence of testosterone has resulted in young Arnold reverting to some of his puppy behaviours. For instance, he now wants to play. And play usually involves using his teeth. (Gently of course, but still). He also chases cats. The moment the gate is opened he shoots out and goes looking for them. A minute later you see a cat streaking across the road, Arnold in hot pursuit. I bellow at him until he comes back sheepishly, tail down, looking worried.

We've already figured out that whoever had him before used to beat him with a broom. Whenever one of us is sweeping, Arnold removes himself from the premises. And once when Julie playfully shook a broom at him, he took off. (The irony is that the boy gets away with murder when it comes to the two of I don't know what he's so busy being scared about)

I sit and watch him today as he sleeps. Earlier, I boiled some spare ribs with the parboiled rice for his meal. A last supper, so to speak. I love having him around, and despite the hair flying all over the place (especially in my room as young Arnold spends a good deal of time here, keeping an eye on me and running ahead and head butting my knees if it looks like I'm going to go out) he comforts me.

Just his presence. He is a very loving dog. And we've been lucky to have him these past few months.

He still has bare patches on his skin. Bathing, stroking and stuffing him to the gills hasn't helped. The maggot infestation has cost him dearly in terms of his left ear. The bone was eaten away and if you accidentally stroke him there, he flinches or whimpers. Some of this teeth are missing and you can see it especially when he's sleeping as his tongue pokes out of his closed mouth.

And with all that, he is still a beautiful adorable dog.

He is leaving tomorrow. One of Julie's friends is taking him. Arnold already likes his new master who is very gentle with him. The new master is coming to get him tomorrow.

He said: "Won't it break your heart to give him up to the farm?"

I said: "Yes. It will."

He said: "I'll take him. After all, he's a poor old dog. He should be happy for the last few years."

Which was all I wanted. If I can't have him, I want him to be happy, wherever he is. I wanted someone who would love and appreciate him to take him.

Sometimes, wishes do come true.


perl hacker said...

Glad to hear the news! He's such a sweet doggy. :)

Jenn said...

Thanks PH. He is. A very sweet doggie...He's now, surprise, surprise...asleep on the floor next to me. Not time for his feed yet. And I have to give him a bath.

I just learned that I get two more weeks of him. I'll make the best of it.