As I type this, she lays there dreaming. Mouth twitching, perhaps she’s eating. Paws scurrying, perhaps she’s chasing something somewhere far away. She’s breathing normally, a welcome relief from a day previous.
She wakes, and gives me a stare. ‘I’m sorry, did my clicking of the keys wake you?’ She continues to stare, and eventually wags her tail. A warm feeling takes over – a feeling I had yet to experience in life. Now that I’m a dog owner for the first time, certain things begin to make sense.
We decided to adopt a few months ago, but had been thinking about it even longer. It was a decision that has since required planning, saving and an acceptance that both our lives were going to change dramatically, and hopefully for the better. For someone who had only grown up seeing pets in my Grandmother’s house, where responsibilities only went as far as feeding, I had to be reminded by Siobhan just how much was ahead of me.
We picked her up on Friday, following a morning spent at a work training conference (where my mind was a long way away from being there). We had arranged to meet our contact at the refuge around 2pm, giving us a full afternoon and then a weekend to get her settled.
Nutella, as the refuge knew her, was found with her mother and siblings in a cave just over two years ago. The litter was named after popular chocolates, and were adopted quickly thereafter. Sadly for Nutella, a change in circumstances with her first owner meant she was returned to the refuge. Her story touched us, and following what seemed a never-ending questionnaire and house visit, we were approved to take her home.
The WhatsApp message arrived just after 2. Patri and Nutella were waiting downstairs. I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach, and how I slightly went weak at the knees walking down the three flights of stairs from our apartment. This was really happening.
And there she was; smiling, tail wagging and generally appearing at ease. Following a quick trot around her new surroundings, we brought her inside to get as comfortable as possible, and out of the infamous Seville heat. Our plan was to let her off lead once in the apartment and come to us when ready. She came to us within a few minutes.
She was nervous, but to her credit comforted herself by being as close to us as possible, rarely letting us out of her sight. We had soon developed our own personal shadow, before the exhaustion of the last few hours forced her to crash on her new bed. Her chest was fluttering, it was clear she was still quite stressed. Who could blame her.
For a rescue, we couldn’t have ended up with a calmer dog. On walks, she’s good on the lead, and has yet to show signs that she shows any animosity towards other dogs, as all she wants to do is to say hello to anyone who passes. I keep reminding myself that this is too good to be true, and that eventually she will begin to show her true colours.
With each moment of relaxation, each time she calmly lays by the sofa, and each time she waits patiently outside the kitchen as I cook…I feel more and more that this is her, in her true colours…and that makes me feel quite at ease.
Welcome to our lives, Aneira.