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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I guess before we get all involved in our epic road trip, I should tell you a little bit about how I found my forever family.

I came to live with Diane and Todd in early January, 2011. It happened like this: One cold day, this nice lady came to the animal shelter and she thought I looked very smart. She thought I might be the perfect dog to rescue her, but she had heard that a lot of shelter dogs have social and behavioral problems, so she decided to introduce me to her son to see how I did with men, since I seemed to be okay with women.

The thing is, during my time at the shelter, I really wasn't myself at all. I had been removed from my first home--if you can even call it that, as I was generally left outside and neglected all the time--and brought from Tennessee to Massachusetts. I had just had a litter of puppies, who had all been taken away from me, and then I had surgery to make sure I never had any more puppies. When the nice lady saw me, I just recovering from that surgery and I was in a lot of pain because the shelter can't afford to give all the dogs pain medication, so I guess you could say, I was kind of out of it.

I also didn't like the shelter one bit. There were so many dogs barking day and night, and I could smell them all, but I couldn't see them because we were in separate kennels. We had to pee inside, which is demeaning, but unless someone like the nice lady came to see about adopting us, we didn't really get to go outside. I was so happy when the nice lady took me into the yard next to shelter. It was like taking a little vacation to heaven.

So anyway, the nice lady came back a second time, and she brought her son with her. Her son was Todd, my one true love, the person whom I sworn to protect from all dangers, real and imaginary, as long as I shall live. As soon as I saw him, I knew he was The One. I tried very hard to communicate this telepathically to him, since I hadn't learned any other ways to communicate with him yet at that time, and I thought it worked, but after a nice visit, he left with the nice lady. I was so depressed all I could do was lay in my kennel with my head on my paws. I didn't even try to look cute for any other people who came in that day.

That afternoon, though, Todd came back, and he brought another nice lady with him. That was Diane. Todd and his mother had decided that I would probably be too much for her to handle. She needed a different sort of rescuing. Instead, they decided that it would be better if I rescued Diane and Todd instead. Diane, however, was not so sure. As soon as she came near, I could tell that she was afraid of me. She was more afraid of me than I was of her, and that's saying something, because I have a hard time trusting people and tend to find them quite scary if I haven't had a chance to get to know them.

Diane saw how happy Todd was to play with me, though, and then, when they took me outside and she saw doing my favorite winter activity--rolling on a patch of ice--she thought I was too cute and funny to be left in a shelter. So they adopted me and brought me home!

I was so relieved to get out of the smelly shelter, but I had never lived in a nice house before, so I was scared too. Todd had to carry me into the house, when we got inside, I ran straight to the corner and curled up where I thought I would be safe.

Looking back now, it's amazing how little I knew back then. I was two years old, but I didn't know what treats were, I didn't know how to play with balls or bones, I hardly knew any words except, "No!" and "Bad Dog!" because those were the only things my former people ever said. Much to Diane and Todd's relief, I was house-trained, but that was just about the only training I had.

At first, I was "Todd's dog," and he was the only who fed me and took me out. That was Diane's condition. She let me rescue them, but on the condition that I was "Todd's dog." This was mostly because Diane was still afraid of me.

Now, though, Diane feeds me and takes me out and cuddles me and says I'm her dog, and I am, too. Although it is Todd whom I must protect, I have enough love for two people, and I would protect Diane too if she ever needed protecting (but she doesn't usually need protecting, because girls are a lot tougher than boys).

How Diane got over her fear of me is a pretty great story but also a long one, and Diane says we have to say that for another blog post because this one had gone on quite long enough already.

Here's a little video of me rolling on the crusty snow, which as I said is one of the things that made Diane and Todd fall in love with me!

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