Sunday, 2 September 2012

Minnie Series - Part 2 "Minnie Adopts her Person"

By Carolyn G.

Minnie in her mini pool! 
My entre life I have wanted a dog, so why now after all these years? Why did I give up that inexpensive, fantastic apartment for a place more expensive but dog friendly?  Possibly in some zone that only dogs are privy to; like where they hear ultra sound and are in touch with the supernatural; Minnie got fed up with waiting and adopted me. I guess my photo was posted on some dog frequency, with a little ribbon across me that read, 'Adopted!' and all dogs were just waiting, panting, for Minnie to pick me up. That would be the only way to explain it, because I filled out a MMDR application form for another dog and then without pause -- deleted it, scrolling back and looking at that dog smile of Minnie's that had amazed me from the start.  Then I fired off the form for Minnie.

When I went to meet her at her foster's home with my best friend Melanie Wight (MLA of Burrows) who had decided to buy me the dog of my choice for my birthday to stop me mooning over dogs and actually begin enjoying one, we drove around a bit, because we were early.  I swore up and down that no matter what I thought of Minnie, I would wait 24 hours. But as soon as Minnie came out of the front door, it was clear I belonged to her and she'd worked her dog mojo. She'd finally got to pick me up. 

I'd read on the MMDR site that her back had been burned, that she'd suffered abuse, but so focused on her sweet face, it hadn't really sunk in. That first meeting, the fosters Mallory and James braced me and then took off Minnie's shirt.  Minnie backed up against me pressing this most vulnerable part of her into me.  We humans sat on the grass and chatted while Minnie let me stroke her soft, warm bare back skin, and scratch around the periphery where stubble was growing.  Her fosters offered to show me photos of Minnie before her medical treatment. Unfazed by her bare back, I did not think the pictures would bother me.  I was wrong.  They are horrific.

Everywhere Minnie and I go, people ask why she's wearing a shirt, or notice the skin peeking out at the edges and ask about her.  People actually praise me or thank me for taking her on.  It's difficult to explain in these brief chats how the praise should go to the people who saved her life, who nursed her back to health, to MMDR and all their amazing fosters, and how grateful I am to have Minnie in my life.  To think she was so abused when she is the most good-natured, joyful, loving creature I could imagine.  Minnie once lived tied to a tire by a short, filthy yellow rope in a dirt pile.  She was starved, parched, and burned, and those are only the things we know for sure.  
A mini list of Minnie’s tendencies:
-Sleeps with her mom, cuddles her at night and again in the morning as soon as their eyes meet. And every chance they get in between.
- Relentlessly pursues a study of squirrels, birds, and gophers.  
- Takes her mom and many friends for walks down streets and lanes they would never have noticed before. 
- Proved she is a world-class digger.
- Deconstructs her toy lion.
- Climbs trees when given half a chance.  I told her that she couldn't, but she can.  
- Eats healthy meals and treats, does damage to bones.  Even though my apartment is rather small, I have a water dish for her in two rooms, to always remind her that she will never be thirsty again.  
- Sniffs the air and observes her city during car rides.
- Makes friends and plays at Sprockett's Doggy Day Camp when mom is busy.
- Socializes with the dogs in the suite downstairs.  Wrestles with the young one, licked the muzzle of the old one with arthritis when she couldn't get up.
- Hits the pool occasionally.
- Charms people everywhere with her sweetness.

I've often thought Minnie had the brains and agility to do a job.  When neighbourhood children inevitably run to her and wrap their arms around her neck to hug her, because it's impossible to resist loving her, and then ask about her back, Minnie and I educate them about the importance of being good to animals and never allowing them to be abused.  It's preaching to the converted with the young folk we meet. Their little bodies stiffen up with the injustice of it when I put her story - as mildly as I can to them.  They all love Minnie.  So perhaps Minnie and I have a bit of a job already.  Maybe she masterminded this whole thing so I'd speak for her; put her thoughts and feelings into English.  I'm grateful she took me on.

Who says dogs can't climb trees? 

Minnie taking her mama for a walk!

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