Churchill entered our lives unexpectedly …George was a little perturbed by his presence. He felt insecure as to who was this new pooch in our household.But with each passing day, as we walked together, (the boys always seem to like reading the same pee-mails) ate together every meal and even slept on the same bed…George soon became more secure in his position. He started to play with Churchill – and they even sat together in solidarity. They became Princely George and Sir Churchill!
Churchill, we can’t believe its been five weeks since you became a part of our daily lives. But you are now moving on to your forever home …No doubt we miss you. But we are happy that you will now have a chance to live a normal life – one filled with routine, love and affection. And you will have a brother who seems to love you and protective of you.
We won’t forget you and we will stay in touch.
You are a friend for a reason, and more than a season. You’re a friend for a lifetime.
May’s comment: Gawd! At first I was so worried as to how I was going to manage with three pooches in my flat along with my busy schedule. Thanks to Joanna and David who helped out tremendously, or we would never have made it. It didn’t take long for Churchill to learn the house rules. It took just a little training to put him back on track what he had unlearnt. Maybe he was also watching Darcy and George – and quickly learnt our routines. And I realised quite soon that he could be trusted to be left at home.
And it took all of one night before he joined us on the bed. His body hugging mine each night – for security? For knowing there’s someone there for him, that he’s not alone? I’ll never know but he was determined to be close by.
In this rather drawn out encounter from that fateful day I met him barking his head off on the street five months ago, my heart went out to this little guy. I knew instinctively he wasn’t having a very good time with life. And the more I learnt of his situation the more determined I was to keep in touch to make sure he was ok, and in the hope that some day he could be freed – to go on to live a normal life. With the help of our “angels” – Joanna and David, we kept him going, they gave him hope each day to know he was not left to his own accord. We almost couldn’t believe our luck when we saw the first glimmer of hope that he might be let go. Has it only been five months. It seemed so much longer. And of course, in the end it was not without some drama.
With him safely at our flat, I didn’t rush into passing him on. I wanted to settle him from his previous anxious filled life. He had to endure so much, he doesn’t need to experience any more uncertainty. In the process of learning how to re-home him I saw how some can be so judgmental of his “imperfections” (in their eyes only). But then to also be encouraged by so many more who reminded me that his “imperfections” makes up his perfection.
When we finally put in our efforts to find him a forever home, a couple who has an 18-month old Cavachon got in touch. They were looking for a companion for their dog. They read about Churchill and was interested in meeting him. We met last Sunday – and they had no intention of taking another dog home that day. But they did because their dog and Churchill were in love with each other. They played in a way my dogs never did with him.
Another pair of sisters were also interested and had met him. But after careful consideration, they realised that their travel schedule, work commitment would not be fair on him. He needed more – and I think I realised after watching him and the other dog playing together that he needed another dog for companionship. Just like mine taught him how to do things – he needed another to play with so he does not lead that solitary life he once did.
What did I learn from all this?
I am more determined to include my dogs in my life.
I am not a good fosterer. I fall in love too easily and its been difficult to let go.
That I am capable of loving even more – my heart is stupidly too expandable.
There are good people out there.
I miss Churchill’s big brown eyes and his sweet, sweet face. I’ve kept this photo on my desk because it says it all about him. And I still smile every time I look at his feet in ballet “first position”. I am amused by his tightly wound curls. When he is lying close to me, I would pull one of his little curls and see them spring back. I miss stroking his long lean body. I loved that he talked back and when I encouraged it, he went into a debate!
But coming back from walks was just as fun as getting their leashes on. I would take off their collars and see them bounce up the stairs – Darcy and Churchill galloping up while little George acted like he had no desire to race with the bigger dogs. I’ll reach our floor and see three faces looking down at me. “Hurry up!” They seem to say.
Then it was bedtime biscuits time – to see three eager faces with all the expectations of the world in their eyes. Darcy and George doing every trick they had learnt while Churchill stayed focus on the treat, somewhat confused with the commotion of the twirling, begging, leaping onto my lap and crawling all over the place. He sat solidly still and looked at only one thing – the treat in my hand.
I miss most of all how his body hugged mine in the bed at night. I loved looking at his peaceful face as he slept. And when I stroked him, he would open his eyes and looked at me to say, “I’m ok. I’m here. Go back to sleep.” He made me feel like a better person for being able to comfort one dog even if it was just each night he was with me.
Tonight our bed is a little more spacious. My dogs have been amazingly gracious. They gave up their preferred positions for him. On the first night he left us, Darcy went straight back to her place next to my head and in the morning, she jumped up on the other side for our morning cuddle – something she hardly did when Churchill was with us.
I can’t believe how much I have been crying every time I think of sending him out into the world. I wanted to protect him forever but this time my head was screwed on tightly. I know I can’t and I also know there are others who can give him an even better home. But I am grateful our paths crossed and he gave me this opportunity to love again. You know what they say – ‘Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” True. He will always have a special place in my heart. I love this little guy.