Ladies and Gents, I would like to introduce you to a very special person. He’d like to tell you a bit about himself so I hope you’re sitting comfortably.
Hello, ummm, hi, pleased to meet you, errr, blimey where do I start? Well I was born 4 years ago and I’m told I was a gorgeous baby, lot of hair apparently. Anyway, when I was brought home my daddy wanted me to grow up big and strong and brave so he tried to educate me that not all people are nice. He would try shouting at me, lots, to make me brave, but it scared me so I would curl up to make myself really small. I think that made him angry because he used to hit me too. He said it was for my own good because I had to learn how to behave. So I tried to make myself even smaller. Sometimes that was hard because I grew quite big after I was a baby. I did my best to make him happy by showing him how much I loved him, but that just seemed to make him more angry with me.
Eventually my dad decided that he didn’t love me any more and so I went to live in a home with lots of other teenagers. Nobody liked me there because I was so tall and they thought I looked funny. I stayed there for a long time, nearly until my next birthday and it wasn’t much fun, I didn’t really get to talk to anyone else most of the time. There was a nice man there though, he liked me and said he would give me a home. That was nice. He lived in the centre of Bristol so I got to see lots of other people all the time. I lived there for a few years, but my new daddy was busy, and had to go away and so I didn’t have a home again.
Luckily, I moved straight into a new home with a new mummy who lives in the country. I liked her house, it had sheeps, and I’d never met sheeps before. There were also other dogs for me to play with and a little girl who I liked very much. My new mummy was lovely, although it made her really sad when I wouldn’t let her touch me. I did try, but it’s hard to forget that people are bad. Eventually though I realised that mummy wasn’t going to hurt me and I started letting her and the little girl put their hands on me. I like it lots because they also told me what a handsome man I was, and I never knew that before.
I wished I could have stayed in the country but her house was too full of other dogs and she wasn’t allowed to keep me. So here I am now with my new mummy and daddy and they have promised that I will never have to move again. I like that idea because I don’t like cars very much. On the way to my new home mummy said she was worried about tidal waves and drowning because I dribbled so much. Oh I also have a new brother too. He’s short. And he has a bad temper. I don’t mind him though, most of the time we get along OK.
Sorry, I totally forgot to tell you my name, I’m Red and I’m very pleased to meet you. Mum says I should count myself lucky I’m called Red, she said it was either that or Helmutt, because I came from Germany originally.
I’ve only been at my new home for a few days but already I’m starting to learn about lots of different things.
There are these huge long puddles that move really fast, and my brother Harry loves jumping into them. I don’t like them, they scare me and my horrible brother keeps making me chase him then jumping into the river so I can’t get him.
Also I love raw vegetables. After mummy has cooked dinner, she gives the leftover bits that she didn’t want to me and Harry. Broccoli is my favourite, it crunches and looks like little trees so I feel like a giant.
I like the evenings a lot. Mummy and daddy take us both for a walk and then they sit on the sofa and me and Harry try and sit on them. They don’t like that.
I like it when I sit down in front of them though, because then they scratch my back and chest and tell me what a beautiful boy I am. It scares me a bit, but they move slowly and are very gentle with me so I think I could get used to it in time. Mummy says I smell though, and has ordered some lotion that she says she’s going to rub in with her hands to make my skin feel less itchy and my coat shiny so everyone else can see how beautiful I am too.
Mummy and daddy say I can’t meet any of their friends yet because they want to give us a chance to get to know each other. But mummy whispered to me last night that granny and grandpa are coming over soon and I’m really looking forward to meeting them!! They used to have a big dog like me a long time ago and they know that I’m scared of people being bad so mummy has promised that they won’t be loud or rough and that I can come up to them and lick them if I like, and leave them alone if I don’t.
Anyway, I need to go now, I have had my morning walk and I want to snooze in the sun but Harry had stolen my bed so I have to go and sit on him.
So what can I say?
Well firstly, I would like to say a massive thank you to Angela for allowing us to give Red a home. You made it so easy for us to fall in love with him, and for Harry to realise the tag team mischief potential, we can never thank you enough.
This week has been one of the more emotional I’ve ever had. Red has changed beyond belief since we brought him home, which is a feeling I cannot even begin to describe. Can you imagine what it must have taken for a 9 stone Rottie to be so ill treated, he cannot even let someone like me touch him without cowering in fear?
Now imagine the feeling when less than a week later, he has not only worked out that it’s OK to get onto the sofa (perhaps a foolish precedent to set, 2 humans and 2 wet noses are quite a tight fit) but to be comfortable enough to snuggle up to both of us with his head on our laps and fall sound asleep. And judging by the snoring I do mean SOUND asleep.
Every little step feels like the most incredible achievement. When he first arrived he gave me a “that’s enough now mum” growl when I put on his new collar, or when I tried to brush him with anything but my hand. Now, those things don’t even get an ear twitch.
He is no longer panting when we stroke him, his ears aren’t flat back to his head and he really, really, really loves to be scratched behind his ears. If you’re in any doubt about that, sit still long enough for him to climb onto the sofa, plant his head in your lap and nudge your hand. I defy even the most heard hearted person not to melt.