EDITOR’S NOTE: This week, Nikhi Cormier shares about her own dog Declan and how he came into her home.
This week we meet up with the bed hog himself, Declan Blue- Mutt Extraordinaire. If you remember, he is the one who fell out our second storey window. (He is doing very well…and everyone is still silent on the how it happened!)
Declan hails from Baltimore, MD, and had ‘trained’ to be a Peanut Allergen Alert Service Dog. While he was the perfect candidate, things did not go so well for our little man at the training facility. In short, training was not going anywhere, it was a fight to get him released, and the thin, neglected dog released was not the same dog I adopted June 5, 2012.
To this day, he bears the physical scars of the ‘training’ that not only saved his life, but was meant to save my daughter’s life. (Also in short, there will never be an argument strong enough for me to accept use of any electronic collar on any dog. I see and feel the results of this sort of ‘training’ daily.)
Things are not all bad in Ducky Doodlebug's life. His 'training' was not kept up, but rather I have made things interesting for him. I teach him things he is interested in- which a lot of times involves lighting. (So odd!) He understands French, a lot more English words than simple commands, and he has learned to read me as easily as I can read him. He has also learned a lot by watching Alfie, and much to my chagrin, Iris. While he does not eat my plants, he has picked up a habit or two from her.
One of my biggest fears in adopting a dog I had not met was how he would fit into the family fold? It was two and a half years before we did meet! Did he like cats, still? What if he didn't like us? (Biggest fear!) We had made contingency plans for every possible scenario. He was coming home, no matter what, so we just had to do everything we could to make it work.
It seems any worries we had were for naught, he is a crazy cat lady in disguise, and I know my daughter and I are his favourite people he has ever met. And he loves having a family of his own. The hardest moment I have faced, in the past two years, was not his falling out the window, but leaving him alone overnight at Abercrombie Animal Hospital. Again, all for naught – they were so good to him.
As I throw an arm and leg over Declan Blue at bedtime, I know I can sleep peacefully. Until he moves. Which he does a lot. If he happens to have his head on the pillow, facing me, his tongue will pop out and kiss my face until he falls asleep. (He does love to kiss all of us, much to Iris's chagrin.)
While it is hard to not think of what he went through in my search for a safe life for my daughter, I find solace in the fact that he holds nothing against me- he is very happy to just be a dog. My dog.
The Paw Files are written by Nikhi Cormier, an animal lover and employee at The News.