It was getting late, I was tired after a long day at work, and I really just wanted to get home to collapse on the couch with Jim and our herd of dogs. Instead, I found myself standing in the pet isle at Walmart trying to decide which brand of dog food had the most appeal. Meaty nuggets? Shredded chicken bites? I needed something spectacularly smelly. Something that would put the old salivary glands into overdrive.
Before you really start worrying about my culinary skills (I have none) and Jim’s well being (he’s a far better cook than I am), let me assure you I was not shopping for food for the humans at Tails You Win Farm. I also was not shopping for food for my own dogs. No offense to our nearest and dearest big box store, but the premium food my dogs eat is not found on your shelves.
No, I was searching for just the right enticement for my new little project dog. I’ve seen her several times over the last three weeks and I really need to convince her to come home with me. I think her life has been a bit of a struggle up to this point and Jim and I would really like to help her turn it around.
She appears to be a young mother, basically a puppy having puppies, though I don’t believe her brood is still with her. Her milk has dried up and I have not seen even one little head trailing along with her as she trots up and down the gravely shoulder of a country road near our farm. Her coat is a bit rough, her face has little scars all over it, likely cuts received while foraging through weeds and brush.
She is obviously very road wise. She trots along with great determination and awareness. It almost seems as though she has someplace to go, or someone to meet, but I’m pretty sure there really is no special place, and no special person on her horizon.
But I’m willing to be her special person. Jim and I are willing to give her a special place. A place where she can rest, recover, play, eat, drink, and be merry.
Oh, hey. I think I just named her.
She will be Merry. A bright and promising name. And hopefully, bright and early tomorrow morning, I will get another chance to give her my sales pitch. I shall call it “101 reasons why Merry should decide to come to me, climb into my Jeep, and come home to Tails You Win Farm.”
I’ve already told her all of the good things that can be hers if she’ll just decide to trust me. I’ve told her she’ll never again have to search for her next meal. We hand meals out twice a day, every single day around here.
I’ve told her I keep the water buckets full and fresh. She’s heard me talk about lots of soft dog beds scattered throughout the house (though most cute little girl dogs find their way onto the couch to snuggle with Jim). I even explained about the special little door in the wall that would allow her the freedom to go outside to our safely fenced yard anytime she likes.
I’ve told her that I’ll help her grow to be healthy, with a glowing coat. I’ve promised her we’ll make sure she never has to be a single mom again. And I told her I would help her find a permanent home that will love her forever. But no rush…no timeline. She’s welcome at our farm for as long as she needs.
I’ve told her all of these things over and over. But so far, with her neck stretched out like a little giraffe and her body postured for a quick getaway, she’ll only consent to sniff my fingers and cautiously lick a tiny bit of dog food off of the very tips.
But I think we can turn the corner. I have my new secret weapon. I now have some special, stew-flavored, gravy-laden, meaty, smelly, super-tempting, dog-food-equivalent-of-a-happy-meal food to share with her.
Well. Not share. I may pretend to take a bite or two to catch her attention though.
Here’s hoping I’ll see Merry again tomorrow. Here’s hoping she’ll be in the mood for a little stew, a little conversation, and a car ride home.
Come on in Merry. It’s time to trust someone. You’re tired. The air is starting to get a chill at night. Let me be your someone.