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11/14/13 The Homecoming

I’m back.  Oh my gosh, I’m back, and I thought I had been re-homed forever.

It’ll take me a couple of blogs to get everything out.  But first, let me tell you about The Homecoming.

I had my day, which was so much like the others lately.  The man (his name is Daryl) took me to the Obedience College and we worked, just like we had been working at the strange house with all the other dogs.  I was tired.  I was itchy.  I was lonely and thought my family had abandoned me and that I would never see them again.  I know I had been a bit out of control but I couldn’t remember any specifics. 

Daryl gave me a bath with oatmeal shampoo.  It felt so good, and I wagged my tail at him so hard I chipped the tip and started to bleed a little bit.  Daryl put me in his truck, because it was cold outside and dirty in the school, and he wanted me to dry off where it was warmer and cleaner.

I lay in the back of the truck, wondering what was going to happen to me now.  I had done everything this man had asked me to do.  Was it time to go back to the crate?  But it wasn’t.

Daryl came and got me from the truck.  He brought me back to the arena in the school.  He put me on the lead and gave me all my commands.  I sat, walked, trotted, made left turns, made right turns, sat some more, stayed, and did the recall and return. 

Suddenly, Daryl put his hand in the air and waved.  From behind a wall full of black windows, My Family came out!  I couldn’t believe it was them!  Mom came out first, then Dad, then Jamie.  Perhaps they had forgiven me for whatever it was that I had done wrong, and came to take me back home!  I couldn’t dare to hope, but my eyes glistened and my ears stood straight up.  They walked toward me, smiling, and stopped at the entrance of the arena.  My heart was pounding.

Daryl had me at the sit position, but as Mom approached the arena, he let me stand up.  I wagged my tail; no, I waved it around; no, I spun it in a circle like the helly-copters that fly over our backyard.  I stood there, all my senses cocked and ready, my nerves straining, but I did not jump.  Mom scratched me under the chin and told me she’d missed me.  I looked up at her and saw the tears in her eyes. 

Then Jamie came over, and I was so glad to see him.  Daryl told my family, “only scratch her under the chin for now” and so Jamie did.  Then Dad came up, and I made a little submissive bow.  “She’s good for you,” Daryl said.  “She knows you are the alpha.” 

Daryl went on, explaining as he jabbed a finger at each human:  “You, she sees as the boss.  You, she sees as a playmate/littermate. And you,” he finished, poking a finger in the air toward Mom, “You are both female, so she doesn’t know what is going on.  Having her sleep in the bed is making it worse, because she is making you two equal.  From now on, she sleeps in her crate.”

I vaguely overheard the word, “crate” but honestly, I was so busy feeling like I was going to shed human tears, that I didn’t care. 

Daryl gave the lead to each member of my family, one at a time, and had them take turns walking me, sitting, returning, staying.  I did all my commands.  My family was proud of me and they all said that my hard work looked like it had paid off (at least for now).   Daryl said, “She’s all yours!” and we headed toward the door.  Daryl gave Mom a piece of paper and invited us for 8 Advanced Training classes, so he can check our progress and help us move forward.  Before we left, Dad bought a bottle of that spray that tastes so awful to take home in case I start chewing.

Dad had the big van to take me home.  I thought Zeus would be there, but I guess he’s too small for all of us.  I curled up on the seat of the van, next to Jamie, and closed my exhausted eyes.  I gave one thump with my tail on the seat.  I hadn’t been given away.  My heartbeat was starting to go back to normal.  I was finally, finally, finally, going home.

Love, Maggie