|Tubby doing a big, sleepy stretch.|
|Looking cute and innocent -I swear, he's actually a massive prick.|
So it's 2012, we eventually find a place to rent in the countryside but also not too far from the town. A place that has a garden and allows pets. We're only in the house a couple of days and still unpacking, and so our minds are far from adopting a dog just yet. I find myself however, casually scrolling through Facebook, looking at the wee cuties on our local rescue's Facebook page, Dundalk Dog Rescue. Something I would often do, who doesn't like looking at pictures of dogs? And of course I would share pics too, help the pooches get some attention and maybe attract a new owner. When out of no where I come across a picture of a small, scruffy, square-headed yorkie. The description says they have called him Percy. I show him to Bicky and we coo and aww over the image. When I click next up pops a photo of a honey blonde, wiry terrier, a big silly tongue hanging out of her happy head. The description tells us that they have named her Saffy and that her and Percy are little friends.
|The first ever photos of Emily and Louis from Dundalk Dog Rescue's Facebook page |
-Formerly Saffy and Percy.
The next moments, the next couple of days are a bit of a whirlwind. Unable to take our attention away from both dogs, talking about how nice it would be to have two -and two that you know already get along with each other, have a little history together... We really quickly fell in love with the images on the screen. Knowing that we were probably a bit crazy (getting two dogs instead of one, and literally as soon as we moved into the new house) I mailed DDR Facebook page in the hopes that maybe they would consider our application. Soon I had a reply, and the next thing I know we are driving out there to meet the two fur balls, take them on a walk -see how we get along and take the discussions from there. Afterwards we sat in the car, watching the DDR volunteer get into her car.
We had said we would have a chat and let her know. The "chat" basically was two seconds -we got into the car and before we even sat down, I turned to Bicky and asked "we're getting them, yeah?", "oh yeah" he replied, and we laughed -surely it would be too soon to ring... Neither us or the volunteer's car had driven out of the parking spots yet, lol.
Soon we were having a house check completed (the day of a moving in shindig with friends), then next thing we knew it, they were here. After a trial run, we signed the "adoption papers" and they were officially ours. We renamed them Louis and Emily. Bicky had previously had a dream about a dog who had been named Louis, so it seemed fitting, and Emily just sounded nice as a matching pair. Plus human names for animals? All the win.
Rescue dogs aren't easy -dogs in general aren't easy. Louis has "man issues" and has taken a lot of slow, arduous training over time. Even simply to trust us. Emily loves everyone, perhaps too much -I think that may be why Louis is so on guard. He is very protective of her, even though at times she does his head in. Like literally, does his head in -stands on his head, jumps around and general boisterous playing/ rough housing with him that he's just not into. But he loves her all the same and is very concerned for her well being. In turn, Emily's fears (the dark, being alone, slight noises in the distance, sometimes even silence) are usually soothed by having even his presence in the room, when we can't be there. She's a strange mixture of anxious and happy all in one. So loving, so trusting, so eager to please humans. She particularity loves men, while Louis is definitely a ladies man. It's funny how we told each other from the start that we would never pick favourites, as you might think this could happen with two dogs. I didn't realise that they would pick their favourite humans though!
|With their daddy at Christmas.|
|Louis newly groomed.|
Emily is like a giant, goofy baby. Where as Louis reminds me of an older, more serious gent.
Four years on and my health has deteriorated year by year, month by month. I spend most of my time in the house, with my little hairy munchkins. On "good" days we go for quick walks. A small walk to them tires them out and they are in need of a nap afterwards -lol, much like myself. It's one of the occasions I don't use my cane, but it's worth it. We go on little adventures out to the beach or the local pond. They sit happily with me in the back of the car. As someone who has become so bed ridden, I cherish our days out -my excuse to leave the house. Often there are times that I'm not fit for much, or don't want friends to see me in so much pain. But if I can walk, even a little bit, off in the car we all go. I don't mind them seeing me in pain, and Bicky is there to take Louis' lead if I need a rest.
Without the dogs I probably wouldn't even go to the pond, or to the beach, or even just walk around the village -I wouldn't have the confidence if I hadn't washed my hair (a regular occurrence when you lack energy) and I would lack the will power if there wasn't fluffy four legged friends depending on me.
|Louis and me at the pond.|
|Bicky with Emily and Louis at Clogherhead beach.|
...Instead of all the happiness and noise, there would be silence (well, apart from Tubby screeching and clawing at the bedroom door for more food). And for someone with a chronic illness, who doesn't get to interact with human beings or socialise as much as she would like to, that silence would be deafening.
So to Dundalk Dog Rescue, and indeed to all the animal rescues in the country -thank you. I know I'm not the only disabled/ unwell person in Ireland who owes you gratitude for bringing some little furry light into our lives.
|Emily and Louis.|
|And just so he doesn't scratch me in my sleep (again), I'll finish with a photo of the princess himself |
-Tubby admiring himself in the mirror.