I can’t believe I haven’t written about this before. I have a daughter. A wonderful, clever, funny, beautiful daughter. When she was two she was bitten by a dog (our dog, and probably mostly our fault, but I still don’t want to talk about it, thanks.). She has been left with permanent scars on her face, but no worse, and thanks to some impromptu puppy therapy, no scars on her heart either. In fact, since she was about four she has been begging us to get her a dog. Begging! As parents, let me tell you that the scars left on our hearts, our conscience, our confidence, were huge. So we got her stuffed toy dogs, and hoped she’d grow out of it. Yeah right. When she was eight she was going to the library and getting out as many books about dogs, and how to look after your dog, as she could carry. When she was ten she decided she wanted to be a vet, and work for a dog rescue charity. When she was eleven, she started dragging me out to a local animal shelter so we could walk their dogs. And when she was twelve, we gave in. We got that girl a dog.
We knew we wanted a rescue dog. There are far too many abandoned dogs needing homes, if we were going to share our home with a dog, it would be as much for the dog as it would for us. We also knew we wanted the easiest possible dog to look after, as we were still shaky in our confidence as responsible dog owners. So, something quiet, and calm, and good natured. We went to several animal shelters, but only found one dog we all loved, and then found out everyone else loved him too, and he was already promised to another home. Well, good for him.
But then we went to the RSPCA, and amidst all the frantic barking, and begging for attention, we saw one sad dog who just wanted to lean on the bars and be stroked. They told us she was a bit boisterous, but that’s not what we saw. Which just goes to show how crap we are, because when they let her out to meet us she ran in circles and jumped on WonderBoy’s head. But she seemed to be a dog of two personalities – crazy loon for about 30 seconds, and then the calmest dog you could hope to meet. An ex-racing greyhound, bred in Ireland, dumped in Yorkshire. She was neglected, underweight, “not doing well in kennels”, and with absolutely no background information. Is she good with children? With cats? With other dogs? Who knows?! Yeah, let’s get that one! *facepalm*
And so, we ditched her unimaginative name of Jet, and after much discussion gave her the new name of Luna. The moon. Serene, beautiful, with just a hint of madness. If you included her final shortlist names, she would be Luna Loki Pippi Too-Tikki, but that’s a bit of a mouthful, so we stick with Luna.
And that was over a year ago. And here they are.
Luna has gone from being a skinny, frightened hound (she would hide behind my legs whenever we met a dog in the park, even a chihuahua), to a slightly-less-skinny (look, she’s a greyhound), fearless lunatic. She sleeps nearly all the time, lives to chase cats, and pulls the most ridiculous poses on the sofa.
She has gone from being the klutziest hound you could imagine (she fell off a wall. Twice. And we had to teach her how to climb stairs.) to being an almost fully qualified therapy dog [Update: Fully qualified therapy dog 🙂 ]. From shy and scared, to the most hugged dog at the school gates.
For all her lunacy, we love our foolish hound. I don’t know where she’d been before, but she’s safe now. We’ve helped her, and she’s helped us. SuperGirl is happy, she has her dog. She walks her dog, she brushes her dog, she feeds her dog, she makes her dog wear ridiculous hats. And that’s my kind of happy ending.