My human knows the staff at a nearby animal shelter. It’s the same shelter where she adopted me from and where she got our bossy cat Mrs. Peel. She’s eternally grateful to them for me and has pretty much forgiven them for Mrs. Peel. (I’ve written in the past about how Mrs. Peel runs the house and orders everyone around, including my human!)

This shelter had gotten two puppies in who were under four months old and very bonded to each other. Granted they probably bonded to survive the trauma that comes being separated from their mama too young, ending up in a kill shelter, and then a long transport to a shelter so they could be saved. They had come all the way from Texas in a cage together and loaded on a truck. Kind of like how I was transported to the shelter, only my trip was just from West Virginia. That trip was very hard on me as I have shared, and so for these pups, it must have been even more difficult. Texas is a lot farther, which meant more miles, more noises, and more fear.

Anyway, it was explained to my human that while their “bond” sounded like a good thing, it really wasn’t. One pup was confident and assertive, while the other one was shy and submissive. It makes it much more difficult for both puppies when they are ultimately separated. And if they are adopted together, they never fully develop into well-adjusted dogs. So, the shelter asked my human if she could foster the shy, submissive pup.

I, for one, was not too keen on the idea. I don’t like sharing my human with anyone, especially a baby dog that needs a lot of extra care. Plus, I’m a mature boy now and Ilsa is getting older, and we don’t want the bother. But then I remembered how scared I had been, how someone had fostered me, and how that gave me a second chance at a good life. I also remembered that Christmas was the perfect time to be kind. I considered all of this and made a silent vow to be nice to the puppy.

My human agreed to foster him and brought the puppy home. “Percy” (as she named him) was only about three months, but already 28 pounds. He was mostly Anatolian Shepherd, which I’ve been told are very big dogs that grow to over 100 pounds! That surprised me a bit and frankly, I wondered why she couldn’t have just fostered a little six-pound Chihuahua.



So far, it’s been OK. Percy is very scared, and my human said he is much more fearful than even I was as a puppy. We all go slow and steady, and I try to be extra happy, so he knows that being a dog in a home where you are loved is the greatest thing in the world. Percy doesn’t know that yet since he’s only been in a shelter in Texas and then another shelter here. But my human said that with our help, he will learn about love. I have surprised myself with how sweet and patient I am with the puppy. And shockingly, the cats — Mrs. Peel and Bitsy — have been very nice too. Mrs. Peel has even tried to sleep in his little bed with him, purring all the time. My human joked that it’s because Mrs. Peel enjoys new “employees” and views the puppy as an addition to her staff. Whatever the reason, I really like how she is behaving for a change.

My point in writing about this latest development is that because of this little puppy, we are all sharing our very best selves. It’s funny isn’t it, that the needs and whimper of a little puppy can bring out the best in many of us. Love pours forth to comfort the puppy, even if we get woken up, have less sleep, and more work. Love fills our house and surrounds Percy, and it’s a wonderful thing to feel.

Sharing my new year’s love with you,

Benny H.

Benny H. is an eight-year-old mixed-breed dog who enjoys writing, meeting new people, and providing companionship to his loving adopter, Liz Hoffmann. They live in Connecticut. Liz has extensive experience in sales, marketing, and opening her heart to shelter animals.

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