Queen of Unsolicited Advice
After you whispered to me that I was your best friend, the next thing I knew, I was being asked to go in some wire thing called a crate in the back seat of a car. Don’t get me wrong, the wire thing had a soft bed inside and a toy stuffed with peanut butter and something awfully smelly that made my heart want to do jumping jacks, but I just couldn’t because I was so scared. I had never seen anything like it before. You assured me with a whisper that everything would be okay but I was too scared to even try that super smelly stuffed toy. The car ride felt like waaaaay more than 100 million minutes before we got to what would be my new home. That was so scary that I didn’t think I would go in a wire thing or a car ever again, but thanks to you, mom and dad I have learned to love them both, especially car rides because they take us to our best adventures!
When we arrived home, you brought me inside on a leash and let me sniff around. It was like a playground for my nose and full of so many wonderful and curious smells that I couldn’t decide where to sniff next. I pulled you around sniffing every nook and cranny. I once heard that smart person at the shelter also say that dogs can smell 100,000 to 100 million times better than a human. My ears were pricked forward and my mouth was closed as I sniffed the floor of what I’d come to know as our kitchen. That’s where all the good tasty stuff comes from!
When I was through sniffing the kitchen, my nose led me down the hallway to the most comfortable place I had ever laid my paws. The place you call your bedroom and where I help put you to sleep each night. As we entered, my paws touched what I thought was the softest grass I had ever felt, and there were toys EVERYWHERE! I quickly grabbed one of the stuffed toys and hurled my body through the air trying to bring it to life. Unfortunately, the only thing that came to life was the leash as it wrapped around your ankles. You came tumbling down with a big “THUD” and then started to cry. I tried to lick your face but before I knew it, mom was unwrapping the leash and handing it to dad who led me back into the kitchen and through the door to the backyard.
The backyard was a glorious site of dirt and grass just begging for a good digging, at least that is what I thought until dad got really mad, yelled that I was a “bad dog,” and jerked the leash. I made my body look as small as I could, had my tail tucked between my legs, and as I looked up to him with my head down, the white part of my eyes showed, looking like a half-moon, because I wanted him to know that I wasn’t trying to do anything bad. All I wanted him to do was stop. He really scared me!
I’m not a bad dog. I’m a DOG! D o g s d i g . D U H ! And this was a new place for me. I needed time to settle and adjust and that smart person said it can take up to three months and I had only had a chance to sniff a few places. No one ever taught me what they wanted me to do instead of digging, and anyways, digging helps me to feel better, relieve stress, and not to mention, it's a blast! It seemed like it was going to take 100 million years before I trusted dad.
Good thing it didn’t. This reminds me of when he first bought me my very own kiddie pool and filled it with sand. He even hid a couple of bones in it for me! Boy has mom and dad come a long way in the year since I have been home. I am so relieved that they recognize when I am scared and understand that I am not just being a "bad dog." They learned at the speed of a flying tennis ball that I talk with my body and they taught you to listen, too! They respect that I need my own space, especially when I am feeling scared. Thanks to them, I know that even people who yell at dogs and jerk on the leash can learn better ways to teach a dog. And boy am I learning a LOT!
Thank you so much for being my best friend! I can’t wait to share more of our story, but for now, good night. I love you from your head to your toes to your itty-bitty nose.
a. because he was scared
b. because he was happy
c. because a donkey ate it
2) How many times better is a dog's smell than a human's?
a. 5-10 times
b. 50-500 times
c. 100,000 to 100 million times
4) What did the dog’s body do when the dad yelled at him and jerked on the leash?
3) What did the dog think was grass?
a. his dog bed
b. the carpet in his new best friend’s room
c. the kitchen floor
a. his body looked small, his tail was tucked between his legs, and the white part of his eyes showed
b. his tail wagged
c. his ears were pricked forward and mouth closed
5) How long can it take before a dog settles into their new home?
a. 100 million years
b. 30 years
c. 3 months
6) Why do dogs dig?
a. to tell time
b. to relieve stress and because it’s a blast
c. to get to China
7) What did the dad bury in the sand?
a. a toothbrush
b. a shoe
c. a bone
1) a 2) c 3) b 4) a 5) c 6) b 7) c