Poppy... Popsy... Popcorn...
I grew up with dogs all my life, some of my favourite memories are involving dogs. My gorgeous golden retriever by my side as i play acted in the kitchen, exploring my town from the forest to the beach, running through my grandparents garden. I wouldn't have been without my hairy friend. When i became an adult (working, paying bills, moved out, mortgage... hating life...) i knew the first thing i wanted to do was to get a dog.
I struggled with deciding on breeds, I loved the retriever breed but would have preferred a puppy rather than an adult if i went down that road. I knew 2 things for sure:
- I wanted to get an adolescent/adult
- I wanted a smaller sized breed due to the type of house i was living in
My decision was set and with my mum pushing me towards a rescue, i came across the ginger fiend that was to become poppy. She looked terrified in her pictures standing as she was told but not bolting. But with a look of determination in her eyes, i knew she was the one i wanted. With the application sent, we were approved within a week and the home visit came a week later. On the evening of the home visit (Tuesday) she became ours officially with the collection set for the Friday. Thank god my work allowed me to have the day off and the following week.
Cut to now just over 2 months later, still sleep deprived, still living back under my mums thumb but with an entirely different dog than i arrived home with.
Kirstien (Now Poppy)
Walking through the kennel to meet Poppy was tense, the dogs bark echoing, the rattle of the wire cages, the rain pattering down on the roofs of the enclosures. She was too scared to come out to the open run so we met her in a small dog run connecting with their office. Poppy ran away to the dog bed as soon as the woman put her down. Sitting in a sopping wet dog bed was better than being carried or being near a human. She was inquisitive of these strange people here to see her and came over to sniff. Her wet little nose sniffing my hand, coming closer to inspect. Until i mistake her inspection for interest and begin to move too fast, too close scaring her back to her corner.
We agree to take her home. They warn us that when backed into a corner she may bite, we agree that is okay. (To this day she has never bitten nor shown any incline to ever. Even when my sisters dog walks over he, shoves her head into Pops bowl or steal a toy Poppy was playing with). Getting her home was a struggle.
The rescue carried her into the cage and locked her safely in.
A 4 hour drive home from Wales
The cage carried into the house but was too wide to fit down the stairs to the living room.
I then attempted to carry her in. Poppy was skin and bones, thin ginger hair and a lanky body. She was stiff as a board in my arms. Her discomfort was obvious and you could tell she was terrified. as soon as the floor was in sight she leapt from my arms.
Her Forever Family
Once she was in she immediately investigated (this hasn't changed). She leapt from floor to table in a second, pulling anything down in reach. Just like a toddler using her mouth to investigate. (She still does all this unfortunately, Christmas was fun when she tried to eat a tree decoration she stole). I will never forget watching her slowly steal my mothers glasses from a side table and try and carry them to her bed. She kept looking over at me and couldn't work out how to hold something heavy in her mouth.
She has come out of her shell so much and i couldn't be prouder. When i imagined getting a dog but each week watching her grow and explore has made me grow more and more in love with her. Yes the nights are long and exhausting but when she sees the blanket come out and starts to get excited at the opportunity to snuggle my heart forgets the sad parts. I would love to touch her or be able to take her out for a walk but for now the late night snuggles and mini play sessions are enough.