It was during a routine visit to say hi to the kitties at GTHS, that my husband and I were introduced to Teddy. Looking back, what we remembered most, was Teddy’s spontaneous greeting. His tail began to wag very quickly as he cocked his head to one side, with an impish expression. His inquisitive brown eyes were most endearing. That evening we could not forget him.
Upon our inquiry, we learned that due to his acute medical condition, Teddy would not be ready for adoption for a couple more weeks. We quickly completed an application form, and then we were called for a family interview.
In anticipation we found ourselves talking to people about the nature of Shorkies (Yorkie – Shih Tzu) and visiting our local library to learn more about smaller dogs. While out of town we even placed a few calls to GTHS, just to check and see how he was doing. We were hooked. We dearly hoped that very shortly he would have a clear bill of health and that by a stroke of luck, he would join our small family.
On a sunny Labour Day afternoon, we met with the Manager of the Canine Adoption department to walk with Teddy and our Golden Retriever, Katie, and to have our few remaining questions answered. To our surprise and delight, we were asked if we would like to take him home. We had passed the test. Caught off guard, we hadn’t brought a pet carrier but Yes,Yes, Yes. On earlier visits Teddy had made a few bold attempts to try and climb into our van. Sensing good news, he seemed relieved when he was finally given the ok to come aboard. He very quickly curled up in a borrowed GTHS pet carrier.
Upon our arrival home, it didn’t take long for Teddy to begin exploring the various nooks and crannies in his new home. One of his greatest discoveries was the pet toy box, stationed in our mud room. Over the next few days, we noticed that the various stuffed toys were being scattered throughout the different rooms. A little brown bunny caught our new terrier’s eye. It has become a favourite toy. Sometimes he stalks it, other times he shakes it and growls, while playing the role of the hunter.
Over the next couple of weeks, Teddy settled into a comfortable routine. His day begins with a big stretch on Katie’s folded comforter. He then rolls over to receive a satisfying scratch and tickle under his chin and along his tummy. Rolling back over again, he gives his “mom” a quick lick – meanwhile his tail is wagging a mile a minute. Next the collar and leash are snapped on, for his before breakfast stroll down the laneway, with his canine pal, Katie. After breakfast, carrying a toy in his mouth, Teddy follows his “mom” , as she goes about doing her various activities.
A watch dog at heart, we are all well protected when someone rings our door bell. His quiet, engaging personality returns, once he is introduced to the visitor, or a new acquaintance on a dog walk.
To date, Teddy has been part of several family and friend out-of-town get-togethers. In St. Jacobs, we walked on a pretty trail with friends who also have two “pups”, large and small. Together our four pets enjoyed exploring in the fresh fall air. While visiting a big-city nursing home, Teddy was invited to “tour” and greet some of the residents. He was a real hit and brought smiles to all of those who stopped to pat him. At Christmas time, he visited Santa at a local pet store and had his picture taken. Wherever we go, he seems happy to be part of things.
At home he seems to really enjoy being groomed (teeth cleaning, not so much – but getting better!) Dog walks rank high on his list of favourites, as well as games with “dad”. He particularly gets into the Around-the Kitchen-Island “racetrack” game and hide and seek in the family room. He is hilarious to watch as he ducks and weaves when “dad” chases after him. Teddy will stop, put his bottom up in the air, head down, with his eyes focused alertly on his “dad” – ready to tease the “giant”. As soon as his “dad” (the giant”) makes a move towards him – Teddy immediately scoops up his toy bunny, and runs in the opposite direction- daring the “giant” to try and take the toy.
Occasionally during the day, he will go over to Katie and give her a lick on the nose. It is touching to see. Sometimes it is reciprocated. In a very short time, Teddy has stolen our hearts. We love our Teddy, and are most appreciative that we were chosen to be his caregivers.
Patricia Szep Chambers
February 8, 2013