Snow’s human brought him to us late July 2015 because he was going on a summer vacation and needed a place to keep him (Snow).
I felt an attachment to Snow- an almost 2 year old Lhasa/terrier mix- because I had convinced his owner to keep him with us instead of with his (owner’s) aged father.
First day with us, Snow refused to eat anything. I wasn’t so bothered because with some dogs this is quite normal given a change of environment. By the 2nd day however, I became worried especially given that his handler had told us his meals consisted of Pizza and Kilimanjaro’s (a popular eatery in Port Harcourt) rice. Ha!
We tried everything. Wet dog food(can), dry dog food(Kibble)- nothing. He wouldn’t eat, he only took a little milk. I checked all his parameters again (we usually check out a dog before boarding to be sure of his health status). I wanted to be sure I didn’t miss anything the first day. My colleague suggested that i give appetite booster, I did.
Third day however, I tried another can dog food and he finished it in seconds- Eureka! I ran to tell my colleague the good news. We had finally found the cure to his inappetence(lack of appetite) or so we thought. The very next day, good old Snow was back to his ways and frustrating the heck out of us all.
We thought, brainstormed and then one day I bought rice from a road side vendor and gave Snow and he finished it in minutes but we didn’t rejoice yet. The next day, I did the same, rewarded him with 2 pieces of meat(instead of one) and it was gone in minutes as well (though in all fairness to Snow, he ate the meat pieces first, lol) that was when we jubilated. Finally!!!
Let me take you back to the 2nd day he spent with us.You see as my practice is, when I get to work most mornings, I go round all the kennels, greet each dog personally, give them a pat on the head, dance with the ones that are in the mood to, scold the mean ones, cuddle and tickle others etc. So this day, as I opened Snow’s kennel to do the usual, Snow jumped out, took one look at me and turned on his heels.
I recognized that look and knew he was about to bolt so I stretched my arms to grab him but he was too quick for me and off he went. Dear Lord! I ran right after him. Out of the clinic, down the road he went. By this time one of our vet techs had become aware of what was going on and joined in the chase. Without thinking (lol), Snow burst unto the road, by then my heart was in my mouth. I was praying, running, panting, signalling road users to please slow down as there was a dog on the run and calling out to Snow, all to no avail. He kept at it. Then all of a sudden, he turned to me and stopped. I didn’t even wait a minute before I scooped him up into my hands, hugged him to my chest like a long lost child and just cradled him, my heart beating frantically. That was the beginning of our friendship.
I had learnt my lesson. Thereafter, I always tied his leash before our usual morning routines (which now included running round the clinic by the way). I discovered he was a cuddler(oh, how i love cuddlers) so i taught him to sit and he’ll come to my office each day to sit and cuddle.
Snow has such a personality.Everyone loved him, well almost everyone. There were these 2 co-workers with hard ‘agbero’ faces (lol) Snow disliked them so much. Seeing them from afar off he’ld start barking. We would be cuddling then all of a sudden he would stiffen up and start to bark, getting all worked up, when I look up I would see his ‘friends’. Nothing these guys did appeased him. They in turn learnt to dislike him as well. It was so funny.
I remember the week he was meant to go home. I kept praying I would be around to give him a final hug. When the big day came, and I saw the driver I started wailing. Good old Snow just took one look at me and jumped into the car without a backward glance.
I guess he missed his pizzas.