1 year and 1 week ago we lost Hugo, and then a year ago we rescued Celia.
Her life has changed completely in the last year. The day I picked her up from the breeder she was a stinking, matted, very depressed dog with a large hotspot (weeping eczema). My partner said “what is that thing?” as he turned up his nose at the smell.
No much was known about her history other than she had belonged to an elderly couple who had gone into care with Alzheimer’s, and she ended up back with the breeder. As she hadn’t been spayed, they decided to get a litter of pups from her – two by cesarean. So her physical condition was poor, and her mental state was even worse.
Our vet didn’t even want to vaccinate her initially, not until she was in better health, and we had no idea if she’d ever been vaccinated.
It took some months for her to show any expression, the tail never wagged. She would cower if you went near her. There were no kisses. She would put herself into another room away from us to sleep. She wouldn’t sleep with our other dogs in the bedroom.
When we went out, she would chew the furniture – the valance around the bed, the curtains, the couch, the coverings on the couch, the pet beds.
Slowly after about 3 months, she started to show joy at the things she liked – going for walks and more interestingly, coming back from walks – returning home always got squeaks of excitement.
Visiting Grandma’s is also especially exciting.
Then the kisses started. Under duress I confess at first, the more tentatively. Now, she’s the kissiest girl in the world. She loves her snuggles and kisses and gazes at us with romantic eyes.
As she became more secure in our home, after a few months, the chewing eased. I won’t say it’s stopped completely but its occasional now rather than daily. She knows we will come back. As long as we maintain a fairly standard routine, she is ok with us going out.
She has grown a particular affection for Grandma (x2) and Grandad, we joke it’s because she likes that old people smell of lavender and mothballs. My Dad after having a stroke, is unsteady on his feet and can’t pick her up, but she gets up on the furniture and clambers over the arms of the couch to get to him. She will sit on his lap, whether he wants her to or not.
She’s grown especially fond of our other dog Alice. They are inseparable. After a few months she started trying to play with Alice. This was new to Alice too, Hugo and Ruby, who passed away a couple of months after we got Celia, never played with Alice. Now the Celia and Alice play chasing games around the house together – with or without us.
Life for her now is one big adventure, so many things in her day are fun and exciting. She feels safe and secure in her new pack.
She still has moment of anxiety if someone she doesn’t know comes to the house – this sets off the chewing. I can only assume she thinks they are going to take her away. But she’s here forever. She’s my precious girl and she now has a home with us for life. We couldn’t help her for the first part of her life but we can certainly be all she will ever know for the second part of it.
Amazing photos taken by Furkidz Photography