Fooley Weikums is his full name and I can’t believe I’ve come so far as to be on the heels of my #3ooth post and still haven’t shared my hearts story! Well in honer of my #90th Warrior I give you my Littlest Warrior:
My heart being the little Brussels Griffin that I rescued three years ago on March 27th.
I was at my personal worst, very ill still and looking for someone, something to take me out of my tortured self. To make me think outside the realm of sick and just love, laugh and live with. A pet can be on of the best physical therapies known to man. I wanted a companion, a champion even. I had been looking around shelters for some time. Even meeting an overly enthusiastic chow-chow (a dog that I had always wanted though a bit to big and enthusiastic for the place of weakness in body I was at. It would be unfair of me to get such an eager dog and be unable to give it the exercise and energy it needed to thrive. Beside that it would remind me of the exercise and energy I once too needed that now seemed so far a memory. The pain would not be fair to the pet.) I also met an abused hound dog, tall skinny legs to scarred to even come out of it’s box, but with some kind words and calm soothing had her come to me to be pet. She was too big and would not be allowed where I lived (though I did keep in contact and found her striving and lived on.) Time seemed to find me at a loss for a pet and over-thinking my situation (big surprise there). Was I right for an animal. I had the training capabilities (having trained and raised three dogs past to adulthood. I had a natural ability for potty training, sit and stay.), and the love to give (those dogs became friends dogs and I always had them to play with and love). Yet I still felt an inner lacking, an emptiness. I know I needed to be loved and love unreservedly. I was at a point in my life where I felt alone and lost. Disgusting due to illness and resented due to the time it was taking to heal. Not only that but I was getting more depressed having been put on the wrong medication and having with-drawled from it twice and re-put on it again. When I showed the suffering, the darker thoughts though still sprinkled with positivity and the hope a refused ever to lose. It was too much for most. The cheery, only sick inwardly girl started to show and so they left. That’s when I saw a picture. Online, petfinder.com. It was a little guy, so timid and small. Little was said about him accept that he was a rescue from a hording situation (further research found that he was labeled under “disability animals” for they didn’t know that he would ever be fully house trained.). I fell in love with the face, coming to my mind the episode of Flapjack:
Who’s Moochin’ Who?
Those familiar will note that is what the brat calls K’nuckles.
Well through back and fourths I set up a farmers market meet up (the people boarding his- then radar- were farmers) I went and boy what a cluster muck! The pound people hadn’t told them so when we came they didn’t have the dog and so had to go and get him. We waited for what seemed like forever (It felt like an arranged marriage I had such butterflies!). But when she arrived with a kennel in hand and a skinny, shaking, dirty little man pushed all the way to the back. She took him out and handed him to me. He was so stiff against me. His long limbs all straight. He looked nothing like his pictures. She said he was out playing with their greyhounds (This little guy!?! I know now better that it wasn’t so much playing as surviving.) I asked questions about his youth, they didn’t really know themselves. Just that they had adopted his brother who-when the abuse was worst- had been kept up in a kennel in a pitch black room for at least a month. That his mother never came out from under the bed. That it had been bad. This little guy who’s head was the heaviest hing on him. Who’s eyes bulged and ribs poked.
I took him home that day. He sat in the backseat with me. A ninety minute drive he laid head in my lap and he to never let go. The bath we gave him was pure brown water. I took him into my room giving him a pillow to lie on. He would lay on it in the corner and shake. Looking with big eyes so timidly around. When we got him home it was straight to the tub. I’ll tell you what solid black water came off of him, no fleas, but dirt and grime. I felt so bad because he was such a timid small little thing. So top heavy that one had to be careful when holding him so that he wouldn’t topple over!
When I put him in my room (then a small little box of a place. I made sure he had a safe little spot on a fluffy orange pillow in the corner.
The very first picture, on the very first day
He sat there and looked with those big eyes around. I shut the door and was left alone with him. I pet him and could feel the little jump of his skin under that sleek course coat of fur. So I would sit back a little, it would be on his terms. I kneeled back, laying at his level, and would reach out a hand, mere inches away from pillow, and say “its ok…it’s ok…” in a soft tone. Slowly he would stretch out closer to my hand and then jump back. But I was persistent. I would get him to come to my hand and then slide back a little further…”it’s okay…it’s okay…” he would come to my hand I would touch him softly, gently with love and tenderness and he would almost fall into that embrace. Only his garde, his poor puppy memory would not let him get to comfortable and just before all defenses could fall he would run back to his pillow. Nevertheless, I would allow for all the space. At times it could get a little overwhelming because he seemed to need so much…but I can see now that it was a good thing. He pulled me out of my own comfort zone, my own box of pulled back. That thing inside me that would run back to my own proverbial pillow before becoming too vulnerable…to myself if no body else. Yet just like myself at my worst and most afraid I saw bits and starts at the dog he could be and perhaps once was. When we two were all alone he would all of a sudden jump around in a wild fashion, playfully and joyfully. Totally unabashed and without shame. He was, at one point, on my freaking back! No body believed me, for when I brought him around anybody, I would have to hold him, sit with him and if I was not sitting or-god forbid in the bathroom- he would need to be in his baby carriage:
The leash was for his own good. He wasn’t sure of himself and would freak and hide under beds or, worse, run freak out and almost fall down the steps (thank goodness my friends finger was there to catch him…by the teeth. He was much, much more ashamed then she was hurt!). This only lastes for about a week. Then he would sit on the couch when I would. Then he would run around with the other dogs as sitting his butt right beside and as close pushed up to me as possible. He trusted me from the very start. From the moment I sat him in the car. He was mine and I was his.
Now I won’t take you through the ups and downs of the last three years but before the first was over I had him potty trained, eating in the kitchen, drinking and at least tolerating the other animals and people around. He loves to be dressed and almost feels as though we are mad at him when we don’t dress him. He wears Weiky pants not because he pees at will but more because he squirts when excited. Never a lot though. He knows where and when to go. He no longer dehydrates or constipates. And at some point in his second year something clicked. He loves outside (As you know from snow.)
He loves freely and plays honestly (or at least his version of playing.) he feels plenty entitled like most of my animals. He just loves life. A life he never thought he could have with a me I never thought I would have.
For the honor…
My littlest Warrior