Sunday, March 22, 2015

Happy Endings - A Poppy Tail

Poppy came to us as Puppy, a young but fully grown mixed breed. One of the neighbourhood dogs whom appeared out of a sudden and created quite an impression on the residents. She was the neighbourhood rat catcher and in return some of us would feed her and give her the occasional pat.

As with many of the dogs in our lives, she literally crawled into our lives. Starting with daily visits to our gate with friendly smiles duly rewarded by treats and meals. When we were sure she was tame enough, we invited her into our garden and she was more than willing to stay locked in. Her wild side would occasionally come calling and she found her way out by digging under the wire fence. It puzzled us initially until we peeped on her in the act. Of course we quickly rectified that loophole so that she and other dogs wouldn't be able to come in and out as they wished.

She was a regular visitor for months. Coming in whenever it rained or when the sun was scorching. She still preferred her freedom although sometimes it was a task to shoo her out of our compound.

The turning point came when some of the neighbours called the local council to send dog catchers. There were other aggressive male dogs besides Poppy roaming the neighbourhood. Unfortunately Poppy was shot, being too friendly and trusting. Dad heard the commotion and rushed out to see what was happening. When he saw Poppy was down, he ran out to save her begging the dog catchers to let her go because she was our dog. The guy was reluctant but in the end yielded and warned dad that he would not give a second chance if he caught her again.

So dad carried the dead-weight Poppy with her tongue hanging out all the way back home. She was out for an hour or so before groggily regaining consciousness. Dad said she had screamed in her unconsciousness and when she awoke, vomited from the side effect of the tranquilizer.

From that day onward, she was our pet dog. Our Poppy, with the ceaseless cheery tail wagging. Dad made her a kennel out of wood pallet and she stays outside most of the time. On her lucky days, she gets to chill in the house with us. But as the saying goes "give an inch and they'll take a mile", Poppy starts inviting herself in (by dashing in between our legs) whenever we open the grill after a period of in-house time. Naughty naughty.

The reason why Poppy is loved by everyone (well, at least almost everyone) is her awesome temperament. Never seen any evidence of aggression against people thus far. In fact, she is too friendly. So whatever our so-called neighbours had claimed that the dogs (and Poppy too) were biting people was total bullshit (like themselves and their lying tongues!).

Anyway, Poppy is now ours and we love her as much as she loves us!

One thing that needs getting used to is her strength. She is by far the largest dog we have had and sometimes she forgets that she is a big dog. She can easily over-power any one of us and we (especially me) fall over when she's too excited and jumps on us.

Today, we set out to bathe the dogs but seems like the dog Poppy bathed me instead! She was so overwhelmed with fear of water that she dragged me with her chain and I fell over on my fanny into the puddle of water! We finished bathing Poppy with some scratches and blue black patches on both mom and I.

In contrast, Zack proved to be the model dog standing unflinching while we rubbed shampoo all over him. He didn't even need a leash. Perhaps he was just showing off to Poppy. ;)

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