Lost in reverie, I was unaware that a pair of dark, brown eyes were staring at me. I heard a deep, rumbling sound emanating from somewhere but with my attention elsewhere, of course I ignored it.
However, those eyes didn’t like to go unnoticed. All of a sudden, that sound I heard turned into a pretty deafening bark which seemed impossible to come from a plump body of a small dog! I yelled in surprise as I dropped all my papers on the floor! Then I finally stared down those naughty eyes. With a sigh, I talked to him as if he were a child. “Hey, Scottie, can’t you see I’m busy? I have to finish writing an article. Go inside and look for anybody who will play with you. Go now!” As a response, he tugged at my pants with his mouth and did not let go until I touched him.
He was like that. Naughty. Playful. Impatient. My Scottie.
Scottie was born inside a church where a friend of mine was a member of a choir. While the choir was having a practice session, this puppy came out of his mother’s womb (maybe that was the reason why he loved music so much). He was too ordinary-looking that people who would like to buy a puppy would definitely just pass him by. He would have grown up within the vicinity of the chapel without a “human family” had my friend not given him to me during the yuletide season a few years ago.
When I was travelling on my way home, with this puppy inside the paper bag I carried on my lap, I felt relieved that he seemed to be very “polite”. He didn’t make any noise, he didn’t pee and he didn’t whine. An “angel” puppy at last. I was brimming with joy imagining he would grow up that way—with good manners, and pretty much submissive to owners.
But two years later, as I stared down my Scottie, I knew I was staring at a smart yet pretty much mischievous dog.
But this morsel of a dog had brought so much laughter in the house. He considered the sound of the rice muffin vendor’s tiny horn as pleasant music that he’d tilt his head to sing with that sound. He also loved his pillow. He grew up with it. Instead of a ball, it was his toy. Whenever that pillow needed washing, he’d stare longingly while it was hanging wet on the clothesline. And when my father was holding his pillow and trying to put a cover on it, little Scottie jumped with all his might to get it. In his excitement it was my father’s shorts he was able to pull down and not the pillow!
Then one day I saw Scottie jumping frantically, trying to get something.
I approached him to see what it was. On the window grills were his collars, about three of them. Since he was given a bath the day before, his collar was removed by my mother and she obviously forgot to place it again around his neck. Poor Scottie was feeling incomplete without it. When I removed one collar from the grills, he leaped and tried to insert his head onto the collar I was holding! Then you could almost see him smiling. He was overjoyed to have it around his neck again!
It is so easy to go to a pet shop and look for a pure bred puppy. But there are dogs like Scottie that need a home.
Our constant visit to the animal shelter has opened my eyes and heart to the homeless, unwanted, tortured or abused, and abandoned animals. This was the reason why I adopted Scottie. And it’s true what the shelter says: “Love is in the heart, not in the breed.”
Scottie definitely had a big heart.
There wasn’t a day or night when he did not get so excited to see us arrive home. We meant the world to him. He was very protective of us. When my father became ill and was rushed to the hospital, it seemed as if Scottie suffered for him. He just suddenly became too sick also. My father survived. But he did not. It was too painful to accept at first that a very healthy and happy dog had gone too soon.
We have many reasons why we will always celebrate Scottie’s life, and why we considered him part of our family. He loved us unconditionally and gave us many happy memories. Definitely, he was the definition of joy itself. He was our angel with four feet. And although he spent just two years with us, he was well-fed, well-loved and very much taken care of. The used-to-be-ordinary pup found a home and a special place.
In our hearts. For always.