It has been a year since you travelled from Korea (where I was born) to Canada. It took 13 hours travel time and another 3 hours added for customs clearance at the airport. The day you arrived broke the record for the longest time taken at the customs accordingly because one of the flight volunteers forgot to bring his document from Korea. Your dad and I were extremely worried about you and your friends in the other crates and it was the longest and the most anxious moment in our lives.
Between you and me, I did not have any special feelings when I first saw your photos on the adoption site because I heard Dachshunds are the toughest breed to raise and train from the most famous Korean dog show on TV, and I wanted a white dog from the site at the time. Vice versa, your dad fell in love with you once he saw your photos. Then we made an agreement to apply for both dogs we wanted and were waiting for a phone call from the adoption coordinator. She made the best decision for us and you were chosen as a new addition to our family.
I tried to prepare to give you my best love before you arrive, so I saved all your photos on my phone and looked at them everyday like a pregnant woman looking at her ultrasound photos with excitement.
Finally, I met you at the airport on July 8th, 2018 around 12:30pm. You were very skinny and had very wild eyes back in the day, but I started loving you at first sight for no reason. Your younger brother, Sarang, who is a mama’s boy, hated you so much when you first came home, so we had to separate you from him for the first few months. I also had to keep my distance from you during the adjustment period. It was not easy, but we made it.
The most memorable moment of your first day home was that you cried loudly when I put you on the bed and you started sucking the blanket like a baby sucking on a pacifier. I still do not know why you had that reaction… I can only assume this was the first time you experienced a blanket in your life or maybe the blanket brought you memories about your previous owner. You are the only one that knows the fact, but I cried so hard while holding you on the day.
Both your sister and brother had me as their first and forever owner, so I have a lot of memories of them since they were little puppies, but beginning to have you as my baby started when you were two and a half years old, so it was not easy to get you to trust me. It was like a puzzle. You were very insecure and unpredictable. I had to guess what you like and dislike, based on my experience with the other two and what I studied about dogs.
The saddest part about you is your birthday because it was the first day of May. I heard most rescue dogs have the first day of a month as their birthday based on veterinarian’s check up results and I decided to prepare a big birthday party for you to make your special day even more special. I have no idea what you have gone through in your life, but you were strong and overcame everything to be here with me now.
You were the skinniest dog I have ever seen in my life. Back when you first arrived, I could even see your spine visibly, so I tried to feed you high protein food like chicken, beef, sweet potato, and egg yolk every single day to help you gain weight and hair. Your coat turned very healthy and shiny, but your vet also diagnosed you as overweight. I know it is not good for your health and we are still trying to help you lose some weight, but you are the cutest and the most amazing Dachshund in the world to me. You are absolutely adorable.
To be honest, I was only focused on being a great owner for you, so I always bought expensive and fancy food and items to spoil you because I believed it is the only way I could compensate for your miserable years in the past. I never tried to teach you and never got mad at you even you made mistakes like biting me and your dad. I accepted everything just the way you are even if you had some bad behaviours when living with us and the other dogs. I really did not want to hurt your feelings because you went through all the tough times.
However, I suddenly realized you are not just a rescue dog but one of my precious dogs and I could start treating you equally as your sister and brother. Maybe we are still getting used to each other day by day to build trust and I love you more today than yesterday.
I am not a perfect person as you know. I still make some mistakes while I raise you and your siblings, but I really wish you think that I am the best owner and mother for you. There are 86,400 seconds in a day and I decided to love you every second. You did great during this first year with your forever family. Thank you for being in my life.
Love you, forever.
Written by Sarah Lee
FRANCESA NEVAEHE HAYDAY says
I very much enjoyed this lovely story. Thank you