Letters from a TCK dog
Reiley’s New Home
Inch by Inch
You are right! I have moved very far away from you. I have no idea where I am.
When the father of my family came to fetch me from the noisy, smelly, frigid place that was at least not dark, I was very hungry and thirsty. I needed to go so desperately I dribbled in the cage. I was so excited to see a familiar face!
He took me out right away to a patch of dead, brown vegetation that was frozen hard as rock. I think the ground is frozen here at least six inches down. It would take a long period of cold to do that, wouldn’t it? This is how I learn about my new home, sniffing it inch by inch.
We travelled in a strange car that other people and dogs had travelled in before — a large, fluffy female, I think, who ate peanut butter more often than was healthy for her. And a wiry haired male who liked to travel between the front seats.
Now we are living in a small town house. The brown, dead grass in front with no fence has grungy ice piles around the edges. The fenced patch in the back, where I have full command, has bigger ice piles that are really tasty if I dig under the top layer.
There is an obnoxious female short haired dog on the other side of the fence. Her bark is sharp and constant whenever I come near. She refuses to accept that I have arrived from very far away and I mean no harm. Actually, I am getting pretty close to meaning her harm. If she keeps up like that …
The children are afraid and confused. The parents are too and they shout a lot. The nine year old goes into the corner of his closet and makes his little cars talk to each other. I sit with the six year old while she cries. Then I go and sit with the mother while she cries.
The father is away all day. There is a moment of joy when he comes home. I’m the only one with a tail, but I wag for all of us. Pretty soon, though, the fear and confusion comes back. I go under the table when the yelling starts.
Did I tell you I miss you?
P.S. That sounded a bit sad. To cheer you up, I’ll tell you about the black fluffy creatures that run along the fence. They have a long fluffy tail that covers them when they sit still. It is mating season for them and they run up and down the spikey trees, chasing each other. I bark at them because I want to run up and down the trees too.
Thank you for your long message. It came at the end of the day. I will have to wait to share it with the gang. They all say hi to you and some are envious of the journey you are on. Keep the letters coming!
You are doing really important work with your family. Your presence is helping to take away their fear and confusion. Just be your normal, regular self and they will get over themselves.
Pretty soon they’ll be taking you to parks and you’ll be meeting new dogs. Don’t forget about us, ok? Write again soon.
Thank you for reading! This story is inspired by my own TCK journey. To learn more, go to https://leoshine.micandpen.com/