Definitely yes, but why?

Two years ago, my partner and I were walking home from a concert and it was late at night. When passing by a garden, which gates were closed and locked at that time of night, we saw another couple trying to put something in the garden in between the gate bars. We exchanged eye contact with them and the couple quickly moved towards another gate. We were actually going that way too because we were on our way home.

When reaching the strange couple, we noticed they were trying to put a small puppy inside the garden. My partner asked them if they needed any help. The couple stated the owner of the puppy was inside the garden but they couldn’t reach him. We were asked if we could keep the puppy for the night and give it back the day after.

“Yes!” was the word that came out of my mouth. My partner looked at me in amazement.

The couple gave me the puppy. It fit perfectly into my hands. Its fawn and white fur was soft and fluffy. It was crying. I thought it was scared and needed someone to make it feel safe.

We asked the couple if they were sure anyone was in the garden at that time of night. They didn’t answer. We looked for a few seconds at the garden, tried to see if anyone was coming, but no one was there. We looked back and the couple was gone. Disappeared into thin air. We quickly figured out they had abandoned the puppy.

When cuddling it, we noticed it had a very big and round wound behind one of it’s ears. My partner decided to go to the vet hospital with it. Luckily it was only a couple of blocks away. We thought it was crying because the wound hurt him so badly.

As soon as we got to the vet hospital, the vet asked us to put the puppy on the table, so she could have a closer look at it. As soon as it had put it’s small paws on the table it starting peeing. So that’s why it was crying so much! It needed to pee. Oh, and it was a male puppy.

I really wanted to keep him (yes, now it’s “him”), but my partner was not sure. We had talked about getting a dog for a couple of years, but he had pictured us buying one, preferably a pedigree dog. Not this one that came with scrapes and we didn’t even know how old it was or were it came from.

The vet convinced my partner to keep him: “He chose you!” she said determinedly. And so he did. We had to register him too, so we had to pick up a name for him. “Captain Fantastic!” decided my partner, but both the vet and I looked at him in amazement. I thought you couldn’t call a dog that. She also said it was quiet a complicated name, but I thought I could change my partner’s mind later.

Almost 100€ lighter in our bank account – we assumed he had no vaccines and lived on the street, so he needed a spray for his fur and an eatable creme for his stomach – we went home with him. He slept in our bedroom, on the floor on top of a few old t-shirts.

Now, two years later, he sleeps in the kitchen, unless one of us is away. Then he gets to sleep in our bed. We must be one of the steadiest costumers at the local pet shop. Not because he eats a lot of his own food, he always prefers human food, especially chicken, but because he keeps ruining his toys. Every time we hear the shop assistant saying “This is unbreakable. He can’t destroy that, I can assure you!”, we just know he will destroy it in a matter of hours. If it only had been toys he had destroyed, I would be a very satisfied dog owner. But no, here’s a small list of some things he has destroyed:

  • our two week old sofa
  • all of our underwear (yes, all of it)
  • glasses (no insurance on those)
  • my three beloved sofa pillows I had bought in London a cherished very dearly
  • the door handle in our car
  • walls and baseboards

And now here’s a list of things he has given in return:

  • unconditional love, yes a dog loves its owner even though he or she is having a bad day or is tired, grump, emotional, whatever. Or if the owner has put it on time out, even if it wasn’t fair. A dog holds no grudges towards its owner.
  • new friendships, because you get to see new places and meet new people with whom you have a lot in common, just by going to the dog park.
  • laughter, if you go on Youtube and search for funny dogs, you do get a big laugh. Imagine living with a dog that makes you laugh every single day!
  • patience, our dog is a portuguese podengo and “expresses himself a lot. He cries, moans, barks and does whatever his little heart tells him so. Like now, I’m heading out of the door, he knows it and wants to go with me (don’t tell me dogs don’t have FOMO) and hasn’t stopped crying and barking for the last 20 minutes. Count to 10, 20 or 100.

So whenever we get to debate with someone (especially couples with children) if dogs are family, then I always say yes. Although dogs are not children, they are still so much part of our life and our daily routines that they do become family. Anyone who is a dog owner will tell you that!