JJ and I used to enjoy going to Soldan’s, a pet supply store, because we enjoyed looking at the few animals they had in the store–hamsters, gerbils, snakes, lizards, and ferrets. It was like a mini zoo. One day JJ and I went into the store while EJ was at a hardware store. I bent down to look at the ferrets in a cage on the floor when a little black head suddenly pushed into my lap. We didn’t know that the Animal Shelter came to the store once a month in an attempt to get homeless animals adopted.
The Animal Shelter brought in cages filled with cats and let people take them out and hold them. Volunteers walked dogs around the store, stopping to let people pet them. Danny was one of these dogs. He took an immediate liking to me. When he thrust his head into my lap, I petted and talk to him for several minutes, until the volunteer holding his leash pulled him away. After that encounter, Danny kept finding me in the store and pulling his volunteer back over to me. Obviously, he had bonded with me. EJ secretly went back later and adopted the dog for me.
Danny has been very devoted to me, and when we first brought him home, he would not let any of our other animals near me. He has learned to accept them, and they sometimes curl up next to him. He is never far from me. Usually he is lying at my feet.
Danny used to have a beautiful feathery tail, but when he was younger he liked to get away whenever he could and have an adventurous run through the neighborhood. One such day, he ran out in the road, and got hit by a van. Fortunately, he wasn’t hit directly. The van ran over his tail and stretched out his spine a bit. His tail was broken and so had to be removed. Since that time, he has been more content to stay near.
One year we decided to get Danny groomed. Our veterinarian has a dog groomer working for him, so I dropped Danny off there. The receptionist recognized me when I returned for Danny several hours later, and she told me I could go back to get him myself rather than wait for a staff person to be free to go with me. I went into the room with all the dog cages, and found the cage with our last name on it. The problem was that the little dog inside was not our dog. I had dropped off a spaniel-looking dog, but this dog looked more like a lab–and it was half the size of my Danny. I looked in all the other cages, but this was the only black dog. I figured he MUST be Danny. I decided that I would take him home, and the cats would all recognize him if he was Danny. I took the dog home, and all the cats walked warily around him and hissed.
Amazingly, the dog was actually my Danny. He has so much strangely thick hair that the cut reduced him by half the size. He hated that haircut and was depressed for weeks until his hair began to grow out again. We haven’t had the heart to get his hair cut again by a groomer again.