3. The first night


My daughter and I had decided that Oliver would sleep in her room to feel safe and get used to her as main caretaker.

After Oliver came out of the car he wanted to be outside and lay on the towel we brought for him in the car. Only later that evening he was comfortable enough to not only walk through the house, but also stay inside for a longer period of time. We let him go in and out the house as he would indicate, since it is still good weather and temperatures are allowing to have the house open all day.

There are small steps in the garden and we had no idea if Oliver was able to walk stairs. So we tried and after a bit of encouragement he was able to take the 4 steps up and down. I knew we had taken in an inquisitive and smart dog. Only after a few hours of adjusting he was able to learn.

When we sat down for dinner we gave him the food we got from the boarding kennel and he ate! I was a bit surprised that he ate, we were told that he was a bad eater. To me it seemed more that he is a slow eater, he takes his time, but does eat. I know a dog can go without food for some days, that doesn’t mean it is fun to watch a living being, so scared or stressed out, he cannot eat.

Around 23:30 we prepared ourselves to go upstairs. We took Oliver’s dog basket upstairs and his water. We’ve got quite a steep staircase, so we encourage him to get up as we did in the garden, but he saw no way how his body and paws would fit on the shallow steps. Therefore we decided that I would carry him upstairs. Cool, but how does one carry a small dog the best way for me and him. We Googled it and I had to put one arm under his chest and the other arm around his hind legs. That wasn’t too bad and he was as wiling as possible. I did wonder if that was due to being trained in the laboratory to silently undergo all they asked from him? It still upsets me a bit to think about his past and what he had to go through. At the same time I cannot wipe out his past, and yes, I can give him a bright future.

Oliver seemed to be okay with staying in my daughters bedroom and thus we all ended up in bed, preparing ourselves for the next day with sir Oliver.

Around 1:00AM I woke up and heard a sound. Someone was calling. It was my daughter calling me. I got out of bed and went to her bedroom being worried. “It is not going well with Oliver”, she said. I saw a dog lying in his basket and not much of a sign that he was doing terribly bad. I touched him and he didn’t feel hot, he appeared the same as during the afternoon and evening. “His heartbeat is way too fast mom”, she said. She had been Googling what an average heartbeat should look like. This was the first time that I felt the granny and my child the young mother of a new born life. I honestly didn’t understand what the fuss was all about. Then I stepped back, slowed down and remembered how I felt as a young mother. I felt so lucky in that moment that I now could go through such events while being stable and able to oversee the situation, without freaking out on my own emotions and (over)protection. Of course the dog wasn’t totally okay, he was stressed and was dreaming and processing his adventures. It was absolutely normal that his heart rate was above average and yes he snored what kept my daughter awake. I tucked them both in and wished them some sleep. Call me whenever you need me, I told my daughter. I did not hear again from her that night.

When we woke up that morning my daughter was exhausted, she had been doing little naps the entire night and she felt broken. I carried Oliver downstairs and both of them took the day to nap some more together.


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