For you especially, from the adopter of Little Mook and Negarcheto – a touching story about how a two-legged Bulgarian dog got his new life in Canada.
(There is no story about the three-legged Bulgarian dog in Canada yet, but if you be so kind as to post a request for it to Tom, we believe he will not resist and send us more!)
“LOUIE! Get out of my coffee!”
The little thirty pound terrier crossbreed paused and looked up, precariously straddling the space between the sofa and the table beside it. This was remarkable because he has only two feet, one in front and one in back. He used the time he needed to lick coffee splatter off his lips and look at me to express, unmistakably, a single thought:
“Your coffee? It’s sitting right here in front of me. It’s my coffee.”
Louie first came to my attention with the name “Little Muck”, referring to the character in a tale by Wilhelm Hauff. Since Little Muck ended his tale as a rather unpleasant character, and since the North American term “mook” refers to someone obnoxious, I decided to change his name to Louie. After more incidents like the one above but involving my rum and cola, a bowl of ice cream and a chicken leg, I have seriously reconsidered the name Mook.
I found him on the Animal Rescue Sofia website by following a link from Negarcheto’s page. (Negarcheto, now “Jeff” also lives with me, but he’s another story.) Louie’s and Jeff’s stories were sad, even horrific, but what touched my heart was what was written about them:
Louie: “…the little angel finds the strength in him to love us, to be joyful when he sees us, to crawl toward us when he is called, to wag his tail like a banner when we reach toward him. Mook has life in him, he has love in him, he has a tiny gentle heart, ready to beat for his human till his last breath.”
Jeff: “…Negarcheto being alive after a train is not the biggest surprise. What is most shocking is his kindness. His joy of human contact. You cannot see it in these photos, because he is camera-shy, but this is a very gentle, sweet boy. A boy for the heart, not for the streets.”
There was no way I could resist dogs like that.
I saw the webpage while a guest at the home of Susann and Jochen Langkeit after she had teasingly asked if I would be interested in a three legged dog—Jeff. I saw the two web pages for the dogs and said, “I’ll take them both!” As it happened, she was heading to Europe and brought first Louie back, then Jeff.
And that’s when the fun started.
When I first saw Louie at Halifax airport, I was not sure he was the right dog. He was standing, walking and even trotting along so well that I actually counted his feet. Two—that was him. And that was the first time that I realized he would never “adapt” to his handicap—he just didn’t know he had one!
On the way back to Cape Breton we stopped for a hamburger. Once back in the car, Louie woke up at the smell of food.
“Is that mine? That’s mine, right? That’s for me. Gimme!”
Even after his long trip from Sofia to Frankfurt followed by a long flight to Canada, he was ready to go and take on the world.
Once home, he met the other seven dogs who would be members of his pack without any problems. He first met Rufus, the pack leader, who looks like he could have been Louie’s father except for the size difference. He was very polite and respected Rufus’ authority. The other dogs came and met him and all went well.
Then he met my aging beagle, Simon. Without a moment’s hesitation, Louie told Simon that Simon was to be his new friend—and chew toy. Being of a very gentle nature, Simon simply agreed, or perhaps, failed to disagree. Now, when dad’s not available and Louie wants a soft, warm place to lie, Simon becomes a pillow. When Louie is a little bored, Simon’s ear becomes a chew toy.
Louie considers it part of his duty to care for the others in the pack which he carries out by intently washing their ears, inside and out. He has extended his care to me, as well, and I have found little need to wash my own face since he arrived. I need to dry, frequently, but never wash.
He can be a handful since he has, at times, challenged the “world order” within the pack by such things as growling at Bubba who is easily twice his height and three times his weight. It does make me feel useful to snatch him up at such times saving both his dignity and his life. I doubt Bubba would harm him, but as I once told an old girlfriend, “if you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask the question.”
When it’s time to eat or go outside, both his excitement and noise level escalate to the point that I have requested he lower his voice.
“YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP!”
I assume you understand what I really mean when I euphemistically say “lower his voice”. Some of the other dogs have even politely requested that he “SHUT THE HELL UP!”
What I will always remember about Louie, though, is how a little dog who lost two feet struggles to climb into my lap while I’m typing.
And when he wakes up and changes position on the bed to lie closer to me and put his head on my chest before falling asleep again, I know that getting a little loud-mouthed, handicapped dog from halfway around the world was the best thing I ever did.
Nova Scotia, Canada
CLICK HERE TO VISIT TOM’S WEBSITE – you’ll find plenty of photos of our boys.