Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Second Hand Nala - Part 2

They were a mess.

(This is Nala . Below is Soko.)

Soko was only 3 and, though unkempt, appeared reasonably fit and healthy. Nala, whom the owners were trying to pass off as 7, was crippled, blind, she stank and was, obviously, at least 13. Never mind; we took them. Brigitte said she wouldn't ask for the rescue fee for Nala, since she was such an unattractive offering. But we paid, anyway, for the good works.

While the former owners -- parents and two grown children -- alternated between sobbing at saying good-bye and admiring Van-Ly's beauty and condition (Well, yeah! We took care of her), we lifted the dogs into the van and started for home. Promptly running into an accident on the autoroute that turned the 2 and 1/2 hour journey into 6 hours. The dogs were quite well behaved through it all. I was content.

We got home. Soko was not content. Nala was a zombie. Soko stood guard over her. They wouldn't eat. They wouldn't come into the house. It was September and warm; we left them. We'd go outside from time to time to chat and coo at them. Soko had a nip at me. O.K., he was nervous and unhappy. Finally, it was bed time and we left them for the night.

Nick gets up before I do. The next morning I was just about dressed when I heard him yelling for me. I started downstairs to confront my husband, white-faced and bleeding all over the floor. Soko had attacked without warning and got his hand, his leg and his arm. I whipped Nick into the car and we went to the doctor where Nick received enough stitches to be off work for the next three weeks.

(I should put a caveat here. Maybe there was a warning that Nick didn't recognise. At the time, maybe I wouldn't have either, but I'm told that Chows can do this.)

We came home and called Brigitte and Soko's and Nala's former owners. We've got a B&B, I told them; we can't take the chance he'll bite a customer. "He's never done anything like that before,"they said. (Of course not!) To their credit they came immediately that afternoon. As soon as Soko saw them, he jumped and pranced and then rolled over to have his tummy scratched. He was so happy. And so were they. They took him home and we kept Nala.

(to be continued)

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