No doubt, dear reader, you will have noticed that my previous road trip in April 2015 featured a boxer named Piper and a Boston Terrier-Pug cross named Jack. But what of Leo, the Boston Terrier in the profile picture? Well Leo came into my life in a rather unexpected way.
July 1, 2015 – Canada Day
Being a shift worker, it is not unusual to have to work holidays and that Canada Day was no exception. It was a relatively quiet day until about two hours before the end of my shift which was when I met Leo.
His owner had passed away unexpectedly and the family was unable to take him. Under normal circumstances he would have gone to a shelter until either the family found someone or he was put up for adoption.
I looked at that little shaking body and I felt my heart breaking for him. On an impulsive and crazy whim, I offered to take him. As soon as I said it I thought “What are you doing? You know nothing about this dog! Important things like how he is with other animals. There are two dogs and three cats already at home. What happens if he’s aggressive?” I told myself it was crazy but I would not have been able to leave him in a cage after what he had been through.
The family agreed to let me take him as long as I gave him back if they found someone. Absolutely. I explained that it would be better for everyone and I already had a house full of critters and the last thing I needed was another.
When I walked Leo to the car he hopped in the front and had his feet braced on the door before I was able to get in the driver’s seat. He watched the city go by the window and I will always remember the reactions of the people we drove by when they saw his little face. It did not take long for him to be passed out and snoring on the way home. Poor little fellow probably hadn’t had a good sleep for a while.
I did feel a little apprehensive about bringing him inside. Piper can sometimes come across a little strong and if a dog is fearful it stresses everyone out. I opened the door and Leo walked in.
Piper and Jack came to the door, there was some sniffing and then they practically gave him the tour of the place. It sounds crazy but that is exactly how it looked: here’s our water bowls, food is over here. This is the couch and it’s pretty comfy. Bed is this way… There was no snarling or barking or posturing. It was almost too anti-climactic. We slept in one big mass that night as though he had always been there.
The next day was my last of work. I put Leo in a separate room and placed a baby gate across the door so they could see and smell each other but there would still be some separation. I wasn’t too sure about how everyone would be alone and I didn’t want everyone hanging out together until they had a chance to get to know each other. I had asked a neighbour to pop in on them a few times during the day and she told me that each time, someone had pulled the gate down and Leo was with the other two.
Sure enough when I got home that night, the gate had been pulled down and Leo was at the door waiting for me. The house had not been destroyed, the cats did not look like they had been terrorized, and everyone was relaxed.
I stayed in touch with the family and a few weeks later they told me that they could not take Leo from me and he was my dog now.
He is sitting on my lap as I type this now. He has brought so much joy to my life and so much energy to the house. He and Jack will play tug until one of them gives up, usually Jack. He has learned how to swim and loves long hikes in the forest.
Just wait and see what fun the four of us have had. And that’s just since July.