Monday, May 27, 2013

Learning the ropes



It is hard, nearly impossible, to think that we adopted Kipling four months ago. The scars tracing his belly where his horribly large intestinal hernia was repaired have healed and his coat has grown back fine, although not yet to his proud puffed chest of before. I see the time passing when I look into his eyes, those eyes that were closed tight to near slits with fear when we first met him and are now, only now, really open. Open with trust. It is beginning. And it feels wonderful. 


Remi and I still have peace to make with the fact that someone could abandon such a wonderful one. 


When he sneaks under the table at lunch and rests his head on my feet, I know that it is something that he did before, in his previous home. When he looks up at our bed with longing, I know that too is something he knew in his other life. So then, why?


It is a question I am trying to let go of as the now begins to balance the weights of his past. I see him learning the ropes, again, with us. When we are in the country, how proud he is when he remembers to come back to us as he will go far so far ahead, at times too far, in big circles to the side so that we wonder if he was used in hunting to flush out game. And certainly, he licks his lips at our towns pigeons and strains to reach the cats. He is no angel...


...nor devil either. We call him coquin or rascal, it was Remi who started it, just like he was the one to choose Kipling for the adventure of it all. For who knows what happened during those ten days while he was waiting for his owner to come out of the shopping center? His front teeth are broken, making it nearly impossible to know his age--did that happen then? But he has, amazingly, retained a sense of humor, one he is only beginning to show. He would make a fine poker player. 

All I know is that he remembers. I believe he would follow us to the ends of the earth. 


And Ben? Not to worry. Ben has all the love he has ever had...


...and is discovering what it is to have a copain to boot. For the first time. Learning the ropes. 

It is never too late.



Mais oui, you did not think that I could end there, did you? Really? No. Because you see...well, I am calling out to mes amis français...oui, je sais que vous êtes la grâce aux statistiques même si vous ne me communique pas! Vous êtes nombreuses en plus...Are there any of you who would be interested in adopting this fine gentleman? His name is Lou and although he is ten, he is in fine form...Just think of all of the love that he could give! Look at that perfect Golden smile...I know that he is a special boy and if I didn't live in an apartment in town I would go all Bruce Weber and adopt a brood. For their love is spectacular I have to say....Camille, who told us about Kipling says that he is a sweetheart that gets along with everyone and everything.

If you are interested in having more information about Lou, please see: Here.

Many thanks to my friend at teamgloria for mentioning Kiplings adoption today. You can see her lovely portraits of her friend Richard and his Golden, Diego: Here.

For those of you that missed it, I guest-posted on the lovely idea of "Provence Time" chez the brilliant D. A. Wolf's "Daily Plate of Crazy": Here.

And for my friends in the States that are commemorating Memorial Day, I was deeply moved by the tribute that my friend NK wrote, especially as she is par norm a brilliant comedic writer so this is all the more surprising and beautiful: Here.

40 comments:

Gldiebr said...

It makes my heart happy to see Kipling's eyes wide open with trust and love. The three of you have done a wonderful job allowing the opportunity to be part of a loving family. You are all so lucky to have found each other. I am sure that Lou would be a wonderful addition to another family - I hope it happens soon.

Thank you so much for the update!

Loree said...

I wish I could adopt him. But I doubt I will ever have a dog again. My husband is not too keen on them. He prefers cats and, although I do like cats, they can never compare to the love and loyalty that a dog will give you.

D A Wolf said...

Every time I hear you speak / write of Ben and Kipling my heart aches for our big, beautiful rescued mutt who was our beloved family companion for 11 years. She was the gentlest of creatures, at 80 pounds twice the size of my younger son when she came into our lives, and she passed just as empty nest brought its shadows into our household.

We adored her. She had clearly been abused and then abandoned - a cruelty I cannot conceive of. Yet as much as I miss her, and at times want to do it all again, having been tied to the needs of others for 20 years, I don't think I could do it again. But I do do love seeing Ben and Kipling, and the metaphor that we can always learn and adapt for the better - with time - is not lost...

judithaross.com said...

How I wish they could talk sometimes..... but it is amazing what they can communicate to us. I think letting go of the "why" and focusing on the now is a good strategy, Heather. The thought of how he was left makes me a little crazy, even from here, but more salient is the feeling that he is now in the best possible place. I am so glad that you, Remi, Ben and Kipling have found each other. We are going to take our girl out for an afternoon walk and ice cream (for us!) right now on this beautiful, beautiful day. I'll be thinking of you and your 'fellas' as we stroll.

D A Wolf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Irene said...

What a beautiful, beautiful animal! I hope he is happy!

Acquired Objects said...

It’s so nice to see Kipling so at home with his new family, You, Ben and Remi did good. See that picture where he’s looking directly at the camera….that’s trust. Dylan will sit there for a long time as I brush his hair and talk to him, starring me directly in the eyes every time I look at him….that’s trust. Like Ben Dylan lays with his head in our laps happy to have one of his people touching him. I’m glad to see everyone so happy and settling in. I hope someone in France quickly adopts Lou he looks so happy and what a handsome boy. Thank you for sharing your little men with us.

XXX
Debra~

robin said...

What a wonderful update! What a sweetie he looks like - how lucky he is, to have found such a wonderful home and owners. I love the picture of him trotting down the trail - he's so happy and beautiful! Yay, puppies!

Laoch of Chicago said...

:-)

Karen Albert said...

Oh Heather, Kipling has found the best parents in the whole world.
I cannot even stand to think of people hurting an animal so badly.

Please enter my Giveaway from Segreto Finishes!
xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Suze said...

Caring for these beautiful creatures is vital, Heather. They look so radiant and loved.

david terry said...

Oh, Heather....I think I may have previously sent you that quotation from J. Ackerley:

"A dog has but one aim in life: To bestow his heart."

You and Remi have done a fine and admirable job of giving Kipling a proper job.

Admiringly,

David Terry (whose own terriers are, this particular morning, less than entirely pleased with the man who's been combing cockleburs out of their coats for a solid hour.....it's that time of year; I carry a stripper comb with me half of each day)
www.davidterryart.com

Naperville Now said...

My heart has grown 3 sizes. Hope you will report back on Sweet Lou soon.

Jenny Short said...

He is beautiful and you are his clan now. I think he is learning quickly. It is hard to know how someone could abandon an animal. Last year a hungry cat appeared on my porch. I fed him potato chips and he stayed. I loved him and had him for six months. I had to give him up because I travel back an forth to Holland. I found a nice home for him. He had been neutered the vet said so he did belong to someone. He knew to put his head in my lap when I sat on the couch and he slept on Enno's feet. Those were behaviors he knew. I am happy for you that god has brought this precious animal into your life. He knew who would love him. xo Jenny

threetimesyes said...

lovely!
and you can see from the pics how much the dogs love you. without a doubt they woudl follow you till the end of time.
xxx

Unknown said...

Thank you for letting us know how Kipling is doing. It has made me so happy to see how his life with you three has unfolded. Frankly, I don't think he could have adopted a better family! You read him so well, noticing that his eyes have widened with the disappearance of fear and the growth of trust and love. He knows you are his family, and he is content. How wonderful that his humor has returned, and that his nickname is "Rascal" (a noun I use only to describe the best of characters!). Your photographs of Ben and Kipling are in a class by themselves, far better than the work of the professional "animal photographers" I have seen.

As for Lou: He reaches right out of his photograph and speaks to me. Henry (also 10), Bob, Scott and I would adopt him in an instant if he lived close enough that we wouldn't have to subject him to international and transcontinental flights in baggage compartments to get here. Please let us know how he fares!

Now to go read that to which you have provided links! And three huge Hip Hip Hooraye's for You Four!! Leslie in Portland, Oregon

P.S. Something must have happened to Kipling's former owner (like a fatal heart attack) that made it impossible for him/her to return for Kipling...no human who had been his owner could have abandoned him.

Sara Louise said...

Seeing Kipling happy, settled and so loved melts my heart, and I'm sure Ben is beyond happy to have a partner in crime :)
I'm clicking over to read more information about Lou. I'd like for Fifty to have a buddy too x

mademoisella coquine. said...

I'm so glad that Kipling has recovered not just physically but emotionally. When animals experience trauma it's never guaranteed that they will recover, so I'm happy that you were able to instill trust in him in your happy home. : )

Lost in Provence said...

As you know, I think that it was hardest on Ben--I give him so much credit--he really made this transition work and it hasn't been easy for him!

Lost in Provence said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Loree...

Lost in Provence said...

They really do show us the way if we pay attention. I can only imagine how much you miss your pretty girl.

Lost in Provence said...

When I think back to that my Mom and Dad would get an ice cream cone for our Danes to split when I was little! :o They were always fine though...heehee...

And yes, what I wouldn't give to hear their thoughts--although Ben is so expressive it is almost like he does speak sometimes! I know exactly what is going through that doggie mind of his.

Lost in Provence said...

I hope so too, Irene.

Lost in Provence said...

Debra, it is still pretty rare that Kip will look at me so directly like that. I still consider it a gift each time. Remi, yes but me...we are still getting there!
xo,
H

Lost in Provence said...

We have to get you BACK over here to meet him, Sister. :)

Lost in Provence said...

I don't know if we are the best at all but we are trying! Kipling is our first rescue and it is definitely a whole other deal than raising a puppy.

Lost in Provence said...

Suze, they give us so much love in return!! I love to love on them. :)

Lost in Provence said...

You have sent that lovely quote before, David but it moves me every time, big sap that I am!

And oh my...cockleburs...no thank you!

Lost in Provence said...

I will ask Camille to keep me updated to pass on the word, NN.

Lost in Provence said...

Thank you, Jenny for your beautiful response. I think that anyone would have loved Kipling. He had only just come in to the shelter when we met him--it did seem meant to be though. People can be...rather rough...with their dogs here (those not of the tiny variety) so I am glad that he is with us, someone who will try to bring out the sweet side of him rather than encouraging his tough side only.

Lost in Provence said...

As long as I have their dogfood, definitely. :)

Lost in Provence said...

Leslie, we do wonder the same thing about his owner. He was scared to pieces when we first met him but maybe Kipling just went through a lot of hardship in his time on his own before he was rescued? Did I mention that his paws were trimmed when we met? I noticed it right away. This is a dog who was cared for...

And of course, I should have known you would love Lou. Isn't he just the essence of Golden?
xo,
H

Lost in Provence said...

Sara! That moved me so much that you would even consider Lou. And you know what it is to be a rescue Mom--you are such a great one. :)
Bisous to Fifty...

Lost in Provence said...

That is a really good reminder. Because there are still moments when Kipling is so sad. He just disconnects. I just try to give him extra love to plug him back in...

judithaross.com said...

Oh, don't you worry, Karina always manages to ge her licks in.

Gina said...

Dear Heather, We adopted a lost dog. His owners didn't or couldn't claim him. He was found wandering along a country highway by a policeman. They kept him for a week. I know that he came from a loving home because he is the most loving dog. I would so like to know what his life was like. He loves cowboys and trucks. He loves herding animals and he never leaves his guard post until everyone has gone upstairs for the night.
For many months he would disappear while we were working in the garden. We would immediately go looking for him. He would always go east, trying to find his former home, I think. Now, 5 years later he doesn't leave anymore. I would still like to know what his former life was like. Did he come from a family with children who miss him terribly? I know that it would break our hearts if we lost Charlie.
Heather, I look forward to reading every one of your posts. They are so beautifully written. ox, Gina

Lost in Provence said...

Thank you so very much Gina. I read your beautiful response this morning but wasn't able to reply until tonight. And actually something happened this morning that made me think about what you had written. I was out on my morning walk with the boys and I crossed paths with a certain elderly gentleman who was possibly the French version of a cowboy (yep, they had them here first in the nearby Camargue, they are called Les Gardians and have been a group for 500 years) in his younger years. Well, Kipling, who is not the most friendly pupper before you know him, took to that man like house afire. I just watched without making a thing of it, while talking. Kipling went and leaned into him--I couldn't believe it! He was so happy. Remi has always thought instinctively that he belonged to an older man before and I know that he doesn't quite know what to do with me, a feminine character. So this was a clue just like Charlie taking off to the east...
Well, they are with us while they are and each day counts. They teach us that. :)
ox to you too, Gina,
Heather

Looking Glass said...

Oh they are just so, so gorgeous! I can tell they give you so much joy, Heather. I truly hope Lou finds a wonderful home.

Clare x

sanda said...

Hello Heather,
It's been such a long time since I've been able to visit your blog. I just HAD to get over here and find out what's going with your two lovelies! As an owner of two rescue dogs, I totally know what you mean when you say shades of his former life are still with him. Just like with your Kipling, my Val and Kris are sometimes faced with a situation where memories of their "former lives" emerge. Loud noises and quick movements frighten Kris; Val is afraid of stairs. How we wish we know what happened to them in the past. No amount of comforting and reassurances has helped my two overcome these hand-ups, and others. All I really care about is that our dogs are now loved unconditionally and totally...and are safe. Great post, Heather; love your doggies!!

Heather Robinson said...

How lovely of you to stop by! And I wish the same for your beautiful doggies as well! :)