Monday, October 22, 2012

Uba, NW1

Five years ago I was pretty sure that all I would ever know was the plain concrete box I lived in. I was just a little pup, not even six months old, when they took me and my cousins away from the life we knew in the woods and put us in boxes. I started to forget who I was. I forgot about the woods I used to live in and that there was anything outside my box. Some of the other dogs forgot themselves before I did and believed that the box was all there was. Hector didn't forget and he would bark at the people that hosed us and our boxes and it would remind me that once I knew something other than the box.

Five years ago the kind man called Tim climbed up to my box, opened the door and asked me to come out. I was really scared because the box was me and I was the box. I couldn't remember what was outside the box.  Tim reached in and lifted me down to the ground and patted me with kind hands and that was the first day of my freedom. 

Freedom sounds wonderful, but when all you know is a box, freedom is overwhelming. My mom, Lulu, and all my friends spent a lot of time explaining to me that there is nothing to be scared of and that they would keep me safe. They called me “environmentally sensitive” and one friend who helps humans called veterans said I was like her patients who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. With help I got brave at home, at pit ed class, in wild places and in a few other places, like Jonny's house. New places stayed scary.

One day we went to a new school where Audie's mom showed us a new game. I didn’t want to go inside the school or eat hot dogs. I was too scared to pay attention. We kept playing the game with the hot dogs and one day I was so interested in using my nose that I started to forget about being scared.  After lots of practice I learned to find birch oil, anise oil and clove oil instead of hot dogs and I got brave enough to look for the oils in different places. When I go to new places now I wonder if there might be a search to do and I don’t want to melt in to the ground so much.
This weekend I gave myself and my mom an early five years free present and earned my NW1 title. I got scared a few times, but I found all the oil and told my mom where it was. The judges gave me two special “Ps” which stands for pronounced and means I was extra good at working with my mom.   
Uba, NW1