#151…three years later.
The sun had not yet attempted its rise on this cold Sunday morning, but the coffee was already made and I had long been reflecting on what this day means to me, and what it means for Tristan. Tristan the dog who I would first know as #151 when he was seized from his abusive owners and brought to the rural country shelter to be destroyed. That was three years ago today.
I poured a cup of strong coffee and with the book tucked tightly under my arm I made my way to the front room and took a seat on the far end of the couch. Tristan followed close behind and once I had picked my seat, he jumped up on the couch and gently laid down next to me. Maggie jumped on the back of the couch and curled up as if to get a birds-eye view to what was about to happen, and Tully plopped down on his dog bed across the room with “Mr. Skunk” his life partner/favorite toy in tow. It’s as if they knew, this was about Tristan, this was about me, it was our story to share.
I opened the tattered and well worn book to the beginning of the first chapter and began reading to Tristan whose dark chocolate drop eyes followed my every word. “Chapter One: The big winner .” I read to him from my favorite book as a kid, Judy Blume’s “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” just like I did when Tristan first arrived, terrified of me, terrified of himself and most terrified of the four walls in a spare bedroom that would hold his fear until we could figure it out together. I would read to him everyday, in the softest voice I could muster and I would tell him what a good, good boy he was for being such a good listener. He would not look at me, he would not react but I prayed that on some level it was comforting for him.
I reached down and picked up my mug from the table, taking a sip of the velvety rich liquid Tristan inched closer hoping it was something to be shared with him. I bent down to steal a kiss from the top of his head and then asked “who’s my sweet baby boy?” THUD, THUD,THUD went his tail against the back of the couch and he softly kissed the back of my hand. I returned to reading our book and when I came to the end of the chapter I added the words, “and Tristan lived happily ever after”.
In the last three years, Tristan has made amazing progress. He is loved by so many and he in turn loves so many, especially the foster puppies that make their way into our home for short stints. He inspires me every single day, and I will forever be grateful to Tristan and the amazing connection we share, he is my heart dog. If you would like to read more about Tristan’s journey click here.