If there was one thing I wish I could’ve given every animal this year, it would have been their Christmas Story. I wish I could’ve given them their Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle like Ralphie. Only it wouldn’t have been a toy, it would have been a home. A place to be loved. A family to snuggle with and a soft bed to sleep on. Unfortunately, as I’ve been told a hundred times, “I can’t save the world.” But, this Christmas, I was able to give one little dog his Christmas Story. Duncan, a shelter dog picked up as a stray, came home with me for the holidays and I made sure he enjoyed every minute of it. Here is Duncan’s Christmas Story:
Did somebody say Starbucks?
I woke up rather early on Christmas Eve. The night before was the first night I slept upstairs in my bed instead of on the couch next to Duncan. I hadn’t heard a noise all night and wanted to check on him. When I peeked around the corner there he was, laying down with his tail wagging just waiting for me. I made him a special breakfast and we got in the Christmas spirit by watching plenty of Christmas movies throughout the morning.
Once the rain started to let up we met my brother and his dog in the park for a long walk at one of my personal favorite places in Charlotte. Then, of course on our way home, I stopped at Starbucks and along with my order, the barista handed me a puppuccino for Duncan. He enjoyed every lick of it. We spent the rest of Christmas Eve at my brothers where Duncan got to play with lots of chew toys and enjoy more fresh air while lying outside on the deck.
A day at the park with fountains and ponds to drink from and bridges to cross over
Christmas morning was morning number 2 of me sleeping upstairs and Duncan sleeping through the night on his own. He discovered a few new toys underneath the couch and spent the morning playing with them while we watched more Christmas movies and waited for our guests to arrive. My brother brought Duncan over his own Christmas presents to unwrap and he’d alternate between joining us in the kitchen for some cookie baking to jumping on the couch to play with his new toys.
Overall I think Duncan truly enjoyed his “Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle.” I think he has a wonderful Christmas story to remember. Duncan gave me just as much as I gave him this holiday. He helped make my first Christmas without DJ a bit more bearable and I thank him immensely for that. And soon enough, he’ll have a real home, filled with lots of love for many more Christmases to come
Christmas movies, hot chocolate and a nice soft couch
Yes, for those of you who caught that, the title of this post is a Britney Spears song. I felt it was quite fitting for the subject. If after you read this, you are interested in more info on adopting Duncan, please email email@example.com
Duncan was a stray who will be making his way up to Long Road Home Rescue in New York after the holidays to find his forever home. But, before then, he needed a place to stay for Christmas. Someone to love him, teach him and get him ready for the amazing family I know he will find. Never had I heard of the “Home for the Holidays” foster program until someone had recently posted it on Facebook. I was hesitant a first, but then I thought you know, DJ would have wanted one of his friends to get a little extra love for the holidays, so I scrolled through the list. It is heartbreaking to me how many dogs there are out here with no place to go. If I could’ve brought them all home, I probably would’ve. But, when I found Duncan, I knew he was the one. A mutt just like my DJ, about the same height and weight and incredibly docile.
I picked him up after work and he sat like a good boy in the front seat the entire 30 minute drive home. He didn’t make a sound no matter how many times we had to brake in the lovely rush hour traffic of Charlotte. I haven’t had Duncan quite 24 hours yet, but here is a bit of our adventure so far:
- It took Duncan all of an hour to learn how to sit. Now every time I ask he does so. Especially if you’re giving him treats. There’s no hesitation.
- He loves toys. I had a few extra of DJ’s for him to play with. He grabs one at a time, brings them in his crate and lays down to play with them for a bit.
- If you sit down or lie down near him, be ready to get mauled by kisses. He loves to give them.
- He is a cuddler. Sit down on the floor and he’ll nudge his head right up next to you and just stand there while you pet him
- He doesn’t bark. The airplanes, the garage door, people outside, he hasn’t made a single sound.
- My downstairs is his New York City. Something new to explore at every corner. He’s checked out every bit of it, but hasn’t really touched anything. No chewing of my Christmas tree or lights around the fireplace. He walked around for most of yesterday and by about 9:30pm finally got comfortable enough to sit and relax.
- This morning while I was making breakfast, he lay in the kitchen at my feet (I have stepped on him a few times already!). Even as I sit here and right this at the table he is sleeping right next to me.
- I was expecting our first night to be a bit rough, so I prepared myself. We went to bed around 10pm. I slept on the couch next to his kennel. He didn’t wake up until about 7:30 this morning. No wining or crying. I barely heard him move. He didn’t even stand until I got up to get him.
- He loves to walk. I never walked my dog on his collar because he pulled too much. Duncan thankfully is nowhere near as strong. He’ll need some walking lessons, but honestly I walked him in heels and I handled him fine. That was something I would never do with DJ! I found an extra harness lying around and put that on. He does much better with the harness. We’re going to skip the collar from now on.
- We did a bit of crate training yesterday when we first got home. 5 minutes of me sitting next to him, 10 minutes of me being upstairs and 5 minutes again next to him before I took him out. He whined the first few times, but the last time before bed, I was upstairs for about 20 minutes and he didn’t make a sound. This morning was the first time I left him. I went to the store and was gone or about 40 minutes. I hit the record button on my computer to see if he’d cry. He did for the first two and a half minutes I was gone and then the only sounds I heard were the clock and a few random airplanes that flew over head.
- When I came home, he was laying down wagging his tail. I put the groceries away first and then grabbed him and took him outside.
That’s a lot for less than 24 hours! I’m excited to see what the rest of the days will bring and I will surely keep you posted! Come back to www.courtneygiardina.com to stay up to date!!!