Teida's Story — Life Through The Eyes Of A Dog
Chapter One - A New Day, A New Beginning
12+ Today is a glorious spring morning. Beams of light dapple the tiny insects scurrying in the dew. Flowers nod their sleepy heads. Flashes of sun peep through the garden to climb into a blue sky. Why do I have the feeling that today, for some reason, is not going to be a normal day?
Linda, my owner, is holding the cordless phone, her nimble fingers dialling. 'I hope someone answers ... Damn! I'll try their mobile,' I hear Linda say. She is drumming her fingers against the wall. She paces up and down the back pathway. Sweat pours off of her. I sense that she is anxious.
She starts talking; her voice is high and clipped. The finger drumming continues.
'Oh, thank you!' A sudden relief is in her voice. She leans against the wall, a great breath coming out of her. 'Teida and I will be there in an hour.' Was that my name I just heard? Who is she talking to? How am I part of this conversation?
I follow Linda into the laundry room as she hangs up the phone. Grabbing my blue lead from a rusty hook over the rattling washing machine, she gets me ready to go for a mid-morning stroll. Just the two of us. It isn't often that Linda and I are able to hang out on our own. I bark, excited, as she bends to put the leash round my neck. She smiles, but there is a hurt behind her eyes. Part of me is happy as I wonder where our walk will take us today, but something is wrong. We're heading towards the car, but it's not in the usual place. I follow Linda.
As soon as the car door opens, I leap up onto my seat, right next to Linda. We drive away, our cozy home receding into the distance. This time, Linda decides to drive in a different direction to our normal routine. Instead of turning left, we turn right. Instead of driving up a very steep hill, we are on a flatter yet bumpier road passing a shopping center I have never seen before. There are other cars on the left and right of us.
Swerving around a corner, I nearly fall over.
—Slow down Linda. Why are you driving this way?
I look at Linda. With a sheer determined look on her face, she is definitely on a mission. Something just doesn't seem right.
Not a word is spoken. There is no music playing on the car stereo, not even Linda's favourite music that she always plays to cheer herself up when she is down. The silence is deafening. So I decide to bark. I then lift my paws and place them gently on Linda's lap. She pushes them away. I lick her hand. I even nuzzle her with my nose. 'Not now Teida ...'
Tension fills the air. What do I do? Why is Linda treating me this way? What's wrong? Linda knows she can talk to me. She has been my owner ever since I can remember. She's my family.
I remember the day Linda came to collect me. I was the last pup left. My mama was nuzzling me and I was hiding my head against her body. I finally peered upwards and noticed that Linda was not like the angry man who came beforehand. Her eyes gave me hope. They were soft, like my mama's warm fur. Linda came forward and picked me up, patting my mama at the same time, telling her not to worry, she would take good care of me. I remember a feeling of weightlessness as she lifted me into the palm of her hand, caressing my body so tenderly. Linda carefully put me in a small box and we drove away. My new home waited.
Today, things are different. What's wrong? Is it me?
I smell my food, toys, bedding, leash, and that annoying
medication. It's all in here with us. Everything neatly placed on the back seat. Where are we going? Are we moving again? Linda and I have moved house many times and been to many places, but that can't be what's happening now, can it?
I usually like going out with Linda but with this total silence and being ignored, perhaps it would have been better if I was left at home. Linda is acting so differently to normal.
Our journey ends. We are now in front of an unfamiliar place, a house I have never seen before. Following behind Linda, I pass a white car that is larger than usual and has strange markings down the side. Squeezing between the car and the fence, I discover garden beds surrounding me from all angles. The scent of the gardens fills my nose. We pass through a side gate leading through to a back deck with many pot plants displayed in rows against the back window, being shaded from the hot sun. Two unfamiliar people, a man and a woman, are at a table. They stand. Looking up from where I am, their heads appear to almost touch the roof. The lady appears to be quiet and a bit nervous. She has soft looking brown hair cascading down her back. She gently puts the back of her hand towards my face, allowing me to sniff her. The man stands silently before me. They introduce themselves as Annie and George.
Peaceful, serene energy surrounds this environment. Maybe Linda and I are moving here? As Linda talks with Annie and George, I quietly make my way into the garden. I am alone in a new world of smells, sounds, and sights, surrounded by many shadows.
The wind picks up. Chimes and bells hanging from above sound their chorus in the breeze. A loud slam interrupts my exploration. What was that? The side gate has locked itself. Returning to the back deck, in front of me is a round red bucket filled with water. It smells fresh. I lap it up. The cool water feels good on my tongue. At the same time, Linda's car starts up and pulls away.
She's left without saying goodbye. Where is she going? Will I see her again? Why is she leaving me here? Annie and George do not say anything. There is no need. I can tell that they know what is going on. Perhaps Annie was the person Linda spoke to earlier.
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Fences surround me on every side, too high to jump. From this very moment, my instincts tell me that after six years with Linda, this place is my new home. I will miss her, but I can already tell that this is a wonderful place to be.
My attention is drawn to the aroma of the sweet-smelling flowers. The scents of lemon, passionfruit, and lavender fill the air as I explore my new backyard. I am enveloped by the scent of summer roses and by fields of yellow and white daisies. In the far corner, a tall blue and orange flower reaches up to the sun. Soft pink and white petals have fallen onto the grass below. They feel good beneath my paws. A stone and pebble pathway leads to another large side gate. It looks shiny. The gate smells like new paint. It's clear that someone devotes a lot of time to this garden. There is no trace of another dog. No scents, sounds or sights tell me that another is here. What an opportunity! I set about marking my territory with great pride.
Peeping through the pale wooden fence, I see that this house is on a street corner. Instead of another yard, I see beds of grass meeting it on the other side. There are dogs on leashes, people strolling, children playing. The sounds of my new world fill my ears. Occasionally, cars drive past, slowly, their engines humming. A man in a cap shields his forehead from the sun.