No Wait… where are you going… Tina… please don’t leave me here… I’m scared and all alone… everything is so new and different!

Please take me with you! Please….

Oh… thank goodness you’re back… I was so scared, and I tried to jump over the gate to be with you, but I just couldn’t get up high enough!

I was so relieved when Tina came back through the gate… We walked back to the cottage and sat down outside for a while. She held me and spoke to me in her soft gentle voice. I felt better.

I could feel Tina’s pensive energy – contemplating something, I was just not sure what yet.   All that mattered was that she came back and I was no longer alone.

Then Tina told me she had to go to work. I was not sure what that meant but this time she locked me in the cottage and left again. I cried and cried – calling her to come back but this time she didn’t. And I could not get out because she had locked me up. Eventually I quietened down and just lay on the floor thinking about all that had happened in the last 24 hours.

I was born on a farm in April 2019, my mommy is a Siberian Husky and my Dad a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I was very young when the owners sold me to a family. I was very sad when I realized I wasn’t going to see my mommy anymore. But there were two doggies in the new house and the family cared for me. The two doggies were old and small and didn’t want to play with me, so I started getting into trouble. Then a few weeks later they put me in the car and took me for a drive. I then met another lady who picked me up, hugged me and told me everything was going to be alright and then I went for another ride. This lady’s name is Charnell.

I spent the evening with Kathy and Garth, and I met some cats for the first time. Oh gosh, they didn’t like me much and made all these strange noises, but Kathy and Garth loved me and spoilt me with yummy treats. The next morning, I went for another ride and then I saw Charnell again on another farm.

This farm was big and there were lots of other dogs there. I was nervous because I had never been with so many other dogs before. But Kathy and Charnell kept me safe and I wasn’t too scared.

I slept in the room with my new Granny Elza. They said I was too little to run around with the big dogs. Slowly they introduced me to some of the other younger dogs, and as I grew bigger over the next few weeks I gradually met more and more of the big dogs. My new doggie friends told me this place was called Husky Rescue KZN. This is the place where huskies that are no longer wanted, or got lost, come too to be safe, loved and cared for. They told me that Charnell and her family look after us until they can find us nice new homes.

I loved playing and running around the garden with the other younger dogs. We would romp all day, and there was always someone at home. We were never left alone. They fed me three times a day and I loved my food.

One day Charnell put me and my friend Faith in the car and we went for a drive to another farm where we met a strict man called Daniel and two ladies called Tina and Jackie. Daniel had his own dogs and we all ran around playing. Daniel made us do some weird things and used words like ‘sit’ and ‘down’. We quickly realised if we did it right, we got a yummy treat.

Tina was very gentle, and had a very soft voice, but I sat down next to her a few times and she gave me some loves and I quickly started liking Tina. I heard them using the words “Therapy Dog” a few times. I didn’t know what that was exactly, so I didn’t pay much attention. After a few hours we got in the car and drove home again. It was nice to get back home to my friends.

The next week we went back to Daniel’s farm and his doggies and we met Tina again. This time Daniel was telling Tina to do certain things with me. When I got it right, they gave me a treat!

Last week Charnell put me back in the car and we went for another long ride and eventually we arrived at a strange house. Tina and Daniel were there again. I met two other doggies called Nina and Eva, and we ran around the garden for a while. It was an interesting place.  Tina and Daniel took me into a cottage, and I met two new cats, Buddy and Boxy. I could sense they didn’t like me much, but they weren’t as noisy as Kathy’s cats. Daniel told me to ‘leave!’ every time I looked at the cats. When I listened and looked back at him, he gave me a treat and told me I was a good dog.

So Charnell spent a few hours talking with Daniel and Tina while I was running around exploring the new garden. Then Charnell came to me and told me that she loved me but that this is now my new home with Tina. Then she said goodbye. I was a bit confused about what was happening. When they walked to the gate, I walked with thinking I was going to go home with her like I always did. But then she went through and forced me to stay behind and I wasn’t happy. I wanted to go back home with her. She told me she was leaving but that I mustn’t be scared, that everything was going to be ok. Then she left. Tina came back. I was still confused and sad but at least Tina was there, and I didn’t feel so bad anymore.

In this strange new place, the first night came.  Tina kept on talking to me, reassuring me.   She showed me my new bed and gave me supper. The cats didn’t come close though, and the one called Buddy cried and cried.

The next day Tina left me and that was when I tried to jump over the gate. But she came back. During the day she left but always came back a little while later to check up on me.

I watched her doing all sorts of things around the cottage and the gates with the help of another man.   She told me that she was making the cottage and yard safe for me.

Each day got a little bit easier and I was learning all the commands ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’ and ‘leave’ – especially when I started chasing the cats… Tina said I was not allowed to do that. But it was fun….

Then a week later Charnell came back to visit. I was so happy to see her, and she was happy to see me too. Tina helped me to show Charnell all the commands I was learning, and she told Charnell how good I was.

After a while they sat down and started chatting and I lay on the floor nearby, happy and content.  I quietly listened to them chat about me and all sorts of other things.

Charnell was asking Tina some questions and Tina was telling her about the things she struggled with after something really bad happened to her a few years ago. She told Charnell that she would have panic attacks – not sure what those are – at least two or three times a week. But then Tina told Charnell that since my arrival she hadn’t had any panic attacks. That really made Charnell so happy and even Tina seemed amazed when she said that. And because they were happy, I was happy!

So, I started thinking… is this what a therapy dog is… a dog that helps people with emotional problems – like Tina when she has panic attacks? Well, if that’s the case then I am proud to be trained as a therapy dog to help Tina feel better about herself and live a more normal life.

Charnell said goodbye again but told me she would be back. And this time it was easier to say goodbye at the gate and turn around to go back home with Tina.