Friday, November 14, 2014

Guest Blog: 

The Story of Pops, a Scooby Rescue (AKA Poppet, Popsicola and PopChick)

Emma and Pops - Love at First Sight
Thank you to Emma Hudson, Pops' adoption Mum, for contributing this lovely story which will certainly make us cry and laugh. I had the pleasure of meeting little Pops while I was at Scooby last Winter. She is a delight and is now living the dream life in London.  Read this story written by dear Pops and edited by Emma. ;-)

It was a cold December in 2013 when I arrived in Scooby with a bunch of other terriers.  I was not in a very good way at all – my mouth hurt and my teeth were really long and hanging out of my mouth.  I am sure I did not look very pretty but I could not help it, no one had ever looked after me or been that nice to me before and I felt pretty scared and worried about what the next stage of my life was going to be.

However, after a week or so at Scooby I started to feel safer, and I was fed, and could run around the grass yard and snuggle up at night in the barn; so though I was in poor shape, I was finally able to find shelter, something to eat and some other friendly doggies to hang out with.  One day shortly after my arrival two ladies with ponytails and funny accents (who I later found out were called Melissa and Emma) arrived in our yard and started to pat us all and feed us treats.  I had to run off with my treat because my teeth were not nice and my mouth hurt so it took me longer to eat but I was not going to let other dogs steal them from me if I could help it.

What then became my future Mum (Emma) started to visit me and the other terriers with treats every day. I later understood why the ladies had funny voices – it was because they were British and not Spanish but I soon learnt the universal language of food, so I was a fast learner. Emma and Melissa seemed very upset about my teeth as they were not normal and made me look like a rodent (not that a rodent is a bad thing but I am a dog) and very soon I had another visitor (who I later learnt was their friend Veronica the vet) to come and look at my mouth.  I think Emma and Melissa were really concerned about the state of my teeth and I had some lumps, nasty gums (in fact no gums at all by all accounts) and I think there were a few tears going on around me at the time as my mouth was truly in a bad way but I just had learnt to live with it I guess.

Here I am with my friends and my soon to be Mum as she was then taking films of us all along with Melissa Beamish a long term volunteer at Scooby:

The videos were important for the kind people who looked after me there – these videos were to help reach out to people and they wanted to do their best to make sure we all got loving homes.   As with all the people at Scooby, the best things in life for them is to see us being given another chance for a good life in a kind and comfortable home.  I have to thank Scooby for rescuing me because if they had not my story might have ended a lot sooner.  Here are some other pics of me in the early days – you can just about see my horrible fang teeth – poor little me as I was back then with one of my friends that mum called Little Ted who I believe got a lovely home in Holland (but she is probably wrong knowing Mum. ;-) )

Emma AKA Mum disappeared for a while after December but Melissa, Veronica and other caring ladies I met along the way such as Simonetta, Sabine and Margie made sure I was ok and the next thing I knew I was in the hospital getting my teeth taken out all except three that could be saved – also some nasty lumps and boy, my mouth felt so much better afterwards. Big thank you to Veronica and Enrique the permanent vet for that relief and Mum cannot find the picture of me with Veronica after my teeth were taken out but it is around somewhere. I think Aunty Melissa might have it as she took the picture originally.
Anyway back to me – I was very brave after my operation and got sausage treats (nothing stops me from eating) and the next thing I knew was that I was in another pen (not the grassyard) and had a number of friends during that time, one of which was Rosie and the next one was a mad crazy friend called Flouta.  We used to keep each other warm at night and Flouta taught me how to wiggle my bum at the gates when people came up.

By now my hair was really resembling some eighties pop star hair cut and I also sported a fang down the side of my mouth like a sabre toothed tiger which is what I like to think I am (though it is certainly all bark and certainly no bite with me) but I do like to pretend I am a right little toughie and there was not much else to do all day but bark. (little do they know I am scared of Nancy Mum’s friend’s 12 week old kitten who tries to bite my tail).

Anyway, I digress – I was not sure why I was no longer in the grass pen but I did not complain, I just shouted louder and was probably the noisiest dog in the block. Then suddenly Emma arrived again and started taking me and Flouta for walks every day and spending time with me. I was VERY scared on my lead at first.  I was very nervous about people walking behind me and I preferred to actually reverse back myself without turning round as I had been kicked in my past (that I do try to forget but it is hard for me).  But a few of us started going out and when Flouta was with me I was much less scared – in fact I needed the comfort of being in a pack so usually that happened if Melissa and Veronica could come as well.  My now Mum took myself and Flouta out together but she said it was not very “chilled out” and Flouta just kept bashing me on the head and wacking me round the face with her tail (I did not mind, I knew she was just excited and besides I got LOADS of yummy treats).

Little did I know that my next big adventure was pending as Emma disappeared again, and a few weeks went by, and I just thought my life was going to be here forever. I did not mind, but I saw other dogs leaving and I wondered if anyone would take little old me.  I kept my hopes up but I really was not sure.

Next thing I knew I was in a carry case in the back of the car with Veronica.  I had no idea what was happening to me now and I must confess I was pretty scared, and I think Veronica was as well (but I later found out that was the prospect of London driving so I do not blame her).  We drove for a very long time and I stayed in a hotel with Veronica where I was a rubbish travelling companion and hid under the bed but I was pretty overwhelmed at this stage.  Then I think we went over water though cannot be sure as I just slept in my case in the car.  Finally, after what seemed like hours we arrived somewhere in the dark and the next thing I knew Emma came out – and I was then in a warm house and placed in the front room with a comfy bed whilst lots of things were brought in for me.

I had no idea what was happening, but I had lots of cuddles and some food and snuggled in my new bed that night in the lounge.  I also met my new Dad, Simon – it has taken me a while to trust him, as he is a man, and I have had a bad experience with men in the past – but he loves me so much and cuddles me, taking me to the coffee shops with him and for walks in the park (even though I am very embarrassing now and yell at literally everyone else there that I do not like the look of from dogs, prams, kids, bikes – it is not consistent, just depends on my mood).

So – anyway I arrived in March and I discovered that I now live in a country called the UK in a big city called London with lots of people. It was a very big adventure for me – and Mum said I was so brave.  I went to parks, I went on tubes and trains, buses, in cars (which I love). 

I made new friends everywhere I went, people wanting to find out about me and Mum and Dad have never been so popular – it is all THANKS to me, and now Mum has even got a job thanks to me as well (from a chance meeting in the small park on our road with another lady who also has a dog called Ottie who never lets me near her bones, boo).   I have three doggy friends next door called Poppy, Treacle and Ralph and I often go round there to play or go for walks with them. We are all terriers so when we get together we dash round the garden barking at squirrels and generally being naughty and noisy until we are told to be quiet and come back in again. I decide what dogs are like and I do not like Lorenzo the cheeky little French Bulldog down the road  who is rather over familiar with me and I AM A LADY – and a grumpy one at that.  He keeps trying his luck with me but I growl and he knows who is the boss – ME.

Since arriving in London I have campaigned for the welfare of my fellow animal friends by supporting the Animal Welfare Party in the run up to the European Elections in May and I was tweeted on social media by local press when I went to the polling office with Mum and Dad wearing my animal welfare party bandana. If I stood in the local elections, I swear I would get in and quite frankly do a better job than some of those humans. I was allowed into the polling station but I not allowed to vote (Mum suggested I should be able to mark my selection with my paw) but they said I was too young and not on the electoral register!!  Still my red bandana caught many people’s eyes and I still wear it sometimes to raise awareness.  Now I am loved and cared for I want to help other animals.  It has taken me a long time to get where I am now as I am an old lady (ten years old the vet thinks) though when I am out I act like a little springing puppy – I feel I have many years left.

I have another lovely friend called Phyl who looks after me when Mum and Dad are not around and we go on lovely long walks in the big London parks with lots of other dogs.  However, I caused chaos a few months ago as I decided to walk off for a while and then got a bit disorientated and could not seem to hear Phyl calling me countless times. So I ran off and Aunty Phyl was crying and almost collapsed running up the hill after me (naughty Phyl and her cigarette smoking :_)) Still, fortunately, the police saw what was happening and sent out two big patrol cars that had to block ALL the traffic on one of the busiest roads in London whilst I was safely rounded up and put back on the lead.  To be honest, I could not see what the fuss was about but Aunty Phyl was very upset and because of that I was not allowed off my lead for a little while until I learnt to come when called.

Now, I wear a little winter coat and I do not need a lead when I go for a walk with Mum as I have been taught to walk by her side and to not run off or go too far in front. However, when we have to cross roads and go to the park and heaths then I have to wear my lead as like most other people in London I have no road sense.

Since arriving, I have had two very good haircuts and countless showers as I have a lovely habit of rolling in poo.  The last incident was unpleasant as it was of the human variety – and Mum was not pleased.  I thought I smelt wonderful but Mum did not feel the same and I was most put out that I had to be showered twice so I smelt better but her idea of what smells good is very different from mine.

I am rarely alone and when I get the odd couple of hours to myself, I actually just lounge around in my bed listening to the radio that is always left on for me.  Now it is winter, the heating is on – bliss – so now I just lie on my back with my paws in the air and wait to be delivered the next treat to my bed or just lean over and drink from the water bowl.
In the evenings I might go to the pub quiz with Mum and Dad or sit in the middle of them on the sofa and watch TV. They tell each other not to share their food with me but when the other is not looking, one of them will always give me food from their plate.  I know I am not allowed some foods that are bad for me like chocolate but I have my own doggy chocs.

My mouth is much better, but I have to be on permanent medication else my gums flare up – we do not know why as my three teeth are very clean – but I am comfortable now and not in pain and I love my food – well when I say MY food I mean the range of pasta, vegetarian sausages and other delicacies that come my way. I no longer really like the dog food from the shops so I rarely have it as I tend to just stick my nose up at it now.

As it is colder now and I am used to the “radiator” that my bed is near, it makes it even tougher for me to get out of bed in the morning for my little walk to the park; but I do like it once I am up.  After my morning walk I have my breakfast and then wait for my long walk that comes around lunchtime – also on some days in the week when Mum is not around Dad takes me for a coffee in the local area where I get fussed over by loads of people and Dad feels popular (but that is only because they want to know about ME not him) . Other past times are watching Mum and Dad being busy, yawning, leaning out of bed to get water, barking at the upstairs neighbours coming in the front door but not actually leaving my bed (why go to the effort) and generally looking so sweet that I am showered with treats and nicknamed Louis the 14th by Dad.  I do not actually know who Louis the 14th was but he was no WAY as important as me.

The only rule Mum and Dad have for me is that I am not allowed on their bed as I have my own lovely one.  However, rules are made to be broken and in the early days, when I heard them coming through the door I would jump off and get back into my basket pretending I had not been on the bed despite the dent that was exactly the same shape as me. However, I hurt my paw the other week whilst out on the heath so as I had to wear a bandage for a while I knew if I got on the bed and looked even cuter than usual (as if I could look anymore cute) I would be allowed to do whatever I liked and here is proof (above me is a silly cat tail and ears costume that Mum put on me for a joke for a few seconds):

Since arriving in London, everyone thinks I am gorgeous and pretty and I have won the hearts of so many. So to the shelter animals out there – remember, do not give up hope of finding the right humans for you because if I can, then you can as well.

To other humans that might be thinking about buying from a breeder or a pet shop- please don’t. Until humans make sure they are responsible for our birth control (as we don’t know how to stop ourselves breeding) then there will always be thousands and thousands of animals like me who for whatever reason lost their owners or were dumped or lost.  It is not our fault we are there and we make excellent companions. We will show you way more love than you can show us and we do not mind – because all we want is to feel safe and warm and will repay you with unconditional love and loyalty.

To all the wonderful people at Scooby and around the world helping animals – Mummy, Daddy and I salute you every day of our lives.

Now, I am done with all this blogging so I am off to take a sleep on the sofa on the blanket and try to steal yet more treats from Mum and Dad – what a dog’s life eh?

Pops Hudson, London, former shelter dog at Scooby