Written by our fabulous supporter Denise Chatton Pienaar who nearly returned Talini – we always tell new owners it takes 3 weeks or more for a rescue to settle in and integrate into a pack. GIVE THEM A CHANCE!
My name is Talini. My parents tell me it means ‘Snow Angel’. I kinda like that. Its cool. And it describes me well. Apart from my ears, I am snow white! Or very nearly. I also have a black ring around the base of my tail and what Mom calls a black ‘splodge’ on my bum! Well, not my bum exactly – but you know what I mean. The top of my left leg (near my bum). Mom and Dad always say that after my Creator had finished painting my perfect, velvety ears, He must have spilt the paint. Yes, strange as it may seem, I was created by God! Just like you!
Life has not always been kind to me and I have suffered much abuse at the hands of humans. But I don’t talk about that much anymore and it is fast fading from my memory.
Before being taken to my new parents, I spent a few days with Auntie Billy. She was kind to me and told me that I would be going to a place where people would give me the love and care that I deserved. I would be going to my ‘forever home’. I wondered what a ‘home’ was. I had never had one, you see. I felt scared. Would these people really be kind to me? Love me? What was ‘love’ anyway? I’d never known love either! I wished I could stay with Auntie Billy – But she said she couldn’t keep me because she had already rescued so many poor abandoned, neglected huskies just like me. So, she handed me over to Auntie Mel, who was going to take me to meet my new family. She was also kind and told me that my big sister, Lara, was looking forward to meeting me.
I felt confused and frightened. What was going on? Why was I being taken to so many different places? How long would I be in my ‘new home’ before being moved on again? A day? A week?
I remember meeting my new big sister, Lara. I don’t think she liked me much. She sniffed me all over and then showed me her teeth. She didn’t exactly growl, but I could tell that she wasn’t impressed.
Auntie Mel kissed me goodbye and told me to be a good girl. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be a good girl. I was left in this strange place, with lots of strange people, a strange husky, and two strange cats who hissed and spat every time they saw me. Seriously? THIS was my forever home? I ran frantically around the garden, looking for a way out. But there was none. Everything was closed! Barred! Gated! No escape! I was a prisoner! Panic, fear, anxiety, agitation and depression came over me all at once! It was horrible!
A few days later, when my parents took me to the vet, the vet said that I was ‘stressed’. No kidding! I could see that my new family were trying to be kind to me, but I was finding it difficult to trust humans. Any humans. In my experience, they are an unkind, uncaring, cruel and thoroughly untrustworthy lot!
About a week after being taken to my new home something unfortunate happened. And I felt absolutely terrible about it. It wasn’t that I meant to bite my new dad. I really didn’t. In fact, I don’t remember biting him at all. Lara and I got into a bit of an argument. Nothing too serious and if we had been left alone, we would have sorted it out. But Dad panicked and tried to push us apart. He caught his thumb on my tooth and the next thing I knew there was blood everywhere and everyone was cross with me. But I didn’t bite him! I know I didn’t! I have never bitten anyone! Dad had to be taken for stitches and I was put outside by myself. In disgrace. And then there was talk that I might have to go back. So! Just as I thought! My new family were no different from all the other cruel, hateful humans!
Then I noticed something strange. Mom was crying. And she wasn’t crying because Dad had got hurt. She was crying because she thought that she might not be able to keep me. Really? That gave me hope. And then Dad spoke up for me and said that it was his own fault that he had got hurt. He told Mom that I hadn’t bitten him. So, Mom dried her tears and they decided to keep me. On condition that I didn’t ‘bite’ anyone else, of course.
It took me about 3 weeks to settle and to realise that my family really did care about me! They really did want to keep me. They really weren’t going to send me back.
I am never going to be hurt again! Never going to be hungry again! I really am in my forever home!
I am Talini’s mom. I was going to tell her story, but she wanted to tell it herself. All I can say is that I am glad we persevered with her. She is the sweetest little snow angel ever. There is absolutely no malice or spite in her at all. Never in my life have I had a dog who takes food so gently from my hand. In fact, we can take food right out of her mouth and she doesn’t do a thing. She is fine with the cats and usually ignores them. She is wonderful with children, and her and Lara are now the best of friends!
My message to anyone adopting a husky – or any dog, for that matter, is this. Please, please give it time. Understand where the animal is coming from. Understand that they are frightened and confused and it may take a while for them to settle into their new home.
I am so glad that we persevered with Talini. I am so glad that we didn’t turn out to be yet another bunch of humans who failed her.
With love, patience and good food, she has truly blossomed. We love her.