I was used to the daily schedule of ours, wake up, nurse, sleep. It was a usual thing until about two months after my birth. Once we were a little older, my siblings and I spent our days playing, practicing our barking, and of course nursing. As we got older, mom started to get irritated when we nursed, and eventually we were eating something different. It was strange, even mom ate it! I loved how it tasted, at first we had it with water on it and then just dry. I heard the humans calling it “dry food.” For most of my siblings, it was a daily fight to get to the food bowl first but for me, it was easy. I could jump over all of the other puppies and gobble up as much food as I could until there wasn't any more to eat. Some dogs might wish that they were still little, but I don't.
One day when we were running around the house and terrorizing the kitties the older girl played with us. I had always wondered why she didn't play with us, she was usually laying on the couch looking at the square little light thing that she always had with her. It seem as if we played for hours, I tugged on her hair, she threw some toys, and we even got treats! Once we went back with mom, we all fell fast asleep. I loved that day and I even dreamed about me re-living that day over and over again.
After that fun day of play our days had a new pattern. We would eat, play with the older girl, and sleep. Usually it was all in a different order, and I loved it. That was before I really knew that I was different. I had always thought that I looked just like the other puppies, the typical brown near the nose, black body, deep brown eyes and eyebrows, the consistent look of a Rottweiler. I heard the humans speaking, one day as we played with both of the girls. They were talking about me! I looked at myself in the reflector (I later learned it was called a mirror) and I realized that what they said about me was true. I was bigger than all of the puppies and my paws were almost as big as my dad’s. Most noticeably, I had more black on my face than what we are supposed to have! I became sad, and I began to realize that I was undesirable.
Another few months went by and almost half of my siblings had been what my mom called, “Chosen.” Mom had told us that when we got to a certain age that we would be chosen to go to another family's house and live there. She said that we would all go somewhere great! My mother's words and barks encouraged us to be the best puppies that we could be. We all strived to be chosen, and the first one to leave was one of my sisters. Mom told us not to be sad that she left, and we would all be chosen by our very own special people. When more and more of us left, I began to have that feeling of not be wanted. “I will never ever be chosen, and I will live a terrible life,” I thought.
When we were a little older, I believe there were six of us left, we were allowed to play with our big sister from another of mom’s litters. My siblings were still small, compared to me, so my older sister, Rosie, would rather play with me because she could roughhouse with me. We often got in trouble together, but it was worth it because we got to play with the older girl, the humans call her Juju. She would throw toys for Rosie and I to fetch, but Rosie always got to them first. Juju called me “Grrrr,” but it wasn't my name. I loved to practice my growling, especially when I was tugging on things. My days were very enjoyable, but I still longed to be chosen.
There weren't many of us puppies left that night. Many have been chosen. I believe it was only me, one of my sisters, and two of my brothers. The humans seemed ecstatic for when Juju would wake up in the morning. The hung up decorations and then, something strange happened, Juju’s mom and dad put a collar on me, I knew that a collar was something that you got when you chosen. It was purple, and way smaller than Rosie’s. After that, the humans went to sleep, and I was trying to fall asleep on the floor, and Rosie was on the couch. I was confused. Was I being chosen? Who where my new people? Where would I go?
The next morning I woke up and, groggily, followed Rosie, who was following Juju, to the bathroom. When she looked at me, she was surprised! She picked me up and was very excited! Everyone told her “Happy Birthday.” I realized that I had finally been chosen! I had finally had an owner! By the end of the day, she had even named me. Thanks to Juju, my name is now Edgar. I will never forget the day that I got chosen.
Now that I have an owner, every day has been awesome! I mostly spend my days play-fighting with Rosie and chasing cats. My favorite thing to do is to run. Whenever Juju takes me outside, I run and chase things. She is training me well, and I have learned so many new things. I know sit, shake, and I also know how to properly walk on my leash. I made such a big deal about being chosen, and now I have the best owner! I know now that it doesn't matter at all if you are different. In fact, I believe that being different is better than being like everyone else. In the end, I realized that I would rather be different and be with Juju than be identical to other dogs and not be with Juju.
Chosen: A Narrative Essay in a Dog's Point of View
November 10, 2017