Minnie Moo is my other roomie. Mom says, “Minnie’s kind of your ‘mini me,’ Tilly Willy Dawg.”
Her name is Minnie Moo, also known as The Tank. Minnie is a Tank of Happiness, she barrels around the house, wiggling out happiness from every hair on her tank-like structure. And because her personality is so dear, I gladly share my couch space with that happy girl.
Minnie beats her tail against the couch VERY FAST and VERY LOUD when she wants Mom’s attention. It’s a pretty good tactic because it works every time. Mom says, “Awww, Minnie! Aren’t you so happy and a cutie patootie!” (Hello, I don’t think it can get any better than that!)
Minnie was found at an animal shelter in a rural town in Kansas. (We know nothing about her life before that time.) During her stay in that shelter, she was heading for a visit to the gas chamber, and so was her mate Rocco who was dumped there with her. The shelter was overcrowded, and Minnie and Rocco are pit-bull-type dogs (we prefer the term pibble instead of pit bull). An overcrowded shelter and being a pibble are two things that will fast track a dog to the gas chamber. Let’s also add the fact that black cats and black dogs are the last to be adopted in general. So, Minnie had a slim chance of survival.
It turns out that Minnie was pregnant with pups as well, so there was a lot at stake for these two helpless souls who had been dumped at the shelter and were scared to death. Thanks to a tip from the VERY KIND animal shelter employee that was caring for Minnie and Rocco in the small Kansas town, a dedicated and wonderful rescue group were able to pull the two dogs into safety. They escaped from being put to sleep!! And when I say that, I mean that’s a Forever Sleep. (Can you believe there’s a gas chamber for dogs? Even when they haven’t done anything wrong, but because they’re just taking up too much space? Boy am I ever so grateful to have the life that I do – to be able to make Mom laugh at least once a day, and give love and kisses, play, snuggle, eat cookies, and go for walks!!)
So after the small town in Kansas, and the rescue organization took control of the situation, Minnie went to her first foster home, had her babies, and they all got adopted immediately. Then it was time for Minnie to switch foster homes (after a few months, people and dogs get attached to each other, so we have to shake it up), and she came to our house. Mom said, “Till, Minnie is only staying with us until she finds her forever home. But in the meantime, we have got to help this baby girl for a little while, ‘kay?”
Maybe a Forever Home?
Minnie, Toby and I were rolling right along, playing a lot, eating with gusto together, walking perfectly together. I personally thought this foster thing was a ton of fun! The more, the merrier! And it was like Minnie and I were cut from the same cloth: both loved the couch, both loved Mom, both loved sitting for cookies, both loved laying on the deck in the sun.
A couple of weeks after she came to our house, a family became interested in adopting Minnie. They came over to meet her right after dinnertime: A Mom, a Dad, two kids – one girl, one boy. They were all enamored with Minnie, surrounding her with cooing and kissing noises. Minnie was hesitant about the intense attention from all these people at once, and each time the little girl would reach out to pet Minnie, that dog would run and hide behind My Mom. This happened a few times in our kitchen, and me and Mom saw it and exchanged glances. Minnie was trying to tell us, but Mom and I weren’t sure the new family heard Minnie.
The family wanted to take Minnie to their house for an overnight stay, to see if she was a fit for them. All of this happened so fast while we were huddled on the kitchen floor, and then Mom got the harness out of the drawer and Minnie did her happy dance because we were going for a walk!
The New Mom led Minnie on the leash through the front door, and the whole family started to pile into their truck parked in our driveway. My Mom peeked through the window blind so that Minnie wouldn’t see her. Once Minnie saw everyone getting in the truck, she planted her feet in the yard and wouldn’t move. Then she tried to scamper back toward the house, panicked. The panic was all over her face because she didn’t want to leave us, and My Mom, and the forever home that she had already chosen! All four paws still planted, so the New Mom picked Minnie up and put her in the truck and away they went. My Mom started to cry and said, “The people need to see if Minnie is a fit, Till.”
A few minutes later, Mom got a picture on her phone of Minnie panting and hanging her head out the truck window, desperate to sniff all the way so that she could track back if she got away. The New Mom wrote under the picture, “Minnie loves the car! She is thrilled to go for a ride!” Mom dropped more tears into her lap, and all over the phone. She looked at me and said, “I don’t know how we’re going to do this, Till Will. My heart’s already breaking!” I looked at her right back and I sent out a wish that the people would hear that Minnie had already chosen her forever home, with us.
We didn’t sleep good that night. (Even our cats Teddy and Tom missed Minnie! Go figure!) Mom kept tossing around the bed, feeling like there was one of us missing, and she had restless dreams about losing a baby in the fog. After an achingly horrible night, we got up and Toby and I sluggishly went outside, wondering what this day would bring us. There was no Tank of Happiness to march, march, march down into the yard with, and then eat dinners with gusto together. It was pretty boring and sad without our happy Minnie to pal around and play with.
Within an hour, Mom got a text on her phone.
“Minnie has been hiding under the dining room table since we got home last night. Do you mind if we drop her off this morning? She’s not happy here.”
Mom shouted, “HOORAY!!!” off our back deck, into the beautiful trees back there. “The humans heard you, Minnie! Good girl!!”
Minnie’s Return (& A Nickname)
Minnie came barreling into the house with her tank-like grace and then wouldn’t leave Mom, or me, or Toby alone. She was a little bit uncomfortable and needy, but also somewhat distant. And she panted for 24 hours, more a sign of anxiety than of being hot.
Mom saw that the separation had really done a number on Minnie because she was eating lots of grass in the yard and then panting some more. Mom and I tried to explain to Minnie the fact that humans hadn’t yet heard her wishes, and she needed to demonstrate to them that they weren’t a fit – and she finally had been a success! Me and Mom understood what Minnie was saying way back in the kitchen when she told us that she had already chosen her forever home – with US! But the other humans had to see for themselves. And hiding under the table was undeniable communication, Minnie!! Good girl! Way to go! So, a happy ending for our Tank of Happiness, and for us.
To honor the moment, and to give Minnie an official nickname since she was staying with us forever, Mom said, “Minnie looked exactly like an Angus cow eating grass tonight. Her nick name will be Minnie Moo, and she makes three dogs – an official DOG PACK!” It all worked out great, because “The Moo” got to stay with us, and her nickname also rhymes with Tobaroo!