Riggs was full of himself, and into everything. At first he wouldn’t keep quiet long enough for me even to look at his face properly, but after a few days when he settled and knew he could trust me, I was able to comb him out, trim the hair around his eyes so he could see properly, and verify that, for a change, here was a little dog, bursting with personality, and with nothing wrong with him.
He had been found on the road, and had to stay for a certain length of time in case the original owner turned up. But he reminded me so much of another rescue named Jovi — only in a smaller edition — that I decided to contact the family who had been so disappointed when they were told that someone else had already adopted him.
I had no idea whether they still wanted a dog, but I took photos and sent them, and when I got no reply, I phoned. It turned out that they had not received the photos, so it was perfect timing when I did call. I was assured that the husband would be summoned from his job in the country, and instead of coming to town later in the week, he would come and bring the family in to meet Riggs that same afternoon.
The only other thing I could do was just pray that the original owners didn’t appear at this eleventh hour, as they would still take priority, and it would be the second time that these nice people would be disappointed. Later in the day and near to closing time, when I had finished walking everyone, including Riggs, I thought of calling again to remind them, and stopped myself, as that would have been too pushy. I was in fact halfway out the main door, feeling depressed, when I heard my name, and there was the lady with another little dog, recently adopted, black and fluffy, getting a check-up. They had asked and had been told that the adoption section was closed for the day, so they presumed I had left.
This called for serious measures. I had to sneak. I went back round to the kennels, took Riggs out, and nonchalantly walked him around to the front, where I was greeted by the husband and two young sons, all of whom promptly fell in love with him. By the time the lady came out with her little girl puppy, it was a done deal, and only a question of filling out forms (as they had already paid their money the first time), and arranging a surgery date.
Even after that I was still a little nervous as to whether someone might suddenly appear and claim him, but the days passed uneventfully. I kept telling him each day what a lovely life he was going to have, and no one claimed him. Eventually the time came for his operation, and the following day he went to his new home. Only then did I allow myself to breathe and relax. The last I heard, Riggs and Zoe (the little black one, now his constant companion) had decided they should sleep in bed with the boys and the boys agreed, but Mum wasn’t sure. I suspect Mum lost the battle.