A Letter to My Childhood Dog Wiggles, Who Lived in the Basement and Backyard | Dogster

This story made my eyes well up with tears and my heart ache with loneliness.

“I’m sorry,
Wiggles.
I was only a child and
the rules set by my parents I had to abide by. How they felt a dog should live
was not my desire.

In fact, I cried over
you. To this day I still have occasional dreams of you outside in the elements,
alone. I see you in the cold basement. I remember you whimpering for human
contact, attention.
Perhaps you played a
role in shaping my character, mainly my fervor to aid creatures in need and
connect with them all via limitless love.
I remember one day
after grade school let out, climbing into our family station wagon to meet you,
a black-and-white Lab-mix pup. I vaguely remember that my mom saw you with
other pups in a newspaper ad by a local humane society. She picked you out. You
had a typical Lab personality, happy and energetic, and you earned the name
Wiggles because that’s what you did.

Most of your puppy
stage I no longer remember. I just remember you being kept in our basement with
the door to the upstairs kitchen occasionally cracked open so you could see us.
That door was hooked with a chain guard allowing just your nose to fit through.
The basement was
unlike some finished ones in today’s homes with carpet, furniture, and adequate
heat. Ours was dark. It had a concrete floor. It was cold. Cobwebs and spiders
lived there. Windows were covered with heavy fabric curtains. Water trickled
across the concrete during heavy rains.
When you weren’t
living down there, you were ushered by a short leash up and down the back
sidewalk to a fenced yard behind our home. We touched your head when walking to
and from the house and garage. When we gardened or my brother and I played in
an aboveground swimming pool in our backyard, we interacted with you a bit.

As gardens increased
in number, your access to the yard diminished, as you were fenced out of at
least half of it. You stayed outside from the time you whimpered in the
basement in the morning until after dark. Rain. Storms. Snow. Wind. You were
out there seeking shelter under a wood deck with space between the boards that
let the rain soak you. You’d lie there in the mud, alone. “

Read the rest of the story here:
A Letter to My Childhood Dog Wiggles, Who Lived in the Basement and Backyard | Dogster

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