Over the past 5 months, our semi-toothless Chihuahua little brother, Xiao Lao-lao (Little Old) has had his home here with me and big sister, Little Flower.
During that time, he has transformed from a dirty, malnourished, frightened stray to the perfect little house dog. He loves to be petted. He loves to run and go for walks. He loves to crunch down bones (using what little back teeth he has.)
His stained, coarse coat has turned to soft white. His hairless tail and ears have now filled in beautifully. His few, green-coated teeth (a nasty color due to poor eating habits) are now clean and shiny.
Our first venture for a home was a bust due to the small child that lived there. A hyperactive, exuberant 4-year-old is just not the best company for a small, quiet, gentle 5-pound dog.
It was back to the drawing board.
Over the weeks of walking the campus, Lao-lao has drawn many admirers and sympathetic neighbors but everyone hedged when it came to taking in a dog. That’s a lot of responsibility but I kept asking.
During the lunchtime hours, I often take Little Flower and Lao-lao to one of the administration offices where my mail is kept. Since no one is around, having the dogs in the building is not a problem.
On a recent visit to the office, I found Mr. Xiong (shee-ohng) busy at his computer. He is one of the administrators in charge of school affairs. His biggest job is to write all the official documents and reports for the school to submit to higher government authorities.
His Chinese writing skills are excellent, according to many, mostly due to the fact his vocation is that of a Chinese teacher. Like a majority of those at the lower administration level, he also teaches 6 hours a week to the Chinese teaching majors at our college.
In other words, he’s a very busy guy.
When we stopped by the office, Mr. Xiong was very excited to see the two dogs and wanted to pet one of them. Lao-lao is the friendlier of the two so I placed him in his arms.
It seemed a perfect match.
Mr. Xiong petted him gently, a big smile on his face as he gazed down at his little lap dog.
“I’m looking for a home for him,” I said hopefully. “Would you like to adopt him? You can ask your family.”
Mr. Xiong brightened immediately.
He said his wife and son both love dogs.
My “Terrorizing Chinese Kid” light went off.
“How old is your son?” I asked.
“13,” he replied.
Ah! Good age for a dog like Lao-lao.
So after discussing the when and where for a trial period, we settled on this week for a dog visit.
In my great concern for Lao-lao’s happiness, I wrote out a long list of instructions about our little Chi: his toilet outings, his eating habits, his shy nature, his likes and dislikes. These I had translated so the family could turn to them if there was a problem.
Then yesterday evening, I accompanied Mr. Xiong to his home to settle Lao-lao into a new place. One of my students, Wing, came along with me for fun. She wanted to say goodbye to Lao-lao before she leaves for her summer vacation on Thursday.
No one was home at the time so I didn’t get to meet the rest of the family, which was somewhat of a concern, but I just had hope that all would go well.
After 3 days, Mr. Xiong will give the verdict about keeping Lao-lao or not.
If the answer is “yes”, our little brother will come back to me for a few days to say goodbye before returning him to Mr. Xiong’s family for a permanent home.
If the answer is “no”, then it’s back to searching again.
Keep your fingers crossed!
From Luzhou, Ping An (peace) sent you way for the day.