When I came to Asherpark, I didn’t have a name. Mom named me Nellie because she always liked that name. She figured that would be a nice name if someone adopted me.
After a few days at Asherpark my dad said I wasn’t going anywhere. I was going to spend the rest of my life right where I was.
Soon mom took to calling me Baby. I’m only ten pounds lighter than Ash, but I look a lot smaller. So even though I’m the oldest, my nickname is Baby.
You know I’m deaf and only see a little out of one eye. That makes for me getting lost all the time. The pack runs off and I’m left wondering where everybody went.
Now it’s getting worse. I follow mom everywhere in the house, but if she makes a quick turn I lose sight of her. Then I start walking in circles all over the house until I find her or get too tired and have to lie down.
It’s funny. I lose mom and she loses me. She’s always asking, “Where’s my Baby?”
Us deaf dogs can’t hear spoken words but we sure can hear the meaning. I know when she comes in the house even if I’m all the way in the back bedroom. My heart just bursts with joy when I know she’s saying, “Where’s Baby?”
Before the young mutts get to go outside to do their business, before mom tosses the ball for Ash, almost before she puts the groceries down, Mom has to find me.
How did this happen? After all those years when nobody cared where I was or if I was okay. “Where’s my Baby?” Those have to be the sweetest words I’ve ever known.
The last week mom has been working with me to get over some of my fears. When I first came to Asherpark I could hardly bear to let anybody touch me. I’d jump and cringe like I’d been hit with a cattle prod.
Now I let everybody pet me if they approach me real slow. I even go up to visitors so they can pet me.
I’m still real scared about being picked up. I know something awful happened to me a long time ago. I can’t remember what it was but I know it scared me silly.
Mom told me I have to be brave. She said it’s important to get lifted into the car when I have to go places. She told me if I was real brave, she’d lift me on the couch and I could watch the news with her.
Last night was my big night. Mom slowly put her arms under my legs and gently lifted me onto the couch. She sat down right next to me and started stroking my sore hips. I was worried at first, but then I put my head on her leg and fell asleep.
I watched a little football after the news. Then it was time to go outside. I slid off the couch and stumbled to the door. As soon as I got outside in the darkness, I couldn’t see a thing. I knew the other dogs had run back in the house for their treats. Where was the door? Where was everybody?
Then mom spoke my favorite words, “Where’s my Baby?” and I was safe at last.