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我跟我先生搬到台中之前,已經在台灣住了三年的雙胞胎妹妹打了一通Skype給我.我一接起電話,她馬上滿心歡喜地跟我宣布:「我找到你的狗了。」我當時其實還住在加拿大,根本沒想要養狗。那時候是十二月,她在台中一座公園地上的一件夾克下面撿到Peanut。他是條八個月大的小狗,一隻嚇呆了、被人遺棄的小狗。他不願意離開那個地方,全心覺得他的主人會回來接他回家。他小小年紀,就忠心耿耿到讓人心疼⋯⋯

文圖/ Story & Picture Amy Hutchinson

後來,我把所有為何我們乍到一個新國家不需要養狗的理由,全都搬出來跟我妹妹說,試圖叫她在我們搬去之前為Peanut找一個好歸宿。但是在接下來的好幾個月,她都沒有認真幫Peanut找家,她知道他的歸宿就是我。

大概五個月後,我們在台灣展開新生活,我跟我先生第一天就愛上Peanut了.我們從沒想過我們在這麼短的時間內,就能跟他發展出這種感情,也沒想到他會就這樣成為我們最忠誠、最信賴的搞笑小夥伴。他永遠不需要擔心我們會不會回來接他回家,因為我們永遠都是屬於他的。

後來有一天我在溜Peanut跟另一隻我們當時在「中途照顧」的狗時,又在一間廟裡看到一隻又瘦又小、毛髮凌亂不堪的小黑狗。她又髒又瘦,但是看到我時超級開心。她那時候才三個月大,也是被人丟棄,而且丟棄地點離Peanut一年前被撿到的地方不到一個街口遠。當時在旁邊聚精會神看著我們的兩個台灣阿嬤完全知道劇情會如何發展。我上前去,一把抱起不斷舔我、在我懷裡扭來扭去的她,然後帶著三隻狗回家。

我跟我先生本來沒有打算要把Lexi留下來,我們認為有Peanut跟偶爾中途的狗就夠了,但這個小妮子很快地用專業手段收服了我們的心。我們雖然不願承認,但在她第一次融化在我先生的腿上,睡得香甜的那一刻起,我們就完了,徹徹底底完了。Lexi現在是我們如影隨形的修長黑色影子。她的讀心術超級高段,是我見過非人類中的翹楚。從她充滿靈魂的棕色眼睛裡面,你看得出她能深刻感受到情感,她完整了我們的人狗一家。

來台灣不到六個月,我們就成了一家四口。我們的人生因為有了領養的狗,而變得豐富有意義。每天,他們都教我們如何同理別人的感受,如何敞開心胸;他們送給我們的,除了無條件的愛、忠誠,還有搞笑動作。他們是全世界最快樂的狗兒!每天我們下班回家,他們都熱烈歡迎,彷彿這天是他們人生中最美好的一天。

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請你考慮收養流浪狗或扮演中途照顧的腳色。因為這種體驗讓人收穫良多,也將永遠改變你的世界。

 

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Before my husband and I arrived in Taichung, I received a Skype call from my sister, who had been living in Taiwan for three years. The moment I answered she happily announced, “I’ve found your dog!”

 

I was in Canada at that time, and didn’t realize I was looking for a dog. She found Peanut that evening hiding under a jacket at a Taichung park in December. He was 8 months old, terrified and abandoned. He refused to move from that spot, trusting that his people would surely come back for him. Even being so young, he was loyal to a fault. I told my sister all the reasonable excuses as to why we didn’t need a dog as soon as we arrive in a new country, and that she should try to find a good home before we move there. But over the months, she didn’t really try, because she knew where Peanut belonged.

 

About five months later, on the first day of our new life in Taiwan, my husband and I fell in love with Peanut. We never expected how quickly and deeply we would bond with him, and he became our most loyal, goofy and trusted companion. He will never have to worry if we will come back for him, because we are his for life.

 

Later in October, while walking Peanut and another temporary foster dog, I stumbled upon a small and scraggly black puppy at a temple. She was dirty, skinny and so happy to see me. She was three months old, and also abandoned only a block away from where Peanut was found less than a year earlier. The two Taiwanese grandmas who were watching us intently from the park benches knew exactly what going to happen next. I scooped up the licking and wiggly puppy in my arms, and walked back to my home with three dogs.

 

My husband and I did not intend to keep Lexi — we thought Peanut plus the occasional foster was enough. However, she quickly and expertly snuggled her way into our hearts. We were in denial, but the first time her body melted out on my husband’s lap and she fell into a deep, blissful sleep, it was all over. Lexi is our ever watchful sleek black shadow. She possesses an awareness and ability to read human behaviour that I have never experienced with a non-human being. She feels emotions so completely and deeply, you can see them plainly in her brown soulful eyes. She completes our rag tag brood.

 

We became a family of four within the first six months of living in Taiwan, and our lives have become more enriched and meaningful because of our adopted dogs. They teach us everyday what it means to live more compassionately, and with open hearts. They reward us with their unconditional love, loyalty and hilarious antics, and you will never meet happier or more grateful dogs. Every time we walk through the door at the end of the day, they greet us like it is the best day of their lives.

 

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Please consider adopting or fostering a street dog, it is a rewarding experience that will change their world and yours forever.

 

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