When my friends had dumped me, one of the emotions I really had to work through was a feeling of being betrayed by people I had trusted. One of the qualities that I really admire in dogs is their staunch loyalty to their pack. Time after time, I’ve heard news stories about dogs who defended their families or other pet friends…even against wild animals. Dogs often bond closely to their packs and their people, and they are fiercely loyal and devoted to them. One story that can almost bring me to tears telling it, is the time that our little Corgi Happi probably saved our daughter’s life.
All of our Corgis loved our daughter Lindsay, but Happi LOVED Lindsay! From the moment I brought Lindsay home from the hospital, Happi just adored her. Both Happi and I had been pregnant at the same time, and I think Happi just somehow knew that Lindsay was my “puppy!” She tended to her and lovingly licked her every chance she got, whereas the other Corgis kept a wide berth around that short little squealing human!
At the time that this event happened, Happi was having a serious struggle with her health. The vet never really gave me a firm diagnosis, mostly because I don’t think he wanted to use the “P” word, but all of her symptoms very closely matched Parvovirus, even though she was extremely healthy, probably 4-5 years old, and current on her shots. She certainly didn’t fit the stereotypical candidate for Parvo! She was so so so sick! She wouldn’t eat or drink anything at all…even broth….and for those of you with Corgis….you know that’s one sick pooch! My vet had me bringing her to his office for daily checkups to monitor the situation.
On the day in question, Happi had turned a bit of a corner, and she was drinking water…especially if I held her bowl for her. I had created a comfortable confinement area for her in a guest bathroom, which was just off of our kitchen. She had just been a bit listless, which wasn’t like her at all, and I hadn’t heard her bark in a good 10 days. Happi was lovingly referred to as “Ma Barker,” because she was our brood bitch, and she was always that barker who just didn’t want to let it go. At this point in time, I would have given anything to have heard that all familiar nuisance bark from her!
Our daughter Lindsay was toddling, probably about 16-18 months old. We were meticulous about keeping the house baby-proofed, which included keeping doors safely closed so that she couldn’t get to any stairs, especially the basement steps, which were cement. While I was making supper on this given day, Lindsay was wandering around the kitchen and hallway, checking on her dogger, Happi.
Suddenly, I realized that Happi was barking, and it caught me by surprise! I hadn’t taken her out for several hours, so I guessed she was letting me know she needed to go out. But I have to tell you that I was thrilled to hear her bark, because to me, that bark gave me hope that she was starting to feel better….finally!
I peeked my head around the corner of the door, and asked Happi if she was feeling better and if she needed to go outside. She barked two sharp barks while looking very, very intently at me. Then she looked away. Then she looked at me and barked two sharp barks, and looked away again. Over and over she repeated this until I finally looked around the corner of the door to see what she was looking at. And there, perched at the top of the basement stairs was Lindsay! How that basement door had come open, I have no idea! To this day, I have no idea if Lindsay somehow figured out how to open it, or if I had just not gotten it latched when I had shut it.
Despite the fact that Happi had been so very sick, she still mustered up what she knew she needed to do to protect Lindsay. You would have had to see how sick she had been to really, truly understand how remarkable this event was. I’ve always found this memory simply amazing, and it’s such a graphic demonstration of the heart of loyalty that my dog had for her baby.
Loyalty for humans is tough in our day and age. Companies are all about making profits, and there’s no longer any loyalty to an employee who works hard for 20 years. Downsizing is commonplace. We learn not to get too comfortable anywhere, because me may be uprooted and on the job hunt again.
Friends and family move away, and long distance relationships can be challenging to maintain…even in this age of social media, Skype, and texting. The small town house I grew up in was just sold. It had been in our family for 56 years, and I’m guessing if I went back to visit, the neighbors are still the same….or at least in the same family. That’s the small town I grew up in, and life there doesn’t change much. For so many of us, that sort of life just doesn’t exist. People come and go from our lives.
The loyalty and devotion of a dog to their friends and family is a trait I think is really worth adopting and adapting to our human lifestyles. We all need to know that there are humans in our lives who have our backs and will stay devoted to us when the storms of life blow over us.