Yesterday was a thought provoking day for me, and I’m still pondering and processing it today. Some days are like that.
I trained three really terrific puppies yesterday, and they were all delightful without exception! Their owners are wonderful!! They train hard, they love their pups, they ask thoughtful questions, and I know that these pups will likely have the best of what life has to offer them. They’ll never want for anything, and have owners who love them to the moon and back. Because their owners are carefully and consistently training them, these dogs will have a big world to enjoy for probably 12-14 years. The thought makes me smile so so big!!
However, in sharp contrast to those three puppies, was the fourth dog that I trained yesterday. This is an adult dog who spent the first four to six years of his life as a puppy mill dog. Just as the previous puppies have only seen the best that life has to offer, this poor guy has seen only the worst of life in a human world. He has been adopted by a sweet couple who want to help him have a wonderful life, and to experience kindness and love for the rest of his days. His transition into a good life has not been an easy or happy one. Trust isn’t coming easily for this little guy, because he’s never had a life where he needed to trust humans and he doesn’t know how to do that. The fallout from that lack of trust in his new home life has made things very difficult.
While I was busy working yesterday, between appointments, I was keeping tabs on a dear friend’s dog, who was having some very serious seizures that the vets were unable to get stopped, despite dosing her with heavy duty drugs that should have stopped them in their tracks. After several hours of trying to help her dog, my friend ultimately had to let her sweet dog go, as it became evident that serious brain damage had occurred during one or more of the seizures.
What a contrast in my day. I saw the best of life for three puppies, the worst of life for a rescued puppy mill dog, and ended my day with deep sadness for my dear friend who had to say good-bye to a wonderful dog she loved so very much. I felt so many extremes in my day from one end of the spectrum to the opposite!
And once I got home, staring me down as I was processing my day and all that it encompassed, was my own little Rugby James, who is similar in some ways to the little puppy mill dog. He’s just trying to figure out how to make sense out of a world he doesn’t quite understand….even after all of these years. He has a very consistent life in my home, because structure is what he needs in order to make sense out of what must seem like nonsense to him.
As I woke up this morning, I set out to get today’s post written before I started my training day, and before I could get my laptop booted up, along came my sweet Rugby James, who asked permission to curl up and then sprawl across my lap for some serious cuddles. I couldn’t look into those chocolate drops and tell him “No, buddy. Not now. Later.”
So much of the time, that’s what he hears, because truth be told, Rugby would insist that he be front and center of my life all day…every day….365 days every single year! Not only would that be unhealthy for him, but I’d never get anything else done! So I do have to put him off from time to time, but in light of my day yesterday….I just couldn’t do it this morning.
So we cuddled, and snuggled, and we played little games with him biting his feeties, and I punked up his furs on his head, and we did belly rubs, and face strokes, and ear rubs. We looked deeply into each others eyes, and enjoyed just being together to start our day. It was time well spent….for both of us.
Rugby never asks for much. Play….snuggles….work….new fun….and for me to stop other things and just make him feel like he’s number one. At the end of the day….I always want my little dog to know that he has a mom who loves him desperately! I really think dogs want fewer “things” and more of our time….more of “us.”
And so while yesterday was a day with lots of different emotions….very high highs, and some awful lows, it’s good for me to experience those things once in a while. It keeps me grounded, and helps me remember not to take my own dog for granted. When the dust settles every day, all I have to give him is me and my time….so I’d better make it count!