Monday, April 28, 2014

Rack, It Has Been One Year Since We Got You

I have come to expect that when I go into a room, you will be there sitting just outside, in the hallway, waiting for my return.

Walking out of the room, I had to apologize.  You saw that I was looking at you and you just rolled over onto your back.  Stepping closer, I rocked back onto my heel for balance.  You wagged your tail as you always have and managed to put it right under my foot.

Just a slight bit of pressure, you were too absorbed in the act of getting attention, having your belly rubbed, in the hallway and under the air conditioning intake.

Another normal day here.

I've had dogs with me since 2001.  You are a very different soul.  A bright and cheery puppy.  A truly gentle and sweet personality.  You came into my life a year ago.  I had just lost my Lettie.  You helped to fill that void.  She and I battled for control all her life and eventually established a balance until she was too old to hold her end up in that bargain.  Then she rolled onto her back once and only once and told me in that one time, that one time only, that her days were growing short.

You were shuttled from an uncaring owner in Rome, GA to a veterinarian's office where you were surrendered.  From there, you made the trip to Ocala where you sat for 36 days being more confused.  A McNab Dog is way too intelligent for that sort of abuse - sitting in a concrete bunker of a room, your personality spiraled away in fear.  Then the Dog Liberator found you on the same day Lettie left me.   I didn't know you yet, but within a week I would find you.

You see, I was told to find another dog.  It was a very rough time for us, and you helped us as much as we helped you.

You are no longer shut down.  In fact you have the reputation of being that puppy that jumps six feet in the air.

I'm sure we're getting talked about.  There's one cranky woman with a Jack Russell here in town who crosses the street.   You know that dog, the one who starts growling three houses away?  I'm also thinking she needs to work with her dog a bit more.

In that year you shook off the depression you had from being abandoned.  I'm sorry, "Owner Surrendered" is what they called it.  Some people shouldn't own a picture of a stuffed animal, let alone a dog as intelligent as you are.

The Pit Bull attack two weeks ago is healing.  You have on a T Shirt of mine since the scar is healing and itchy.   That will fade, and we've allowed you use of the house again.  I'm no longer on duty watching you every second.

We constantly are told how beautiful you are.   That's the breed, but it is also you.  Pure black and pure white, glistening in the sun.  We are always told that you look healthy and well.  That came with some effort.   The Orijen food you turn your nose up at helped you heal and get rid of the mange around your eye.  We purged your system of the worms, got your shots, changed to another kind of food that you could actually digest.

You thank Kirby for that every time you see him.  He's one of your favorite people, a true Friendbeast for giving us the suggestion that brought you to robust health.  When you see Kirby across the street you charge over to say hello as he pets you and you whine in happiness.  When you hear him and his dog walk past the house, you sit up and wag your tail even if you can't see him through the window.  Every motorcycle that goes by is Kirby.  That little white lie helped you not be afraid of the roar of the motors that are everywhere.

His dog, D.O.G. accepts this and lets you get a little attention.  Remember, D.O.G. is a 165 pound Rottweiler and not a sheep to be herded.  He is getting tired of being climbed over and clambered on.

It has been one first year of many.  There have been a lot of changes in your short life.  The bad memories are fading, and replaced by many more good ones. 

Keep watching over us.  Grumble at the mailman. When the neighbor Bill comes over and I announce "Incoming", go to the front door to say hello.

Oh by the way, "Incoming" isn't his name any more than "Murph" is yours.

It's a busy, noisy, and complex neighborhood with a lot for a smart dog to wrap his head around.  As you adjust we'll go further.   For now, we'll stick close to the house.  There is a lot to see within the mile that we wander three times a day.  Sit by the door, wait for us to go out, then you can go.  It's not just A Rule, it can save your life. 

We're going into the hot season now.  I'll let you in on a secret.  Your black fur?  That gets hot.  We won't mind if you jump in the pool while we're out there.   Really we won't.

So enjoy the world.  It's a big one.  There are a lot more things that we can do, when you're ready.  You learned that Car can be fun.  Walks can be fun.  Other dogs aren't always fun but you are figuring out how to read that. 

But.. we're fun, together.

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