Friday, September 25, 2009

It's a Dog's Life

His name is Sam. We rescued him from the shelter about 2 1/2 years ago. He is a scruffy little mutt, with wild uneven fur, kind of like my wild uneven hair. He was a skinny, sore-covered bag of bones when we got him. But he has always been so happy and grateful to see us, even from the first moment we looked at him through the cage door. The vet calls him a terriorist, and said we might never be able to train him to like other dogs. He is sure he is the biggest, toughest dog anywhere and he has tried to go after huge police dogs. But he loves people (except for this kid who was mean to my son and he also would not leave Sam alone and Sam bit him and I must admit I don't feel too terrible about that) and I can never quite get over how good it feels to see him so excited every single time I come in the door, even if I only left 5 minutes ago. He has fleshed out to 14 lbs. and his sores are gone. His back legs are like coiled springs and he can jump straight up to lick my nose. He has short hair except for a ridge of long course hair that runs from his forehead to his haunches, and he lets me spike it into a body length mohawk. His eyes are rimmed in black, like Captain Jack Sparrow, and the thought that anyone could hurt or neglect him is hard to imagine.
He has been my constant little guardian since I came home from the hospital. He has learned how to slide himself along my side and rest between me and the cushion whenever I lie down on the couch. He stretches his chin up and looks with concern when I dealing with pain. He leaps around like an acrobat to encourage me every time I get up. I have decided that he must be showing infinite patience, waiting until I am strong enough to again take him on our daily 3 mile walk, even though I don't think patience is his thing. Mike brought Sam in the car when he came to pick me up at an appointment, Sam was trying to paw his way through the window, he was so excited to see me. I have decided that there is some kind of magic healing power in having him around. Sam is a real artist at it.
No, it is not close to the same kind of love and connection I have for my children and human loved ones, but I do find myself wondering how we got along without him. I don't consider myself a "dog" person, but I have begun to think there must be a place in heaven for at least some of these mutts. Sam would be great as a greeter.

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