Musings & Threads. Lessons from Gus and Annie.
I am an Unabashed Dog Person
Lessons from Gus and Annie.
They say in rescue that you don’t get the dog that you want, you get the dog that you need. In that case, let me tell you about the two dogs that I apparently needed.
Gus is my Zen dog. He is my most recent rescue, an 8-year old Maltese mix, who had a lot of issues, most of them just due to being raised by someone who didn’t have the time for him. I simply adore him. And each day I grow more attached to his affectionate little soul. His job is to teach me to be in the now. I’ll be reading or writing, and he will jump into my lap, the old me would continue doing what I was doing, the new me, recognizes that this is my cue to be in the now. Instead of absently petting him, I stop what I am doing and just focus on loving him, he responds with sweet little grunts, moans and, of course, snuggles.
Annie is my patience dog. Annie came to me about 8 years ago with debilitating and incurable life scars. She was a puppy mill mom who was treated horribly even by puppy mill standards. When I first got Annie, she bit everyone and didn’t know how to live in a house. It took 5 years to housetrain her and she is still very fearful. But with a lot of work and patience, Annie is now housetrained, very sweet and hasn’t bitten in 6 years. Annie has come a long way, but she has wounds that will probably never heal. She has severe PTSD and can go there at any time, especially if I am in a hurry. She is emotionally dependent on me and when I am sick she will panic. She will relentlessly pursue me during an asthma attack, jump on me, lie across my face, lick me, try to heal me doggy style, but, of course, it makes it harder for me to care for myself. When I am petting Gus, she will jump up on my lap, on top of him (she is larger) and demand the attention. I have to suppress frustration and look into her eyes and see the depth of her needs and recognize that these needs are more important than my own. That, my friend, is patience.