While I've written about this before, I must tell you that aside from gardening, one of the reasons I'm feeling so much better this year is due to my dog Jack. As many of you know, my mother died in October of 2007, my black Lab Murphy died in December, and my black terrier-chihuahua mix Spike died the following August.
Because Spike had been incontinent the last few months (and because our carpeting was 25 years old), after Spike's death we re-carpeted the entire house. And I promised my husband we'd be dog free for a year.
But, this was very difficult for me because I love dogs. I love their companionship. I love taking them for walks. I love petting them. I love how happy they are to see me when I return home. I love taking care of them in every way.
In April of this year, I began checking out Petfinder.com to see if I could find a small terrier-chihuahua mix, but who was a light brown color rather than black because of our new carpeting. I had promised my husband we'd get a light colored dog although I also told him that telling rescue organizations we wanted a dog who matched our carpet might be cause for concern :).
Still, it turned out that about four months ago, I found Jack (formerly named Pinot Gris) who seemed to fit the bill. And when we first met him, we liked him very much, but now I'm madly in love with him.
What is it about a rescue dog that so appeals to me? I guess there is a soulfulness about them that touches my heart. To be abandoned by a family who once loved you must be a terrible thing.
In Jack's case, it turns out that he lived with a family for the first five years of his life. Then their house was foreclosed and they turned him over to a rescue group. But nobody adopted him for two years.
While it's almost impossible for me to figure out why because he is a most loving and smart dog--and he's adorable--actually I know that he barked at strangers when they took him to parks to be seen, he limped because of a car accident, and he didn't like big dogs because he was kept in a foster home with Pit Bulls (and he only weighs 15 pounds).
What's kind of unbelievable to me is that after dog obedience class, Jack no longer barks at strangers on the street or at big dogs unless they're off their leashes. And he no longer limps because walking him twice a day has strengthened the leg that had been operated on.
What's quite wonderful is finding a dog who is everything that I was looking for...and is so grateful to be loved and so loving in return that it brings tears to my eyes, and a song in my heart.