A Lifetime Friend

They say that people come into your life for a reason, season or forever.  What about dogs?  Why do they come into your life?  Usually you are the one who knows that answer as you’re the one that purchased or adopted that furry bundle of joy.  Maybe you need some extra exercise, so walking a dog every day would accommodate that.  Maybe you’re concerned about safety – a guard dog would help alleviate your fears.  Maybe you just want to feel that feeling of unconditional love.  Take a deep look into those eyes and tell me you don’t feel an immediate tug at your heart.  You’re smitten, and so is your dog!

We bought my dog Thunder eleven years ago at a dog breeding facility close to home.  The day arrived when we were to pick up our new bundle of joy.  We had a dog reserved for us – a male, and we were given his litter number.  We arrived and were taken to the barn where both the boys and the girls were kept.  We were about to be introduced to our reserved pup when the telephone rang and the woman who worked at the kennel had to go and answer the call.  She said to take a look around and she’d be back in a minute.  I had my handbag on the ground and Thunder came scampering up and tried to run away with my purse! He was just a furry little bundle of yellow, no make that white fur.  Even though he is a yellow lab he really has a white tint to his fur.  I checked the tattoo in his ear – he wasn’t our reserved pup and my heart kind of sank a bit.  He definitely wanted to bond, and I was anxious for the kennel employee to end her phone conversation and return to us so we didn’t get any more attached to this beautiful dog.

“He ran away with my purse!”, I laughed, when the employee returned.  My husband came over and casually intervened.  “A cute little guy! Is he taken?” 

No, Thunder was not taken.  In fact no one had reserved him.  His sisters and his  brothers had all been reserved, but he somehow fell through the cracks.  “You can take him if you want him.”, advised the employee.  Right on queue, Thunder grabbed my purse and headed for the door and my life really has not been the same since.

Thunder is a sweetheart.  Saying he’s timid is an understatement.  He’s afraid of stairs, flooring, and changes in the surface of floors.  Sudden noises startle him, and the vet’s office petrifies him.  Naps are a hobby; any time of the day you can find Thunder sleeping peacefully on his couch.  In the computer room we have an old loveseat left over from years ago and we cover it with an old comforter.  That’s Thunder’s couch, and does he ever know it! And does he ever use it!

Thunder loves to cuddle and can sense my emotion with a quick sniff of his snout.  He’s been with me for eleven years now, through happy times, sad times, and now my cancer journey.  He is there for me.  Sadly, Thunder is getting on and having health issues of his own.  His hips give out a little on occasion.  He has water on his lungs that he takes medication for.  He pants and drools, and we notice he gets “lost” outside in our back yard, and have noticed other signs of dementia.  He’s in no pain, and absoluely loves his life with us, so for the time being, he’s still our Thunder.  I feel badly; the last year or so my patience hasn’t been the best with everything going on with my cancer, and he and his sister get a lot of my attention and love, but the patience just isn’t there as before, as much as I try.  And just when I’m too hard on myself, his eyes seek mine and a long gaze is held.  I see my furry little pup running through the barn with the strap of my handbag in his mouth, dragging it along the sawdust floor.  I couldn’t imagine my life without him, and as my arms open up wide for a hug we both look forward to, I know he thinks I have all the patience in the world for him and I do, I really do.  My aches and pains subside, the thoughts of my cancer’s progression are put on hold, and all I want to do is melt into my eleven year old puppy’s soft fur and have him give me reprieve from the everyday battles that life can sometimes offer.  And I know that everything is going to be just fine. 

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