I have owned so many really great dogs in my time, they have come into my life in a dozen different ways. Jessica “the dog of a lifetime” the gentlest of Dobie’s, sweet Jessie who walked the streets of Atlanta off lead, proud and beautiful at my side.
She learned with dazzling ease, passerby’s on that Southern city’s streets opening a path as we came, the stately slim creature at my side completely without malice though she looked exceeding fierce.
Bumble Bee, a rather chubby and endearingly round Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the most entertaining yet exasperating of canine companions, unlike Jessie who thrilled to obey even my silent commands, Bumble had quite a mind of her own, she,d thoughtfully weigh the benefits of obeying or disobeying each command, with a maddening disregard for any request she deemed inconvenient or requiring too much effort.
I could not neglect to mention Joey, the smallest of dachshunds, with his satiny brindled coat and heart shining from his eyes.
All of these are gone, years and years before what anyone could say was a fair span of life, all gone long years before they should have left me, taken by disease and illness, shockingly swift were those small ones taken from me. So I of all people should have known better than to give my heart so blissfully to a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy born on my birthday over 10 years ago. I of all people should have been able to resist, I didn't want a puppy at the time, my husband was utterly and adamantly against the idea, but one look at that tumble of Cavalier babies with their silken ears flying and dark eyes pleading “pick me! oh pick ME,,, ”
I was suddenly smitten with a tiny Tri-Color girl puppy, already distractingly pretty, she waved snowy paws at me imploring.
With a nay-saying husband scowling as he headed toward the car, I scooped up the little morsel with her pink flannel tongue already kissing me adoringly.
That’s been the goal of her life, to worship me, with the utter abandon only a spaniel can show. A creature so totally without malice that I’ve been humbled at the lessons she has taught me about faithfulness and about gentleness and love, and perhaps most of all about forgiveness. She has made me a better person, a better dog owner, even a better trainer and as I watch the grey begin to sprinkle its frost over her lovely face, I realize that she too will someday soon, (oh Lord not too terribly soon I pray) make my heart ache with the sad progression that all my much loved four-footed ones have led me through.
I’m determined to help pets live longer healthier lives, I tell my beautiful Agatha's story elsewhere here on these pages, I suppose one of the most important lessons she’s teaching me now is that we must take care of the things we love. We must go that extra mile and make the effort while they are young if we want them to still be with us when they are old…