Exactly 6 months ago we adopted Fred from a local animal shelter. He wasn’t the dog we were looking for…but when I saw his mangy face looking out at me from a sea of yapping Chihuahuas I knew he was the dog for us.
I originally wanted to get a dog to help my youngest who has a hard time communicating…but after living with Fred for awhile I realized it wasn’t just our youngest who Fred helped…he helped my middle child who was feeling, well, like a middle child by giving her much some much needed extra attention. He also was a source of joy for my oldest who loves to be greeted so enthusiastically whenever he walks through the door. But what I didn’t expect was how much Fred would help me. His companionship, loyalty, and cheerful spirit have brought me more peace and comfort than I would have ever imagined.
When I pulled a matted, smelly, homely dog out of the kennel that I day I felt like we were saving him but, now, after having him in our home I realize that he is the one who really saved us.
It’s hard to imagine that Fred has only been in our family for 6 months. He is such a part of our lives. Even as I write this he is curled up next to me (after dutifully laying at the end of my middle child’s bed until she fell asleep). He’s a good, good dog. A good, good dog that my family didn’t realize just how much we needed and today I wanted to share a few things that we’ve learned from him.
#1. Always be ready for an adventure.
#2. Sometimes you don’t need to say anything to make someone feel better…sometimes you just need to be there for them…sitting by their side and wagging your tail.
#3. Fiercely guard the ones you love.
#4. If you have an itch, scratch it.
#5. The best way to get to know someone is to walk right up to them and get personal. Sniff the heck out of them. It’s the quickest most effective way….
#6. Everyone could use a pat on the head every now and then.
#7. Be loyal.
#8. There is nothing like the feeling of the wind in your hair.
#9. Sometimes you’ve gotta mark your territory.
#10. When someone you love returns home let them know how excited you are to see them and how much they’ve been missed.
And….as a bonus #11. Husbands do not like their wives sharing their bed with anyone else…no matter how cute and hairy they may be. 🙂
There are many other lessons I’ve learned…a warm welcome is always appreciated, a quick walk around the block can solve all your problems, and if it looks good and smells good then…what the heck go ahead and eat it! But the best lesson of all is that I should, indeed, listen to whisperings of my heart where my children are concerned…even if those whipserings tell me to do something that will take time, exact effort, and bring a smelly beast into my home like I vowed I would NEVER do…because those whisperings…those whisperings can lead to miracles.