November 26, 2008

Give thanks for dogs

I came across a post today on NR about how a geriatric pointer from the pound pulled the author's father out of depression in his last years. She kept him going, got him out of the house and meeting people. The dog alerted the author when her father died in his sleep and then the pointer herself died three days later, curled up by her master's bed. The point was that dogs sometimes come to us when we need them most.

One of my friends talked me into looking at a female boxer up for adoption twelve years ago when I really had no intention of getting a dog. I was single, lived on a farm, had gone from the comfort of a salaried job in a law firm to a brutal eat-what-you-kill system. Life was scraping the bottom and the last thing I needed was another recurring expense. I had every intention of looking at the pooch, saying something like: "not quite what I am looking for" and sliding out. The dog had other plans. She was a solid block of high energy muscle, tipping the scales at seventy pounds, big brown eyes, a massive underbite, and tongue that was at least two inches too long for her mouth. In two minutes, she had her paws on my shoulders and was licking my face.

Needless to say, I signed up and Janna was my constant companion for the next seven years. She had a quirky personality and a unique look--one that caused KMR to refer to her as either: "That freak of nature" or "that butch lesbian dog of yours." Janna went through a phase where she would react to a doorbell only if it was from a TV commercial. She was a bed hog and hated the ironing board, the vaccum, and any flyswatter for reasons known only to her. On the other hand, Janna would fight any dog coming after me, no matter the size. She had a degree of loyalty I had not seen before in a dog, or since.

At the end, her decline was swift. She developed an inoperable mass in her head which triggered seizures. The vet prescribed phenobaritol but eventually the drugs could not mask the symptoms and we had to take that last ride to the vet's office. On the way home, it occurred to me that she joined me at one of the lowest points of my life and kept me company through moves, job changes, and an uneven social life that eventually brought Mrs. LMC and me together, marriage, and our first child. That boxer kept me company as my life went from the bottom to the top and I am thankful for that noble creature.

Posted by LMC at November 26, 2008 06:03 PM | TrackBack

Qui me amat, amet et canem meam

Posted by: Boy Named Sous at November 27, 2008 02:54 AM