Monday, October 31, 2011

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from my Dog

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Take naps and stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Thrive on affection and let people touch you - enjoy back rubs and pats on your neck.

When you leave your yard, make it an adventure.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout - run right back and make friends.

Bond with your pack.

On cold nights, curl up in front of a crackling fire.

When you're excited, speak up.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Four years.

Four years ago we were living in South Carolina, a happy little family of 5. We had gone to a local shelter to apply for one of several pit bull puppies, wanting to raise one the right way, to have a loving, joyful terrier join our happy little clan. There were MANY people applying for the 5 pups available, while waiting we went around and had a looksie at the other animals available.

This is when I came to realize just how much of a softie my husband really is.

Outside in the back was a seemingly empty pen, however, if you looked hard enough you could see there was a dog inside the dog house. D went in to see if he could coax the dog out with a biscuit. With no attention from the dog at all, he crept closer, even reached in to pet him, only to realize there were two dogs. They were pressed to tightly together one couldn't tell where one started and the other ended, the only clue was that there were far too many feet. When he touched their little bodies the already stiff puppies stiffened even more. These were not your average 7 month old puppies.

They, and their 3 siblings, had been dubbed the "Africa Puppies" and all named after countries of the continent: Sudan, Kenya, Chad, Zambia, and one other that had been fostered immediately, Ruphus.

We went home discussing names for the pit puppy, rattling off random names and words to each other, mainly place names out west like Zion and Sutter. Nearly home on that 45 minute drive I shouted out "Colbert!", we looked at each other and knew we had a winner.

Despite not being selected for the pit pup, Zambia and his siblings had struck a chord with D. So began the campaign to let us foster one of them. After training seminars at the rescue we were permitted the chance to foster one, Zambia.

Four years ago today D brought home an 8 month old scared, stressed out, feral little fluff ball of a dog named Zambia. 5 months later this puppy, now called Colbert, would be adopted as my Valentine's present. <3