Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dogs: A Great Reason to be Happy!

I appreciated your feedback on happiness the other day. My book still hasn't arrived, but you did get me thinking about all I have to celebrate! I'm making a happiness list. (I wonder if the book will tell me to do that.)

This will be a pretty large list, to be sure, but I'm only going to blog a couple of things on it--exactly two of the things on it--my dogs.

When God made dogs, he must have totally been thinking of humans. You will love them no matter what, you will look to them as your gods, you will die for them, if need be. Then, I can imagine, he looked to humans and said, You probably don't deserve this, but I'm giving it to you anyway--the love of a dog.

There was a homeless man I ran into on a trail ride last year who had five dogs with him--all healthy and happy--but, apparently, they didn't like horses since they came after ours. Still, it made me think, you could have nothing and nobody in the world and still have the love of a dog (or five).

My two dogs are girls--Elsa, who is thirteen and very old now, and Maggie, my four year old lab. Both are very special.

Elsa is not pretty anymore. We shaved her last summer and much of her hair didn't grow back. She also has a big fatty tumor on her chest that we won't have removed since it would be too hard on her. She was hit by a truck when she was young and out on an adventure (bad girl!) and it displaced her hip, so she has a hard time walking around. All and all, she's pretty rough.

Yet, with all that, she still tries to follow me out to the barn, she follows me up and down the stairs (once she knows I'm going to be in a place for a while so she can lie down and rest when she gets there) and she ALWAYS sits under my piano whenever I play--right by the pedals. I could look my whole life and not find love like that anywhere.

I see Elsa as she is now, but I also see her as the puppy I brought home who slept next to my bed each night, my hand dangling down in her box to comfort her so she could sleep.

Speaking of puppies--here's other girl--

Maggie, our sweet Lab, I chose her from my sister's litter on the day she was born. She came into the world fully trained and just wanting love. I kid you not, Maggie had no issues in life--she has always wanted to be the Omega. Not an Omega in the cowering and frightened sense you sometimes see, but in a deeply humble and respectful way. No matter what age child comes into our home, Maggie will always be gentle.

Whenever I leave the house in the car, I look up to the window in the dining room, and there is Maggie with her head on the sill, eyes drooping. I know she doesn't understand why I'd ever want to leave the house. For the first couple years of her life, she used to get so depressed when I'd get my keys I started to think she had a sixth sense about something that might happen to me, and I almost didn't want to leave! Turns out, she's just sad.

She's young and has the energy Elsa does not, (see picture below!)so she's always with me when I ride around here on the horses or 4-wheeler. She's also Elsa's legs--Elsa will bark at the road and Maggie will run to the road. Lately though, Elsa's hearing is getting really bad and she barks at things that aren't there. Maggie still runs, but then she'll look around and see nothing and stop. At those moments she looks back at Elsa like she understands the sadness of aging.

I'm sure you'll all agree with me--dogs are a gift to us humans and a great reason to be happy in this world!

What dogs are dear to your hearts?


  1. What beautiful girls! And Elsa is gorgeous, even though age has taken it's toll on her. I have a soft spot for oldies. :)
    Angel, my rottie, is 11 now and starting to slow down, she only has one eye, is greying and also has the old dog tumors on her body, but she is still as beautiful as ever. And Snuffy, our 4 year old black lab is her eyes and ears, too. :)

  2. What a beautiful story....You all are so lucky to have each other.

  3. Your story about your dogs is so sweet.
    I love my dogs with all my heart. They are my kids. Even Sadie with all her insecurity and anxiety issues, I still love her. That is why I have spent so much time trying to get her to adjust to a normal dog life. I know that there aren't many people out there that can handle issues like that.
    It is so hard seeing our beloved dogs aging. I went through that a few years ago when our other two dogs were 11 1/2 yrs old. My GSD had severe hip dysplasia and her left side of her face was paralyzed. It made it really hard for her to get around. My Aussie/Sharpei mix blew out his knee and having the surgery at his age I just wasn't going to have him put through that. We chose to have them put down at the same time. They grew up together and went together. It was so hard.
    I can never be without a dog in my life.

  4. Heart of a Cowgirl--11 is great for a Rottie! You must be taking good care of her--and you have a young one, like us, so you know what I mean. I think it's the perfect combo--a young dog and old dog. The old dogs really teach the young ones, and old dogs are so smart and know you so well--what you want, what you're thinking---they're so easy to take care of!!

  5. Thanks, Judy--do you have dogs?

  6. Paint Girl--I've been keeping up with your dogs on your blog. Sadie is lucky to have you! I dread the thought of putting down Elsa. I'm sorry you had to face that, but it sounds like you went above and beyond for them and let them go in peace.

  7. At our old house, on a very quiet street, my daughters would take their tennis rackets and bat a tennis ball back and forth to eachother on the street. The neighbor's Golden Retriever would sit tall on the grass and watch, just like at a tennis match, her head moving back and forth. Even when they missed the ball, the dog would never go for it unless it came in HER yard. Then it was fair game. She was a sight to see. A well trained dog is truly a pleasure!

  8. Joanne--that's a sweet memory, and what a very well-trained dog!! I don't think mine would be that good. :(

    The book came today!! It's great so far. She's basically a happy person--with a great family, etc, but her quest is more for an appreciation and heightened awareness of her blessings, talents, etc. I'm looking forward to reading it.

  9. I can't imagine life without our dogs. We have a Maggie too, she half lab, the I have my prepetual motion poodle - Skeeter. He is precious. I cried for a week when we lost our Sophie a year ago. They are family members.

  10. it is so nice to know there are others who think like me...i love my animals so very much. they are my children. your elsa is very beautiful, i think. she looks a bit like my nugget. maggie is nugget had cruciate surgery (acl) and he limps since the other leg needs it as well...i hate when our loving babies are hurting! and i too don't like leaving the farm either!

  11. I blog about my dogs a fair amount, especially my handsome Huckleberry. He's more of a dog than a puppy now. We also have an almost 10 year old whippet/terrier named India. She does this great invisible dog trick. She follows me everywhere and when I turn around to see her she stays behind me, then I turn the other way, and she's behind me, so I have to move fast to see her. She's very loyal and loves life. My husband's dog Angus is a rott/great dane. He's just a big bundle of love. Life would be empty without dogs to love.

  12. Lea--I think I remember when you lost Sophie last year. I'm sorry about that. How sweet, though, that you have a Maggie, too!

    Kritter Keeper--It is hard to see them get old--our Elsa, believe it or not, still RUNS around the property--slowly, but boy has she changed this year. Her eyes are cloudy with cataracts, her hearing is really bad now and there are lots of little aches and pains. Are you going to have the surgery done on Nugget's other knee? I imagine that's a tough surgery for a dog to recoup from, too--if Nugget's old like Elsa.

  13. Hi Andrea--I've seen your posts about your dogs! They've got great personalities, too. It seems like all horse people are dog people--they kind of go hand in hand. I'm wondering how much Angus weighs--that's a big combo there. I bet he scares off would-be burglars pretty well!! Which is another great thing about dogs--let you know when people are coming up the road!! I love it.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.