Best Friend Or Therapy Dog
My Best Friend
My Best Friend Or Therapy Dog
My best friend, my dog, my Blue Heeler, my confidant, my evening shepherd, all of those and more are what my pet is to me. Some people don't understand it, some family members revile it, my husband steps away from it, but in our world, it's a healing balm of friendship.
Our 12 year old beautiful Rottweiler died about 5-1/2 years ago. She was what our oldest daughter wanted so badly as a sophomore in high school from one of her friends. So, to help appease her pleadings, we purchased the old girl, Isis (named by my daughter for the goddess with the namesake) and lived with her, pampered her, played with her, and fed her for 12 years, until that final week, where I, myself, who was now her caregiver, slept beside her during her last breaths.
Needless to say, I cried, shook my fist at nature, held it strong for my kids, but I was wrecked. You see, my daughter graduated high school, then went off to college in Northern California, and left the dog with us to raise. Well, my husband, being the workaholic he is, wouldn't give any time to Isis, so, yes, the gavel landed on my bench. She became my friend, my protector, the one I talked to with no human response except for a lick. For years this was our dog, but my friend. And, after many years, she fought the good fight and was gone from my life, our lives, and our home.
I told my husband that I would be okay with no dog around (that was in January) and I could manage my emotions. Then came March (smirk), and I couldn't stand the loneliness. Well, not necessarily being alone, but just being without that non-human presence. Mind you, I still had 5 kids at home since my oldest daughter left for college and got married. So, I wasn't really "alone" but I guess you could say, I was fidgety to pet a friend. Of course I couldn't pet my kids, I couldn't pet a plant (no fur), nor could I pet my desk.
Come April, I was already bargaining with my husband for another dog. I wouldn't say begging and pleading, but I'll throw in a constant "nag" daily. He went for it, I looked around websites, Recycler, Pennysaver, and what not. My sister-in-law who works at a veterinary office said that one of their clients was not able to bring a pod of Blue Heeler puppies to Italy with her, so they landed at the vet's office for anyone's taking. So, curious me scurries over to the vet office that week to check out the pound puppies.
Those puppies were SO little, so squeaky, and so blue-ish. Remember, I just lost my Rottweiler who was pretty massive and these pups looked so tiny to me. Plus, I've never heard of or seen a Blue Heeler until this moment. Counting 7 of these little babies all vying for my attention, I spied a patch-eyed one running around like a circus bear, across and over her other siblings. I picked her up and, almost naturally, she buried her muzzle into my neck, like between my neck and shoulder, as if seeking safety from the chaos. Oh boy, that was the ticket right there for me! Me & little Miss Nuzzle went home.
From there, she wasn't the dog of anyone particular in our home, although we did share her, shared time with her, shared beach walks with her, shared park trails with her...but honestly, everyone knew she was my dog. Truthfully, I hadn't had my OWN dog since I was 12 years old in West Hollywood, living at my parents' home. This was another time, another space, another era, and I really appreciated my new furry friend.
As she grew into her personality, after all the bit-up shoe arguments around our home and tipped off trash cans (she still has a tinge of this now), she settled in to be the protective and "active" spunky chicken we've grown to love and accept. She sits by my desk when I work from home, she sleeps by the couch when I feel like sleeping on the couch, she waits patiently for me to finish my shower, just outside the bathroom door, she growls when someone gets to close to me (it's really my husband when he tries to kiss me, ha!), and she nips at my grandkids' feet when they come over, probably thinking she could herd them into the barn (that darn herding nature!). Additionally, she has trained me to wake up at 6am, not by clock alarm, but by her slurping wet licks to tell me she has to go potty outside. And, when I'm sad, she sits by me, places her chin steadily on my lap and just stares at me, almost like she's saying "hey, cheer up, girl, I'm right here."
So, I don't know how therapy dogs work, I don't know the logistics of all that, nor do I really care. I don't need papers or medical documents to let me or people around me know that I sure as heck could use this dog around me. She is all that to me, my friend, my confidant, my protector, my shepherd, my buddy. True, she is good therapy for me. My husband always jokes when she comes in between us, saying "here comes your therapy dog again." I laugh, but we know I'm better with her around. I'm better to him, I'm better to my kids, I'm better in spirit. I seriously believe God created this amazing 40 pound creature for me, to help me, because He uses many instruments in life to guide or uplift people. Is she my therapy? Possibly. She's definitely therapeutic to my daily grind. Is she my best friend? Definitely. She's got that loyalty thing down pat. In essence, she is both those characters to me and I wouldn't have it any other way. And, in my reflection on just how wonderful she is, I actually could be both to her, too. She just hasn't told me.