Here’s my Cairn Terrier, Dickens, as a 6 month old pup This guy had more gumption and aggression than Gary Busey. Expelled from Puppy School II as a “bad dog” (I have to redeem that credit for last two classes BTW). But, and this is a big but, his bad manners came from food allergies, not bad genes.
Here’s my little man on his first birthday. Fluffy fur and all. New diet to combat allergies, new four-footed and two-footed friends, and a constant companion to my mother. Dickens had this unique way of making her laugh. I’d hold him and he’d lick her all over. Sometimes I’d wonder what why he didn’t show the same affection toward me.
And today, at two years old, in spite of all the problems, frustrations, and trials, I love him more every day. He’s taught me so much. I’ve wanted to give up multiple times. More times than I care to admit. I wanted to document his growth, so I learned photography. I wanted to tell the world about him, so I blog about him. I wanted to tell all the trainers, vets, and nay-sayers that this animal had potential. That he isn’t a pariah, but merely a small pup who had an unpredictable tummy who didn’t need to be managed chemically. He needed help of a different sort-an holistic diet free from gluten, dairy, and rawhide chews.
He knows me for who I am, warts and all, yet still slobbers me with kisses. Some days I swear he reads my mind. He’s loves to play with careless abandon. He still retaliates in some way, shape, or form if he feels I’ve been away too long (yes, pup, I do miss those headphones you chomped last month). And he WILL steal my knitting if given the chance.
Above all, he’s reinforced in me the most valuable lesson of all: Love, in its essence, possesses incredible power. Love IS patient. Love IS kind. Love forgives. Anything else isn’t love. We have challenges ahead, but we have each other and that, right now, seems more than enough.