I’m So Sorry, Puppy

Dear LexiI am sorry Lexi

I admit, you were a very bad puppy when you were young but I’m sorry I called you Lucifer and the “Puppy From Hell.” You really acted like the devil incarnate but I should have kept those feelings to myself.  I thought you would never change from that biting, horrific puppy you were, EVER. My friends told me you would grow up but I honestly didn’t believe them; you were nasty and mean and had that defiant puppy look in your eyes, that “dare me” look.  I remember screaming out loud in agony when your dagger like teeth would bite and hold on to my flesh. I had red, swollen welts and scratches all over my arms and legs. We all did.

My mother would be on the phone and I would shriek in pain and would have to hang up and call her back because I had to physically detach your teeth from my wrist. I swear you were out to kill me. My mother, protective as always, was completely direct and told me to “give you back.”  “Return her, right now” she said, “before you get more attached.”

I couldn’t do it. I just did not have the heart to return you to the shelter, it’s not who I am. But honestly, you were a living hell. We had trainers come, one after the other, some of the best in the United States, all of them shook their heads and said “she’s a willful thing, isn’t she?” We already knew that. You had dragged me into a dirty pond when you were six months old, I hadn’t realized your strength. I didn’t give up the leash because I had no idea where you would go, so you pulled me in after you. I have a photo of you and me, me and my white, muddy pants coming home with you, puppy, looking quite pleased.

You went into our garbage cans, and ate used tissues and ballpoint pens, leaving ink stains everywhere. You were always wild, once you got yourself stuck in a fence and I thought for sure your head would be decapitated but your “sister” figured out a way to dig you out. Thank her, I was useless. You always ran away, we could never find you, though you always loved food and would return for a nice, big, juicy treat. “Breaking Bad” was the name of a popular television show, “Being Bad” was your personal motto.

Then, from one day to another, I couldn’t even pin point the time, you changed. All of a sudden, you calmed down and were always near me. If I was sick, you would jump on the bed and lie with me, part of you always touching me. With a chronic pain illness, Fibromyalgia, I’m in bed a lot and you are at my side, always. In the living room you would always climb on the couch and settle down right next to the person sitting there. After that you settled down and gave sweet kisses and charmed everyone. You love people. You even offered your paw, like Lassie.

But when a stranger passes or someone knocks on the door, BEWARE!  You growl, bark, show your teeth, protect us. A car door can slam and you are on the job. But, now, you are one big love, one sweet endearing, mush and I appreciate you every minute. I guess we both needed to learn to be more patient.

Now, you are in my lap and I’m giving you pieces of chicken, it’s just you and me. I love you, Lexi but you know that and I know you love me too.Lexi 2

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My Stubborn Mule

Bucket-headed dog

Bucket-headed dog (Photo credit: Paul Kidd)

The sun shines through the slated blinds on my red dog’s face. As much of a pain in the bleep she is, I can’t stop loving her. She’s my girl, Lexi, the one I rescued from the shelter and even though I can’t walk her (she is ridiculously strong) in public, she’s still mine. She PULLS me everywhere, I have to stay in my neighborhood. You wouldn’t believe how many times members of my extended “family” have told me to give her “back” or “give her away.” But there is no way I will do that, I can’t. I love her.

Admittedly she is one of the toughest dogs, strongest dogs I’ve ever known and on the advice of three, yes, three, dog trainers, they have all agreed she is a “wild one with a stubborn streak.” Frustrating? Yes. Do I love her less? No. I rescued her from the shelter when she was tiny, curled up in a little red ball, sound asleep and my heart fell in love immediately. This was MY dog. I played with her, she let me cuddle her, nothing could stop me from adopting this sweetheart.

Sometimes love is blind, we know that. And, admittedly, maybe I missed my dog Callie so much (she had cancer) that i didn’t give myself enough time to recover from that grief. I probably should have waited longer to adopt my puppy but I didn’t. That’s my fault, not hers. I needed to hear the sounds of a dog in the house, I missed them so much and I need to have a dog in my life. I have become a dog person, through and through.

I should have known, when she was the worst, evil puppy in the world, that she was Trouble. She would go after our hands, feet, like I would go after a chocolate layer cake, sink her sharp puppy teeth in and not let go. Screaming in pain, little” Honeybadger didn’t give care.” Her grip would tighten. She was a really difficult puppy but still I didn’t love her any less.

She will be two in February, February 16th, 2014. I’ve had people tell me that she will NOT slow down, not this dog. She is muscular (all muscle) and strong (like an ox) and she still pulls me around that I’m scared to go out with her. It doesn’t help that I am very weak and have no balance. We have about nine different collars, leashes and equipment and Ms. Stubborn defies the odds. But that’s okay.

I love her and I won’t give her up, I could never do that. She is my dog and when I have to take her to the vet I will ask someone to come out and get her since she loves going there and pulls me dangerously across the street. I will make compromises, she will not. She is sleeping on my bed now looking like an absolute dog angel. She doesn’t show affection very often but this is her way. She keeps me company, gives me kisses. She’s going nowhere except in my arms for a big hug. She is not an easy dog, for sure, but I love her, I picked her and she makes me laugh. Sometimes.

PS: Remember the book and movie “Marley and Me?” Marley is a sweet kitten compared to Lexi, I kid you not.

photo credit paul kidd

words copyrighted lf