Monday, March 9, 2009
She Chose Me
~This is Beatrix. She was one of 11 puppies born to our dog Sienna.She is the granddaughter to our beloved Saxon, and great-granddaughter to our dog, Thor.The last litter of AKC registered Labrador Retriever puppies I intended to raise. After more than 15 years of raising Labrador puppies it was time to quit and enjoy the 5 dogs we had. I already had a full sister to Beatrix, Willow, from Siennas' first litter.I did not, repeat, DID NOT want another puppy to raise. Sometimes though, I am outsmarted by my critters.Outsmarted with love. ~My puppies were born in the kitchen and kept in a children's swimming pool on the floor near my kitchen sink. This allowed me to keep an eye on them all the time and attend to their momma's needs as well. In every litter of puppies, even if all 11 of them are rust-gold yellow and look alike, they very soon distinguish themselves as individuals with their own unique personalities. Well in this litter there was one little female pup who as soon as her eyes opened, would just sit herself up and watch me. Her brothers and sisters would be playing and snuffling the pool, but she would just sit there as close to me as possible and watch me. ~The puppies were always moved outside into enclosed shelters with heat lamps if needed when they were about 3 weeks old. Every time I would be outside attending to the puppies, there was the little female following me, and carefully observing me, just me.When the puppies were put up for sale, they sold quickly. But every time a family would come out to choose their pup, this particular little female would be clinging to the shade and corners of the puppy house. What was going on? She had never before exhibited shy or timid behavior. But the families that came and went were sure she was one of those timid dogs all the books said to avoid. As soon as the families left with another puppy, there she would be,out of the puppy house, happy and content to just gaze at me. ~Finally, there was just her left. I had spent a lot of money on ads and as the last ad ran out, and the last calls for puppies ceased....there was just her. We had to take her on our Thanksgiving trip to our son's home over the mountains ( we couldn't leave a puppy in the kennel alone) and she traveled with her 2 years older sister Willow. We discovered this little puppy was a perfect traveling dog. She got along well with our son and his wife's 5 dogs and she got along well with children and she house broke herself.It dawned on me she was, and is a smart dog. I think she planned this all out and knew what she was doing. I ended up keeping her, but did not settle on a name for her for awhile because maybe I should sell her...we don't need 6 dogs. But she is now 4 years old. You can see we still have her. ( or she still has us) ~She lives for me. I don't know why. Her whole being seems dedicated to being by my side. She does not jump up on me, or pester me with her tongue and pushing against me. She simply follows and watches me. When I sit down or stand still, she sits and gazes at me. When all the other dogs are vying for my attention by leaping around me, pushing each other out of my way, she sits...and gazes.When I call to her for petting, she is at my side, head in my lap, and her sigh tells me that to her, this is more than enough reward for her. When I have had to chastise her for misbehavior ( rare for her ) she doesn't flee, she lowers her head and leans close as she thinks proper, and watches me for approval again.She will ignore food if she thinks I might give her attention instead. How can I have ever thought I did not need or want another dog, especially when she chose me in the first place? "I don't like people who don't like dogs-I just don't , declares Brooke Astor, the doyenne of New York society.....A negative view of anything does not come naturally to this warm hearted nonagenarian...but do not cross her on the subject of dogs. " I simply cannot live without them," she says." from LIVING WITH DOGS by Laurence Sheehan I have no problem with people who care not for dogs, or cats, or animals, but I personally do not want to live without them either and am so blessed to be able to have so many sharing my life.