The news is filled to the brim with stories of pets who show us each and every day the extent of their loyalty, of their dedication to being there for us. I can only aspire to be deserving of it.
Brody is almost 2 now, and probably similar in age to Emmett when I adopted him. He’s still got lots of goofy puppy in him, but he is slowly maturing into an intuitive and loving dog. I need to remind myself whenever I start to make comparisons that Emmett introduced himself to my 5 foot tall mother by jumping on her full force and knocking her backwards out our front door in 2002. Wisdom comes with age.
While we have bonded (obviously), I feel he is bonded equally well with the entire family. I’m not complaining. That is a happy thing. Emmett was mine and I was his, and while I sometimes wished he was more interested in the children it was also nice to have someone all to myself, who was always there for me.
I would spend hours reclined on him studying, him calmly accepting the weight of my head. I would bury myself in that huge wild mane and just let him breathe me in, all my human-ness evaporating into his calmly accepting body. He gave of himself in this manner very rarely to anyone else, and never to the kids.
Now when the kids get home from school, they do laps around the house with the dogs, Brody gamely chasing along with his squeaker and trying his best not to get too rambunctious. He submits for pets, gives kisses on demand, and has learned not to chomp on humans (other dogs, though, are fair game.) Despite outweighing him by 25 pounds, he listens intently to my 4 year old’s instructions.
He’s still young, still maturing into the kind of dog who can sense sadness. I never got that he was overly concerned when he saw someone crying, and I didn’t know if that was due to youth, or maybe he just wouldn’t be one of those kinds of dogs who would sit for hours and be a good pillow on a sad day.
But last week, when the kids had sequestered themselves upstairs playing dinosaurs and Barbies and I found myself suddenly starkly alone, I found that I needed a moment to go inhale and catch my breath. I went outside and sat on the patio, staring into the distance and thinking of my friend Kevin and all the dreams that would never get to be.
About 30 seconds after I sat down it started to rain on me, and I looked to the sky and said “Oh now come on, that’s kind of melodramatic, don’t you think?” and then I started to laugh, and cry, and it turned into one of those hiccupy laugh/cry/laughs that make both people and animals nervous.
And out of nowhere, Brody materialized and crawled onto the chair with me, just stuffed himself right onto my lap. I didn’t even realize he had followed me outside. Without preamble, he put his fluffy head in my lap, crimped side up, ready to be my pillow.
That’s when I knew, I mean really knew 100% in my bones, that he and I were right where we needed to be.
Deb Mendez says
Bless his heart — and yours! Morning tears here.
A truly beautiful moment! I challenge every person who has ever said “Why do you care? It’s just a dog.” to share your life with a dog who needs a home. THIS is the kind of thing you are in for. A friend who knows you feel bad, almost before you do, and wants to fix it. When you are sick they will watch over you. When your two year old wanders off toward the river, they will bring him home safely. You are in for many “Moments of Your Life.”
I don’t know when the next “adopt a dog” day is, but TODAY will work! Go today and save a beautiful soul. Then take him/her and yourself for some training (believe me, it’s really all about YOUR training!) and begin to know one of the best friends you will ever have in your life!
Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful moment , Dr. V & congratulations to you and your new BFF!
Steph B says
What a lovely moment. A little maturity goes a long way!
Seriously, Dr. V, I was just thinking yesterday that it’s been a little while since one of your daily posts made me cry. Did you hear me thinking out loud? Because you sure did it today! What a heartwarming story. I just want to hug Brody!
Lisa W says
+ a big 1! <3
Sue W. says
Brody with a lesson for us all. We don’t need to be an Emmett, we can be ourselves…and that’s good enough.
Thank you for sharing this story. I love it when pets seem to realize that you need some cuddling.
My dog Shiva isn’t typically the kind of dog who senses human sadness, but last week, when I was dealt some bad news, she wouldn’t leave me alone all day, just licking and pestering for affection. I wonder now if that was her way.
Lovely story, I am so glad you have Brody in your life.
Looooooooooooooooove this story!
Awww – I’m all teary eyed. Dogs are the bestest and Brody is certainly there at the top. I love how they can feel our need for them and even each other.
Last night one of my dogs went after my oldest (and yes, my favorite, MoosieMan – who is a 13.5yo lab) and actually drew blood. Moose had disturbed Ravioli in his sleep and he gets snarky when that happens but still! (He will be in the crate from now on at night.) But my newest dog, Pickle, sensed something was bothering Moose and wouldn’t go back to sleep, but instead sat on the end of the bed watching over him until Moose fell fast asleep. 🙂
Susan Montgomery says
I can hardly type this through my tears…What a special moment for you both 🙂
hidden exposures says
crimped side up – i love it…the crimped ear fur is one of my favorite (of many) things about goldens!
hidden exposures says
and on the subject of loyalty – bark magazine posted the link to this photo on facebook and it continues to haunt me…
Pup Fan says
This was a wonderful story, Dr. V. Thanks for sharing.
Do you remember how Buffy first introduced herself to Mom the day I got her? She launched her 11 pound little fluffy self directly into Mom’s face, sending mom’s ever present diet coke flying, and did the Tazmanian Devil Whirl. Poor mom, she gets it from all of them in the early days!!! Brody-dude is a really, really good and social boy. You are doing a great job with him.