Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Life Model


My dog Ansa is getting old. Silver threads among the black-gold of her lovely complexion. I give her half an aspirin a day for her arthritis. Her back paws shake uncontrollably at times.

I am fortunate in that we found each other. She's a rescue. Before she came to me she had been the victim of benign neglect. Her previous owner was more to be pitied than blamed. He had far too many dogs to take care of. Then he was ordered to get rid of them all as they were deemed abuse victims. She arrived in my life on a dark and stormy night, her owner thought to let her escape her euthanasia and dump her on me. I was between dogs, my previous one had been with me sixteen years and it had been a year.

Along with the eleven others then under the axe, Ansa was fed a meagre diet of bread and gravy and never walked. They were chained outside or hidden indoors. Her fur had fallen out in clumps. But her disposition? In spite of all that, her personality was one of joy and delight. And she was definitely an omega rather than an alpha.

Ansa stayed on my couch for 24 hours without moving. I let her be. The next night she came upstairs and after about an hour jumped up on the end of my bed with her back towards me. I let her be. Every chance she got, once outdoors and off leash, she would run away. Many was the time I would go out in my car and chase her down. It often took hours. Freedom was a brand new concept for her. I got that. Slipping her leash or outside tethering was a testament to her agility and intelligence. I never blamed or shamed her when I found her. Once she was 10K away. When I saw her in the distance her head was hung low, exhausted. I greeted her with joy, opened the back door of the car and she leaped in and promptly passed out.

It took her two years to bond with me. I remember the moment well. We were walking along the road by the ocean, she on her leash in front of me towing me along, when she promptly sat down and turned and looked me in the eye. I just knew. I slipped her leash off and every single command I've given her since, she has obeyed. I only leash her when on a very busy road or in a park where it's the law.

She fills my days with her joie de vivre.

Her trust in me is implicit: She will be fed, she will be walked, she will run on the shore, she can paddle in the ocean, she can sleep on my bed disregarding her own two beds, she will let me know if there's a visitor, she will take care of me if I'm threatened in any way and she knows she will be taken care of in turn. Always.

I have a lot to learn from her. I always did. There are second chances in life. And the universe does provide.

We should all be so present in our days.

And so worry free.

26 comments:

  1. She is a beauty with very wise eyes Mary. I am glad she lives with you and you live with her. Take care, bb

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  2. BB:

    A very fortunate marriage we have indeed!

    XO
    WWW

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  3. I loved this post. I too, have an old dog she is such a part of my life I dread thinking of living without her.
    AJA

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  4. You two were so lucky to find each other.
    I miss my little dog so much. She died a few years ago and is buried in the back yard.

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  5. Such a meaningful post to this one. My little Callie was a rescue dog for me. She was left chained to a tree and her owner
    had moved away. The chain had to be cut off of her neck with a saw.
    Her eyes follow me constantly and she knows when I am troubled.
    Must leave her at times and when I return she is waiting for me
    with such joy.
    I know I am loved...

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  6. I lover this post. It brought tears to my eyes. I, too, have a rescue...a kitty. 22 years ago in July my hubby and I took 4 little kittens who were being beaten by their owner and found homes for them, but Miss Minga was mine right from the start. She has taught me the meaning of unconditional love. It's hard thinking about being without her, but I know I have been blessed to have more time with her than most.
    Mary

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  7. lovely post as usual.........

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  8. Our last dog was Bear, a newfy/husky mix...looked like a husky on steriods who'd ears wouldn't quite stand up. Over 120 pounds, his size belied a gentle disposition.
    When we move to Alaska, a week before he disappeared from our rural house in Oregon. We looked, no sign.
    A couple of years later I had a dream in which he told me he was ok. Might have been a no-account dream, I don't know.
    Since Cary's death in 1996, I haven't been able to bring myself to have another, don't know why.
    He probably died in a ditch somewhere after gettin hit by a car, but in my mind he lived for years, either with another family or in the woods, happily munching deer.

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  9. She's a beauty ~ you can see the love in her eyes. There is something special at work that brings rescue dogs and their owners together. I see it with my daughter and her dog, too.

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  10. True mutual unconditional love - you were made for one another methinks.

    Very moving post, thankyou for the bit of joie de vivre in my day.

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  11. You can tell she's such an intelligent dog. Coupled with the personality you describe, she must truly be a wonder dog.

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  12. AJA:

    I get so upset even thinking about it :(

    XO
    WWW

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  13. Hattie:

    Every. Day. I never take one for granted when she's in it.

    XO
    WWW

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  14. OWJ:

    "Every move we make." LOL.

    So true. Mine knows where I am every minute of the day and will not move from inside the backdoor if I have to go out without her :)

    XO
    WWW

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  15. Mary:

    How wonderful! I've never forgotten my big old black barn cat Walter who would come everywhere with my dogs and walk side by side with them along the roads. Best. Cat. Ever. And I'm not a cat lover usually :)

    XO
    WWW

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  16. SFM:

    In their short lives they give us so much.

    After my last dog Chelsea passed I had said I wasn't going to get another but Ansa walked in and here I am. I can't imagine life without a dog now.

    I was saddened to hear of yours.

    XO
    WWW

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  17. Sharon:

    You're right. There's an extra layer of love I believe. And gratitude.

    XO
    WWW

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  18. Linda:

    Yes, she is the brightest dog I've ever had in my life and there have been quite a few now.

    And so emotion sensitive. She can tell how I'm feeling by the vibes.

    XO
    WWW

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  19. Oh how sad! How can anyone treat a dog like that?
    So pleased it had a happy ending when you came into her life......... even though it took her two years to learn to trust you.
    I daren't think what happened to all the other dogs.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

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  20. MM:

    Oh and I have a follow-up to the story which I will write about today.

    XO
    WWW

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  21. Wow, it took her two years to bond with you! I admire your patience and kindness, just letting her be and rounding her up until she was finally ready to accept you. She was so lucky to have found such a loving "custodian".

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  22. Nick:

    A very long time, I think there was still some PTSD in her and a lack of trust in her new freedom.

    We are equally lucky :)

    XO
    WWW

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  23. I know exactly how you feel about her and she about you.

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