Thursday, February 4, 2010

Love of a Good Dog

As anyone who knew our previous dog knows - she was a saint.  After reading "Marley & Me" by John Grogen, we have started calling her just that - "St. Kayla".  Kayla was one of those dogs that makes other people want dogs - and she was my girl.  Yup, she lived to be by my side and I LOVED it.  If I was ill, she laid by my bedside until I got up, forsaking food, water, walks.  If I left the house she pouted until I came home, "making do" with Paul.
She protected me when ever someone outside the family came near.  Quietly inserting herself between me and them, just in case.  She never complained about ANYTHING.  Not once.  Not even when she was lonely, had a full bladder or was in pain.  Yup, she was a Saint.
She often traveled to Chicago with us (a 12 hour drive, sometimes in the back seat of a VW Beattle) and really, she never complained - SAINT.
Ok, she did have the occasional run at the garbage or chew the occasional Thomas the Tank toy and she would bark at ANYTHING that walked by HER house.  So she had a couple of un-saintly qualities.  But all in all she was the perfect dog.  Ask anyone - they all loved her.  Even my in-laws who would ASK us to bring her with us when we visited.
So after Kayla passed away and I wanted a new dog I was of course concerned that I would never have the love of another dog like I had with Kayla.  
Well, Rosie came bounding into our lives and of course it was not the same.  But I took for granted that although we got her for Zachary, she would be my dog.  I walk her every day, I feed her, I make sure she has what she needs.  And just this week Rosie started showing that deep, devotional love that dogs show for their masters - that "Kayla" love - but it wasn't for me - it was for Zachary.  
Zachary had his first drum lesson this week and I put Rosie in the dining room with me so she wouldn't be a distraction, but Rosie wouldn't have it.  Someone she didn't know was in the living room with HER boy.  She whined, she cried, she pawed at the gate until I put her back in her crate where she could keep an eye on Zachary and his teacher.
And then I realized something I didn't even consider - I love that dog with all my heart, not because she has "Kayla love" for me, but because she has it for my son and I can't imagine anything better than Zachary growing up with a best friend in Rosie like I had in Kayla.  She's not a saint yet - far from it, but Rosie grew a whole bunch in my eyes this week.  She's a good girl.  She's Zach's girl.  Good dog.

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