Saturday, October 27, 2007

No one loves you like your dog...

It's true. In the world of unconditional love, the dog wins every time. I've had a great dog for almost 17 years now. His name is PudgeDog - all one word. I got him in Jan 1991 from the animal shelter in Greenwood, SC. I was a sophomore in college.

He was the cutest, most stubborn puppy known to man. He lived on the farm where he romped through the woods, wallowed in the creek, chased various woodland creatures, and drug home the occasional dear carcass. (Only after rolling in the putrid thing first.)

Over the last 16 years, I have moved 4 times. PudegeDog has gone from a 200 acre farm to a tiny back yard, and now a only slightly larger back yard. (Half an acre isn't much if you are used to 200!) He went from running freely and riding in the back of a pickup through fields to having to learn he is supposed to stay INSIDE the fence.

He has been hit by a car once, happily he recovered after some hip surgery. He has jumped the fence at least five times, and came home on his own three of those times. Once he was caught by a neighbor who called us and once he got so far away from home he ended up in the next county in the animal shelter there! We got him back that time, too. Once he even got lost when we were in SC on vacation. Two weeks went by and an old farmer about 5 miles from the farm we were on called and said he was in his barn. Once again, recovered.

In each one of the instances, PudgeDog has been cold, or hungry, or more recently with out his old dog meds for days. And in every case he has been thrilled to see us when we went to get him. Never questioning - why did you leave me? Why did you let me get so hungry? Or why am I in pain? Instead - he always greets us with open, unabashed, unconditional love.

PudgeDog is getting pretty old. His hearing is not so great now. He can't see at night. His hip is really bothering him and he is a little wobbly on his feet at times. And he stands at the gate every morning and every night looking for the people he loves to come home or go to work. Sometimes he is so wanting to give you love you have to leave his line of sight so he will eat.

Nobody loves you like your dog. And I can't think I can love him back enough to do him justice.

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