Saturday, July 23, 2011

how one very special dog gave me wings ~

Long, long ago, back when I first began these meanderings, there was a Dog named Raja who was the joy of my life. I spoke of her often and then...she had to leave the planet to go wherever it is Dogs go when they leave the planet. It was, without question, the saddest time of my life. It took me several years to move on...and finally open my heart to another. His name is Bruzer.

Bruzer is nothing like Raja. Not in any kind of way. Which is exactly how it should be. I knew I would never replace her, so I didn't even try. I wasn't even "looking" for another Dog when he came into my world. Isn't that always the best?! Anyway, even though I don't know anything about his previous life (where he lived, with whom, his birth date, breeding, etc.), the one thing I'm absolutely certain of is that he was a gift from the Gods (well, ALL critters are...but that's another story for another day). This little curly guy strolled into my life and changed everything. I am NOT kidding.

From day one, we were inseparable. When I say "inseparable", I mean it in the most literal way. I didn't know his "name" because he'd been found during a horrible storm, then taken to my Vet's office, where they promptly attended to his medical needs, cleaned him up, and started posting ads to find his person. He had neither collar nor tags, no microchip ID, nothing at all to give them a clue as to where he'd come from. But from the moment he stepped into our house, he responded to my or not.

He ended up with the name Bruzer because as he was sniffing around my house mate's part of the house (he lives downstairs, I live upstairs), just sort of getting a lay of the land, he came upon one of the many beef bones belonging to Koda (house mate's dog). That wasn't at all odd, seeing as how bones and dogs kinda go together. But what was so funny was that the Little Guy didn't grab a smaller bone. Oh no. Not my boy. He wrapped his pearly whites around the very largest bone in the house. And when I say "large", I mean the size of a cow's leg. It was almost as long as he is. (again...NOT kidding) He comes strutting into the den, bone in teeth, with his ears all perky and his little nubbie a-wigglin' he was King of the Pack. My instant reaction was astonishment....immediately followed by roaring laughter and tears rolling down my face. He just looked so darned proud of himself. Happily, Koda wasn't at all bothered by this little thief...he just sat with his Person, making his little Koda noises (with tail wagging). Finally I said, "Well look at you, you little bruiser...that bone is bigger than you are!"

The moment I said the word (bruiser)...he dropped the bone, wagged that little nubbie even faster, and ran over to me, hopping into my lap before I knew what was happening (he is LIGHTNING quick!). So I asked him. "Is that your name? Is that what you want it to be? Bruiser?" He was licking my face and wiggling so hard I thought he was going to wiggle himself right off the couch. Of course, I had to change the spelling. Just cuz. But that is how he got his  name. Bruzer. The Little Curly Wonder.

After he'd sniffed his way around the downstairs section of the house, I headed up the stairs to introduce him to his new digs. I only called him once. He dashed up those stairs faster than you can say lickety split. Like a little white blur of curls...up he went. He sat at the top landing (I take a little longer to ascend) and waited with that adorable sparkle in his eyes. The Little Guy was happy to be "home".

And from then on, he's never left my side. If I move from my office to the living room, he follows. If I go into the bathroom, he follows. If I go downstairs...there he is. Like I said: inseparable.

He's been here for one year and 5 months. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not utterly, completely, absolutely thrilled to have him in my presence. He is the epitome of Joy. And he is also my very own angel...which leads me back to the title of this meandering...."how he gave me wings"....

You see, the reason I wasn't "looking" for another Dog was because I felt I was not yet in a position to meet all the needs of a Dog. I believe that caring for a critter goes far beyond the basics of food, water and shelter. I believe you need to take them for walks, play with them, bathe, groom, and otherwise attend to them. Most of those things were "doable"; but the walking part was a little .... shall we say...precarious. I just wasn't confident that I could (at the time). As it turns out, it was one of those cliche kinda things: "leap and the net will appear". Know what I mean?

So...the day after he arrived, we began a new routine. Get up, go downstairs to let him out (we have a marvelous back yard; all fenced and lovely), come back upstairs, feed the Little Guy, and then get on with my day. But he kept asking for my attention, in the sweetest ways. He'd sit on one side of my desk and make these funny little noises, as if to say, "Hey! I'm here. Don't you wanna pet me?" If I didn't (pet him), he moved to the other side of the desk and tried again. He did not bark (and he still doesn't) or whine. Just those little grunty noises that were impossible to ignore. By mid-day, it was clear the Little Fella wanted to go for a stroll. I told him that I wasn't all too sure about how well I would fare, asked him to be patient with me, and off we went.

To my surprise (and great delight) he walked at my pace. He never once pulled on the leash or tried to run off after the many rabbits that crossed our path. He seemed to know exactly how fast to pace, and his mindfulness made me wonder how I got so lucky. From that day on, we've walked pretty much every day. He just won't allow me to make excuses. He nudges and wiggles and prods until I put on my sneakers and GO! Not surprisingly, even on those days when I'm feeling less than mobile, once we get going, I feel a million times better. Just moving with him, and paying attention to his every step, makes me get into some kind of groove that would otherwise not be. I'm tellin' ya...the guy is a trip!

{a teeny little sample of our stroll....}

I bet you're thinking, "Geez. Is she obsessed or WHUT?" The answer is YES. Bruzer has proven to be the primary factor in my ongoing process (that is, returning to full wellness). His love and attention, his unwavering tenacity, his ability and willingness to push me little bits at a time, all have had an enormous impact on my life. I could write for hours on end about him and our beautiful bond. But I won't. For now I will leave you with this:

Never underestimate the power of Critters. They are the keepers of truth, the epitome of authenticity. And I know, all the way to the core of my Being, that without him, I would not be the joyful, evolving Being that I am. He gave me wings when I thought I'd never fly again.


Lucy said...

Beautiful blog!! Bruzer is the best. I heard it said once that it isn't as important how much we're loved as how much WE love. And with Critters in our lives, we get to send out a bunch!! Thanks for this beautiful intro to Bruzer. He definitely is an angel - the world is a better place because of him!

Hugs - L

Merry ME said...

This is beautiful and totally confirms my deep, almost zen attachment to the pooch who looked into my eyes and said take me home, not in words but heart to heart. The fact that she pees where she shouldn't drives me nuts but in the big scheme of things does that really matter? I'm trying to make peace with that question but knowing the day Suzi and I met was the day I began to heal.