Happiness is a form of courage. ~American proverb
When I lost my beloved Dallas, I told myself I didn’t want a replacement.
That no pup would ever take Dallas’s corner of my heart.
So I looked at breeds other than Sheltie. Considered Shelties that were anything but sable and white. Thought about switching to a female pup.
Then I found Monkey.
To say he isn’t Dallas would be an understatement.
Yet the longer he’s here, the more things I find to love about him.
Topping the list is his cheerfulness.
You’d think a pup that’s been poked with needles, filled with antibiotics, relegated to a bland diet, and held at arm’s length would be resentful.
Not Monkey. He’s a survivor!
His tail is hardly ever still, and there’s a joy that radiates from his eyes.
I can only hope that, despite the challenges of his early months, he’s getting stronger and healthier by the day.
And he’s trusting me (and New Vet) to keep the progress going.
Sometimes he reminds me of a Golden Retriever, who just grins and seems happy to be along for the ride.
For a long time, I’ve been afraid to let myself love him.
Afraid I wasn’t up to the challenge of tending to a dog with a wacky immune system that made potty training next-to-impossible.
Afraid I was going to have to re-home him … or worse, have him put down because of some unidentified physical issue.
But Monkey kept bouncing back.
Demanding I pay attention to him.
Curling up in my lap, gazing soulfully into my eyes.
Acting like I’m the best thing next to an unstuffed squeaky toy or tennis ball.
Only a hard-hearted person could resist.
Am I still afraid?
But I’m weakening.
I’ve ordered a personalized dog ID tag for his collar.
And officially registered him with the American Kennel Club.
So I guess he’s staying.
And why not? He’s obviously comfortable here.
Most days, I catch him sleeping on his back, legs spread to the ceiling, with a smile on his furry face.
Dog experts say that indicates an indoor dog who’s mighty comfy and secure in his surroundings.
Because it’s a vulnerable position, one that’s hard to get up from.
See for yourself: