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Friday, September 30, 2011

My Gratitude Journal: Pirate

As I write, my sweet old dog is sitting at my feet. Pirate is 12 or 13 years old. We don't exactly know since she was a throw-away. Some unworthy soul dumped her at a crossroads in the country near Butte College. When a much kinder soul rescued her but couldn't keep her, Pirate came into our lives.

That was 10 1/2 years ago. She arrived as a half-starved, terrified, abused and bedraggled mutt -- fearful of everyone, but especially large men, and we had seven of them. Still, despite the obvious problems, she grew on us.

We brought her into our homee and she climbed immediately to the top of the couch -- a definite no-no, but it was the high ground for an abused creature who feared for her life. Within a couple of hours, our three-year-old grandson awoke crying. I picked him up and carried him to the couch, rocking and comforting him. The dog climbed down from her perch, leaned into Tanis and me, and took a defensive position between us and my husband. This taught us quite a bit about the kind of home she must have come from.

My husband declared the dog confused, since she obviously assumed he was the source of the tears, but said that any dog who would overcome her own fear to protect his wife and grandson was worth an investment of time and energy. I agreed.

It took days to begin to break into Pirate's protective space and weeks to get her used to the men in our family, but she quickly adopted me as her person. For more than ten years now, she has followed me everywhere I go. If I get up from the computer to get a drink of water, she follows me to the kitchen. If I'm cooking, she sits on a rug nearby. I'm I sit down to read, she is at my feet. She is the most single-mindedly devoted fan I will ever have.

I once saw a bumper sticker that read, "My goal in life: To become as good a person as my dog thinks I am." If only I can!

Thanks, Pirate, for all the joy you've brought to my life. May your days be long and happy.

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