Chances and Do Overs

I read somewhere that dogs are here on Earth to save us. I imagine the saving is obvious in some ways and subtle in others. With Bronte I used to say she was a rescue dog, but in truth, I was really the one that had been rescued. She rescued me and gave me a new life. I got another chance to be happy. Thing was though, we didn’t get to dodder into old age together. I was heartbroken, still am.

Instead Griffy got a “do over.” Almost eleven, Griffy is a schnauzer that was left to be euthanized at 3 years of age at the animal hospital where I work part time. Griffy has issues: social, anxiety, biting, etc. He is the definition of “project dog.” He lived at the kennel for six years, and in those six years, I was one of his few “chosen humans.” I don’t know why, but I wore his affection as a badge of honor. I always said to Griffy, “Someday.” At the time, Bronte seemed like she wouldn’t get along with other dogs. Who knew that the greatest beta dog David would come into our lives?

There had been an earlier chance for Griffy. A vet assistant was one of Griffy’s “chosen” and for about eight months he had gone home and lived with her. But then a boyfriend who became a fiancé, other pet issues, new small house, etc. and Griffy moved back to the kennel.

I knew when Bronte died; I owed it to Griffy to try. I knew he’d have no more chances. I talked to both Lana and Griffy. Griffy and Lana would have to come to an understanding and a tolerance. For two months, Lana and I went to the kennel to visit Griffy. We took bags and boxes of dog biscuits. Griffy ferociously growled. He gnashed and barked. I held the leash at full extension and Lana sat a foot further. Whenever Griffy stopped long enough to breathe, Lana offered him a biscuit. Eventually the biscuit time outweighed the barking time. Tolerance and then affection followed, along with sleepovers. Almost two years ago, Griffy moved in permanently. It is a testament to both Griffy’s and Lana’s bravery and ability to love.

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