Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Dog With the Human Brain

by Leann

I talk often about cats, post their cute videos, write books about them, have loved them since I was a child. But my love of animals has never stopped there. I have owned all sorts of pets in my life--hamsters, turtles, rabbits, birds. Once, as a child, I stumbled on a 'possum nest in the woods behind our house and yes, I foolishly disturbed it and brought home two tiny naked baby 'possums. Please forgive me. I was an animal loving kid who didn't know any better. The end of the 'possum story is sad, so we won't go there.

The day after my husband and I married, we were at the animal shelter looking at kittens, We brought home Ralph--an orange tabby--and Fanny---a tortie. Brother and sister. We loved our cat-kids. Then came the dogs after we had our human children. At one point I even bred Shelties and my sweetheart for fifteen years was a sable and white Sheltie named Bridget. Most loyal dog who ever owned me. There were lots of cats through the years and as many of you  who read this blog know, three of the best cats in the world all passed away within a year. It broke my heart. I still miss Indigo, Agatha and Archie so much,

When I was diagnosed with Lyme in 2006 and took early retirement because of it, we had been without a dog for more than a year. I had my cats, but I have always had dogs, too. My heart ached for a dog. That's when a mutt came into our lives. She was six weeks old and a bundle of energy. We soon learned she is probably the smartest little animal we have ever had the pleasure to know. Mixed breed dogs are like that!

Rosie is her name and during the time when I was at my sickest, she would come and sit in front of me, reminding me it was time for my medicine. She can tell time (she knows when it's my bedtime), she can bring my husband his shoes when it's time for a walk, she can roll over, dance, sit up, retrieve, lie down, sit and stay, heel and all this with very little training. She still lets me know when it's time for my meds--even though I take far less than I used to. She knows so many words, I couldn't name them all. I only know there are several--squirrel comes to mind--that we have to spell. This is a dog who hugs me when I cry or when my husband sneezes, dances for joy when I've been gone even for an hour, can bring in the paper and the mail and drop it inside the door. In other words, in my world of many cats, I have a genius dog. And when she needs my affection--especially when I'm caught up in writing and haven't paid her enough attention--she will take a pair of my socks from the laundry and sit in front of me. Yes, that's my Rosie and it's about time I told the world how much I love her. :-)

How about you? What special pets have you had in your life?