Guest post – Inspiration Doesn’t Always Come from Humans
Happy National Dog Day. Meet Max, my hero.
Today, on this special day, I celebrate a creature that has done more for me in my life than any human I’ve ever known.
A creature that from the start, for no reason at all, loved me unconditionally.
A creature that helped me find my true self.
I owe him everything. I will be so lost and devastated when the time comes for him to leave this earth and cannot imagine living here without him at my side.
A day to celebrate him is the very least I can do.
Max came into my life from an ad I answered on Craig’s List about a Caryn Terrier, but no pictures were included. I looked it up online and it seemed like an okay breed, kind of a mop looking dog, but cute enough. When the man who placed the ad brought him by to see how he’d act with my boys, as soon as he opened the car door this big oaf of a creature came barreling out of the car and right into my boys’ arms. He was not a little Caryn Terrier. He was a 65 lb 1 year old half Shepard/Stafford shire bull terrier. I was disappointed and never owned a dog that big before but I didn’t have the heart to say no, so he stayed. We also hadn’t had a dog since our Trixie died 7 years before after accidentally ingesting my son’s ADD medication. Getting another dog after that tragedy was a big step and risk. But here he was. His name was Max when we got him, so we kept it.
So here we were, this big oaf and I. Your kids always say they’re gonna take care of the pets, but we moms know how that goes. I had forgotten that they smell funny and shed, and all I smelled was dog–yuck. His tail was so strong I couldn’t leave anything on the coffee table or it would knock it off (the wagging tail). The first night he jumped on the table and ate a plate of 6 hamburgers! It took a lot of getting used to, having a dog again. But at least he did sleep in their room.
Until one night… there was a thunderstorm. Oh Max hated and still hates them. He wouldn’t stay with the boys, and barged right into my room barking and pacing and I didn’t know what to do- I was trying to sleep. I think I yelled “shut up” a thousand times, and that just wasn’t working. So finally I looked at him and said “okay, dog, you can sleep at the END of the bed. That’s it. (I pointed to the spot). Only there, no where else, and especially not under the covers. So, he hopped up there and stayed there (and stayed quiet) the rest of the night, and didn’t move a muscle.
Well that was a moment.
Then, about a week later I was taking a shower and slipped and fell. I’ve never done that before or since. But I did that day, and before I knew it the bathroom door flew open and a dog head came peeking from the other side of the curtain, making sure I was okay.
That was a huge moment.
That was about all I needed to know. I had a true friend and companion, and it wasn’t long before I fell for this creature and he became my very best friend. I tried to take really good care of him because I wanted him to be around as long as I possible. I bought him better food, and I knew exercising him regularly would help his behavior too, (he was still very oafish) so I walked him daily. But I knew that might not be enough, so I took him rollerblading with me. That was going great until one time when I wiped out so bad I almost broke my knee (He saw another dog ahead, started taking off and I was going too fast and lost control). So no more skating with Max.
It was back to walking. But one day I just decided to run a bit with him. I never ran my whole life as I probably say too much on my blog, but its true, and could only run about 20 seconds and then stop. But Max and I did this, everyday during the course of our walks. Everyday, we got better and better and our walks started becoming runs. Although I felt very silly running with him (have you ever witnessed someone “running” with a dog? Its hilarious because while you are actually running, the dog is sort of trotting) I was running, and getting better every day. I entered races, and he was my pacer, partner and coach. We ran together everyday, he was always excited to go. We did 20 miles together at one time for my marathon prep (and for those runs I have a Camelback and a foldable bowl I carry, just for him).
Every time I do a race, I feel kind of uncomfortable not holding a leash. Luckly, they have runs with dogs too. We do one every year together.
I will never know on this earth why I got so lucky to meet not just a creature with a heart of gold, but a creature that changed me forever just because he loves me, unconditionally.
Happy National Dog Day. If you haven’t yet felt that love, please take that chance. If they are taken care of properly, they will take better care of you than any human you’ll ever know.