Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Life Lessons from a Giant Schnauzer

My name is “Tex,” at least that is what my Mother called me, which always seemed strange since I am a girl. Mom bought me when I was a pup and raised me alone until I was two years old. That’s when she decided I a needed a playmate and rescued Galliano from the streets. “Galli” (that’s what I call him) is a beautiful boy with a good soul and I never told Mom that I never considered him a playmate but have always thought of him as my brother even though we look nothing alike.

After Mom got sick about a year ago, she couldn’t walk us anymore and that was hard on Galli who has a lot of energy. She couldn’t let him outside and, other than me, has had no contact with other animals, except Mom, of course, who has loved us and cared for us as best as she could.

They took Mom away yesterday. The men said she had to go to a nursing home, someplace we are not allowed. They told us Mom had something called “cancer,” and that she would die soon. Galli doesn’t understand what that means but I do. It means we won’t have Mom to care for us anymore and we won’t be able to give Mom the loves she needs. We wanted to go with her and we both leapt at the fence as they put Mom into an ambulance and we both cried as the spinning red lights disappeared into the morning mist.

They say I am next to go. It seems a lot of families up north want dogs of my breed that they call Giant Schnauzer. I have always thought of breed as being a funny concept since I just think of myself as a dog. In fact, all dogs I know feel the same. We know we look different but we can’t figure out why that is important to some humans. They say Galli is a beautiful blonde mix of Golden Retriever and Yellow Labrador. To me he is my brother.

Like most dogs, I rarely worry. But today I do worry for Galli. Since Mom got sick, I have been more like Galli’s Mom and he can’t stand to be away from me for more than a few minutes. I know that I am going to get a loving home but I am not so sure about my brother. I so wish we could go together and run and play forever! But I know that is not going to happen.

I met some humans yesterday, Kelly and Jim, and they promised me that Galli would get a good home. They have lots of experience in finding good homes for good dogs and I believe them. But, I know that when I am taken away that he will cry and I will, too. Because something else most humans don’t understand is that we dogs have feelings; we hurt; we laugh, and we love – unconditionally.

The above is as close as I recall to what I heard Tex tell me this past weekend and with tears streaming down my face as I write this we vow to find Galli the home his sister wants for him. And, as I think of all of the life’s lessons I have learned, none are more important than those I have learned from our relationships, our credible connections, with the animals.

From my brief walk with Tex yesterday, I am reminded that . . .

- Family is important and nothing is important enough to come between us. Grab on to the ones you love and hold them tight.

- Live each day as if your loved ones are leaving tomorrow if only because they may be.

- Your playmates are really your brothers and sisters who look different than you. Treat them like family.

- Breeds, colors, and sizes don’t matter. It is what is on the inside that counts.

- We are all dying, a few of us quicker than others. Don’t live like you will live forever – you won’t.

- Be present. Don’t worry. And even though fear will slip into your life from time to time, in most cases there is nothing worth worrying about.

- Most humans (and all dogs) are good and decent. A few of them you can even count on to do what they have promised to do.

- Cry. It is good for the soul. Laughter is, too.

- Loving – well, loving is the soul.

Epilog: We took Galli yesterday to her new home – a beautiful ranch in the foothills of San Miguel de Allende, a place with lots of green grass, a new mom, and a girlfriend named Nugget. As for Tex, Kelly and I left home at 4 this morning to take her to the airport for her flight to Phoenix via Albuquerque. She will stay with wonderful friends in rescue in Albuquerque for a few days until she is transported to the Giant Schnauzer rescue in Phoenix. She will only be there for a few days, for you see they have already received three applications from people who want to give Tex her forever home. Which is the last lesson of this adventure – sometimes you don’t know why things work out, but like Galli and Tex, give someone a big hug and kiss when they do.



Blogger Arizarch said...

What a thoughtful post! It brought tears to my eyes and they say real men don't cry! A nice pause for reflection amidst the work day. Thanks!

12:09 PM  

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