Whoa! Are our animals an outward expression of ourselves?
Well, if they are…
- I am a loner
- I just want love and affection
- I have my one special person & I am content
- I trust the people who matter
- When you raise your voice at me I get sad
- I get excited to go on a walk (or really anywhere with you)
- I love to cuddle
- I am extremely loyal
- I am incredibly protective
- I am confident in myself and my abilities
- Those I trust, I trust with my whole heart
- My affection must be earned
- You must be deemed worthy to be in my life (otherwise I have no time for you)
- I am reclusive and content alone
- I am leery of newcomers
- My love for you shines through my eyes
- If I am not in the mood, I will ignore you
- I have no time for games
- I respond well to rewards
- I value quality over quantity
- My circle is small
- Break my heart and that’s the last you’ll ever see of me
- I’ll do what I can to make you happy
- I’ll be there to make you feel better
- I’ll leave your side only when you make me
- I have moments of explosive play
- I’m a nap taker
- Sometimes I grunt, but, don’t worry, I’m just communicating
- I feel safe in your arms
- I’m quiet, but I’ll alert you when something really matters
- I guard my loved ones
- I watch & observe everything I can
- I wear my heart on my sleeve
- I can be anxious
- I have been through trauma – be patient with me
- My love is its own reward
- I have wanderlust
- …And lastly I love my beef jerky treat
Well, if our dogs are a reflection of ourselves… Now, I definitely outlined my pup in the above bulleted list, but we most certainly share many similar traits.
Here’s my little girl’s back story: She was abandoned at our local landfill along with her five siblings and her mother (7 total animals dumped!). I adopted her towards the end of January and the Animal Shelter told me it took 3 months to catch her — there’s no telling how long she was out their prior to their attempts at rounding up the family of Chihuahua mixes. She and her family were out there in the middle of winter! It took several homeowners who live around the landfill and the Animal Shelter workers to finally catch the puppies. Three were lost to the elements… while two of my dog’s siblings were caught fairly soon after people noticed they were out there and promptly adopted. My dog, her name is Belle, and her mother were the last two of the litter to be captured and taken in. I saw her photo on the shelter’s Facebook page on a Friday and adopted her the next morning.
I did not get to bring her home until Wednesday due to her getting fixed first (a wonderful requirement of adoption). I bribed her with “jerky treats” (that is no lie above). It enabled me to gain her trust and teach her to come to me when called. She was roughly a year old when I adopted her. She is most definitely “my” dog even though we do have others living in the household. She is bonded with me (and I her). Bonding with one main person is very typical for small dogs (and dogs in general).
In the past two years I have gotten to see her come out of her shell. She still likes her hidey spots (a behavior I believe she will never grow out of due to the survival skills she learned at such a young age) and gets nervous when I am going to leave (along with many of the listed traits above).
She loves being outside and exploring (semi-a-typical for a small dog). She rolls around in the snow and loves going on hikes with me. She is not your average “small” dog although she definitely has a “Napoleon” complex. She is absolute pure love and joy — and she fills me with it every-single-day.
She is so loving, devoted, mellow, joyous, and (I think) she knows she hit the puppy jackpot when we welcomed her into our lives — and I know I hit it too.
I have trouble wrapping my brain around why people would dump a litter of small animals in the middle of winter (or any season) anywhere to fend for themselves… When there are other options to take, but I am honored that this little being found her way into my life because I have gotten to help her in her journey of healing and love — and she has most certainly helped me with mine.
Love is its own reward.