Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with my son about how I’ve raised him and made so many mistakes. He assured me that he has turned out OK. He also told me something that really hit home: He told me not to hold on to the past or to grudges, but to give each day a new start.
I know, he’s pretty wise for being so young. This is easier said than done for most humans, but not so much for dogs. I have a dog that is really good at this.
Not long before my husband and I got married, I bought a Pomeranian from a friend and we named him Chow. This puppy was so cute and we all fell in love with him, but we made our fair share of mistakes with this little guy, as well. Not long after he came home, with some help from a child, he “jumped” off the couch and broke his leg. He hopped around in a cast for a while, but did he hold a grudge against the kid who helped him hurt himself? No, he forgot about it
Our family went away for a weekend and left little Chow with one of our friends who lived across town from us. We received a call that night saying our dog had run away. This little Pomeranian ran across town, found his home, and stayed on the porch until we arrived. Animal Control and our friends tried to catch him, but he was too quick and ran away, so they left water and food on the porch and that’s where he stayed until we came home. He didn’t hold that we had left him with strangers against us. He was so happy to see us that he jumped in our arms.
After we moved to the ranch, Chow got into some more trouble. Our mare had foaled and Chow decided to go in the pen and check out the baby, not realizing what a danger he put himself in. The mare trampled him. My daughter, not thinking of her own safety, ran in and grabbed him after he had been stepped on repeatedly. Chow was almost lifeless when we brought him in the house. I thought we should take him to the vet and have him put down; after all, he was 10 years old. He probably wouldn’t survive with all the internal damage and broken bones he must had.
We took Chow to the vet and were informed he had a broken pelvis and might never walk again. The vet agreed the dog had been through quite a lot, and it would just be a waiting game to see if he could walk. We decided to give it some time and see if he would heal before we made a decision on putting him down.
Chow recovered quickly. He not only walks, he runs. He does have a hitch in his get-along once in a while and he carries his right hind leg in a couple hops now and then, but other than that, he recovered quite well. It’s like he doesn’t remember it happening. He totally forgot that the horse had caused him such pain.
Today, Chow is 16. He’s nearly deaf and blind, but he still gets around and still loves to be held. Just like with my kids, I obviously have made some mistakes with him, but he and the kids have survived. Now, I just need to take what I’ve learned from my son and my dog and apply it to my own life. Don’t hold on to the past or grudges. Give each day a new start. That’s important to me.
Stephanie Pearce can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org