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Friday, March 7, 2014

Winky

I think my dog sort of saved my life.  At the very least she helped me to grow and love more openly.  I got Winky, a boston terrier, three years ago on the day before my seventh wedding anniversary.  I saved up the money to get a dog and found Winky's picture online and knew I had to have her.  My family and I showed up to this woman's house to discover a disgusting puppy mill.  I was mortified.  Winky and her siblings were kept in a tiny crate crammed on top of each other.  The woman let all of the puppies out and poor Winky was terrified.  Her sister ran to me, loved on me, and played with my son.  I loved how playful her sister was but my eyes kept drifting to Winky and I got up and picked her up and held her to my chest.  She was shaking and finally nestled her face into my shirt and relaxed a little.  I told that awful woman that I would take her.  "Are you sure??" she asked with an incredulous look on her face.  "Her markings are bad, she's obviously the runt, and she's useless."  My husband and I were completely disgusted.  I told her "That's exactly why I want her."

I took her home a week later (she still had some weight to gain before she could come home, much to my annoyance).  She was sweet but timid and I quickly realized that she was completely deaf.  Another reason why her breeder thought she was "useless", I'm sure.  I thought she was perfect.  I let her sit in my lap as much as possible, I encouraged her every move with a loving pat and a happy smile, and began to teach her hand signals so we could function as normally as possible.  Within no time she was house trained, loved to take long walks, and even started swimming in our neighborhood lake.  Other than her small size you'd never know she was deaf or considered undesirable by others.  She functioned like any other dog I had seen.

It took no time at all for both of us to become attached to one another.  She was my shadow, following my every move.  She knew her safety and well being relied solely on me and she seemed fine with it.  I hated leaving her by herself at home often coming home to find her stressed and shaking.  She'd greet me with such enthusiasm it almost broke my heart.  My husband told me that when I would leave the house while he was home Winky would sit on the back of the couch looking out the window and refused to move from that spot until I came back.

I think my husband often felt like he had to compete for my attention.  My biggest passion is caring and loving animals.  They have no voice and I can't help but love them unconditionally.  I sometimes forget to give the same amount of attention to my husband.  He didn't understand why Winky had to sit on the couch next to me or in my lap.  Or why she had to sleep in the bed with us at night.  Luckily over time he grew to love her as much as I do, understood that by being near me and having that body contact it allowed her to relax and to sleep peacefully (something she doesn't get to do throughout the day when I can't be with her).  Through Winky he finally became a dog lover.

Having a dog has always been a huge comfort for me.  There's this unspoken bond you have with your dog.  They love you without any judgement, without any conditions.  They are so loyal and they provide a companionship that is hard to duplicate with a person.  My dog not only helped me with depression and anxiety, she showed me how to love without any conditions on a whole other level, to trust others more freely, and to finally see that I was just as worthy of love as anyone else.  She helped me to become a better mother to my son, a better wife to my husband, helped me to evolve spiritually, and inspired me even more to be an advocate for all living creatures (especially deaf animals and to fight the ways of many breeders that treat their animals as "stock" to push or discard).  In other words, she made me a better person and I thank her every day.

Thank you for reading my blog.

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