Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ozzie Update

     It has been one month since we adopted our new puppy, Ozzie.  After a few weeks of bathroom troubles and chewing up toys, suddenly he's become the perfect dog.  I don't know if this will last, but he seems to want to please us and understands the new expectations and routine.  He is quickly learning more obedience commands and we are thrilled with his progress.  The kitty, Annie, is even willing to be in the same room with him now.  Elliot was right to be an optimist when he said that cats and dogs can learn to be friends.
   Last night, Ozzie slept on the floor in our room.  At three o'clock we were awoken by the most forlorn, sad howl.  Ozzie wasn't hurt, but dreaming.  We remembered that in his first three months of life, he watched all of his siblings die. We woke him, giving sleepy noises of reassurance that we loved him and everything would be okay now.
   Later in the morning I got out of bed remembering that his rescue paperwork had arrived.  Looking it over, I noticed that the county animal shelter named him "Survivor."  Ozzie was born after his human owner passed away.  No one knew that this person had died for three months.  When it was discovered, they also found Ozzie, who was still alive despite having no human caregiver and his canine family destroyed by Parvo.  He weighed 26 lbs then, but is now up to 43.  His coat is shiny and full.  His eyes are not so rimmed in red.  His tail wags a lot more.  He does a backwards happy dance if you give him toasted bread. 
   It took a long time for me to get over my fear of being bitten after I was viciously attacked by our neighbor's dog.  For several years I thought I would never be able to rebuild the trust I once had for dogs.  Just running along the roads near my home was an act of courage.  I winced at dogs behind fences and purposely avoided areas where I knew the dogs would be free to roam.  Perhaps that fear ended during our hike in Shenandoah when we saw so many black bears.  Whatever the reason, I am glad to be sharing life with a dog again, and not just because it delights my son.  Ozzie heals my fear of being wounded, and helps me trust again.

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