My old dog Butthead (yes, that was his name-I didn’t give him the name, but if you knew the dog, you couldn’t change the name! LOL) was a puppy mill puppy that a woman bought from a mall pet store because she loved Springer Spaniels and she had the means to do so. She frequently bought Spaniels in pet stores and then gave them away because she wanted them to have a great life.
First, she gave him to a blacksmith, who tried him as a bird dog (which didn’t go well 😊), so he gave the dog away to my former boss. When my boss was leaving his job and I was taking over for him, I loved Butthead SOOOO much that when my boss was leaving, he told me he was moving to somewhere he couldn’t keep the dog, so he asked if I wanted him? Enter my first dog as an adult. I can tell you, even though I was now his forth owner, that he was the BEST friend and BEST dog I ever had (and may ever have).
Butthead was so fun and so cool, you couldn’t help but love him to pieces. His happiness and love for life were so infectious. I even used to take him to senior homes as a volunteer to brighten older citizens days to cheer them up. He would march into each room and announce to every person he saw that life was amazing and weren’t we all just lucky for something so fun? Certainly, he brightened the life of everyone he saw.
Now, Butthead had everything going against him. Being a puppy-mill puppy, he was terribly bred, meaning he had every problem imaginable. Again, I was his FORTH owner, plus he had grade four out of grade five hip dysplasia, horrible skin allergies and he also had to have three (yes three) cruciate ligament surgeries. Still, that dog got up EVERY day and looked at me with the biggest toothy grin and said, “today is the best day ever! What are we going to do to make it even more awesome!!?”
It was his amazing attitude and love for life that got me through some of the darkest times of my life. And I do mean dark… I would look at him each day and wonder how he could possibly have such an amazing zest for life? At a time when everything seemed all wrong for me, when I had thoughts of not going on myself, I used to look at him and think, “How can you go on and be so damn happy when everything is against you?”
FORTUNATELY, he made me realize that if HE could keep going and be that happy, that I could, too! That dog truly taught me one of the best lessons I ever received. He gave me a drive to keep going on and keep trying my best, like no one else could. I still think of him often and know I owe him everything. When I spread his ashes this year over his old running grounds (he used to trail ride with me for hours in NY, having the time of his life!) I cry with joy now just remembering how lucky I was for him and how much he gave to me.
Dogs are simply the best that way. They know that no matter how bad you think you have it, life can still be amazing and fun and wonderful, so WHY NOT smile and enjoy? His gift, and the gift of all dogs, is to keep on going each day. We are all really lucky for those furry best buddies, no matter how they come into our lives!