This is part three of a six part series called Our Story.
Most of us pet owners know what a positive effect dogs have on us. The love and the loyalty you can see in their faces every time they look at you, and the love you have for them in return, adds so much to our lives. We can see this in our own experience and in others’!
Before I get into part three of my Michga story, I want to share a clip that demonstrates the amazing ability that dogs have to make our lives better. Some of you may have already seen this (if you watch as many dog documentaries as I do). It’s from The Secret Life of Dogs. This clip tells a four and half minute story about a dog who gave a man his life back. I won’t say any more because I think the story is very well told on its own, but as a warning, you may want to have a tissue or two handy.
This is the story of a very heroic dog that saved a man’s life, but it’s not always in such a significant way that dogs help us. Dogs are there for you, no matter how big or small the problem. Sometimes it’s just petting your dog after a long day, or that little nudge they give you to try to cheer you up.
In My Case
I first really experienced this power of dogs when Michga and her sisters were three weeks old. My grandfather, whom my brother and I called Poppy, passed away. It was the first time anyone I had really known had died.
One thing you should know about me, I am a crier – but usually only for the little things. Sad songs make me cry; inspirational quotes; one time a candle commercial brought on the water works. But big things, like a death, tend to make me feel numb. I wish I could cry when I’m really sad, I need the catharsis, but that doesn’t always happen right away.
Like this time. Two days passed after Poppy’s death, and I couldn’t cry. I didn’t go to school the first day, and I mechanically went through school the second. I saw and heard the world as I usually do, but it was as if I couldn’t feel it.
Then, that second day I came home from school to my dad’s house and went into the puppy room. There they were, crawling all over each other, not able to take more than a few steps without stumbling over their own paws.
I sat down and picked up Michga, who was slightly bigger than my hand now, and deposited her gently on my lap. Molly and Ginger came over to the edge of the little fence we had around their bundle of towels, so I picked them up too (Their mother remained laying down, no doubt grateful for the break).
I sat there giggling as I watched the puppies crawl around on my lap. I’m not sure how long it took, maybe a couple of minutes or just seconds, but eventually my giggles transformed into tears. Soon, I was sobbing and laughing at the same time. The joy of puppies finally brought out the pain, and I experienced them both at the same time.
This was the first time, of hundreds to come, that Michga has made me feel better just by be being there. If you have a pet, you know what I mean.