I have a large Pitbull/Chocolate lab mix dog named Guts. I flew home from a vacation in Cancun a couple years ago with my husband to find my son had rescued this large dog he found running in the street. I already had 2 small annoying rat terriers who were elderly so when my husband surprised me with the news on the way home from the airport I was totally pissed off. I know how this goes, my son finds an animal and I end up taking care of it. I came in after a completely relaxing vacation and found this starving dog with lacerations and cuts all over from street fighting greeting me at the door. He walked right up to me and licked my face as I sat on the stairs and he had my heart. I agreed he could stay.
As time and luck would have it my son moved out and didn’t take the dog with him. Guts became my companion and third child. He never barks, he trained himself to go to the bathroom in the downstairs bathroom in case of emergency on the bathroom rug, and he sleeps most of the day. When I am working as a life coach, he seems to know when my clients are having a tough time and he goes over and puts his head on their lap or just sits next to them on the floor. I’m convinced he is a service dog and knows just when to offer comfort. This dog has just melted my heart. I have never felt this kind of love for any of the pets we’ve had. The older rat terriers died one after another and although I cried at the time, my heart really belonged to Guts.
Last March I woke at 3 a.m. to my dog panting and pooping and peeing on the carpet. His legs had given out and he was in extreme stress. He was dying from an anaphylactic reaction to something he ate out on a walk or maybe a sting of some sort. I desperately called emergency clinics and my husband had to carry him down to the car. He was losing control of his bowels leaving a trail of bloody diarrhea down the stairs (3 levels) but with no time to lose, I couldn’t stop to clean it up. I know that people think it’s only a dog, just let him die, but in that moment with his face in my lap my heart was breaking so hard I couldn’t bear to say goodbye to him. He was admitted to the animal ER and spent two days there getting IV’s and Plasma infusions. I would go visit him and sit with him in his huge crate while he slowly came back. It’s amazing how you will pay anything to save your dog in the moment, then when it comes time to whip out the visa card you have a WTF moment! There went the new couch I wanted to buy! He came home with a bunch of meds and follow up instructions. When you are about to lose something or someone very dear to you, you realize how much you love them, you realize that love is more important than anything at that moment.
This dog has brought me so much joy. I get a ton of exercise and am outside a lot which is very grounding for me. Because of his high energy level, I walk him 20-40 minutes a day 3 times a day and my husband takes him out for an hour at night. The benefit of this is I’m outside connecting to nature. In our every day lives it seems like we are constantly rushing. The to do lists are long, distracting us from being fully present in the moment. The deeper we go into the mental chatter, the more untethered we become. It is from this place where the stress and anxiety we begin to unravel like a loose piece of yarn unraveling a sweater. Having to walk my dog keeps me calm and centered because I am forced to get outside. Grounding creates a solid and centered foundation. It allows me to live in a place of balance and alignment.
Sometimes someone or something comes into your life and you have no idea the impact it’s going to have on you. Guts has taught me so much about unconditional love. He is by my side every day as I write and coach and work. When I run energy on clients he is right outside the door most days. I spend more time with my dog than anyone else. He’s asleep at my feet or on the couch. He seems to know when I’m suffering because he will come right up next to me and lean in when I’m having a hard day. I guess what I’m saying is my dog Guts has enriched my life in so many ways. He’s a companion, he never gets pissed off or talks back. When something unexpected in your life shows up embrace it with an open heart and see what unfolds. My life has been enriched by my dog Guts and I hope to have many more years with him by my side.