This weekend we celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. We made a nice Sunday dinner and enjoyed a typical Sunday evening, watching zombies get their heads sliced off. I posted a tribute to my wife on Facebook but today I will celebrate another anniversary.
Our dog Pippin has now been with us for three years. He had a rough start. As I have posted before, he was one of the dogs rescued from a hoarder NE of Minot ND. When we got him he had already been through one home and while they said he was given up because the owners were moving, I suspect his behavior problems were part of it.
Small male dogs that are neutered too late tend to mark a lot, even inside the house. In Pip’s case, especially inside the house. In addition to that, he was always on edge, never slept well, would spend hours under the bed. He didn’t have that lust for life that all dogs should have. We have now come a long way.
Our cat Pocahontas came to us when she was five or six, but she soon determined that the only house that mattered to her was with us. I think she put her former life behind her in an instant and never looked back. Paraphrasing Shirley Jackson, my wife would say “Poca has always lived in the castle.” I think that this year, Pippin has reached that status.
Pippin greets each day like it is the greatest day of his life. He sleeps on the couch with his legs up in the air, even with a cat sharing that blanket he prefers. The little guy walks around his yard with authority and little supervision. Despite his status as the low man on the totem pole in the family pecking order, he thinks nothing of jumping on a bed or a couch with one or more cats. Instead of fleeing guests or at least being shy, Pippin is a total attention slut for any stranger. He has developed a serious crush on my mother-in-law, slept beside my niece every night that my brother’s family were here, and no doubt with continue his tradition of crashing next to my sister-in-law for many Christmases to come. I can roll him around, flip him upside down to rub his chest, and his marking has pretty much become a thing of the past, a condition that supposedly is nigh impossible to cure. In short, he has realized that he has a permanent place here and in his little mind, there has never been any other.
We figure he’s around five years old now which means he will be with us for a long time to come. After all the losses we’ve had the past year, that’s a comfort. I’ve always been a big dog person. There’s nothing I like better than labs and goldens. But this is the guy we ended up with and we couldn’t be happier to have made his life worth living. So happy anniversary Pip. And may we have many more.