A Job Well Done

the new work of dogs

Years ago I read a phenomenal book titled
“The New Work of Dogs” by Jon Katz.
It is a tribute and inspiring look into how dogs
enrich our lives.
If you have read this book, you know exactly what I am talking about.

In my opinion, the premise of the book is that when a dogs comes into our lives, they come into it with a purpose. I believe they instinctively know what it is, but we do not always know until later.  When the purpose is revealed, it is nothing short of life changing.

The dog that came into my life in the fall of 2000 came with a purpose that I now know was to guide me through a personal journey.   After an illness that required my dad to have full time nursing home care, I found myself caring for his dog; a 10 yr old miniature schnauzer named “Honeygirl”.

She was alone every day in his house except for the twice a day visits from a dog caregiver I had hired when I couldn’t be in town.  I moved her into our busy household shortly before my dad passed away and she adjusted beautifully.

Her purpose was unspoken; a quiet , determined resolve to fill a void that I myself didn’t know existed, until she was a part of my life.

She was my constant companion, waking me first thing in the morning and settling in at night when it was my bedtime as well.   Our bond would continue to grow stronger for the next 8 months.   I learned during that time when my dad was ill and then passed away, what it meant to have the very best of a “best friend”  and discovered things about myself as well. Then an illness hit her suddenly, her health rapidly deteriorated and I had to make the decision to let her go.

I was devastated. I grieved for her loss, and at the same time was amazed at what she had added to my life.  Her purpose became clear; to walk beside me through a time that was life altering and to show me a void I didn’t know I had – I couldn’t be without a dog. So I set out to find another.

In  June 2001, I brought Maxie home. Mia would be added to our family in May of 2007.

The purpose of the Ruff Girls?  Well, Maxie is a lot like Honeygirl; quiet, a think-er, and can nap anywhere, anytime! Mia is our family clown, loves to play and is always the first in line for a treat.  They are my constant companions and I’m amazed at their thought processes. I think their purposes really are to numerous to mention, and honestly seem to be evolving.  I struggle to define one definition of their purpose – but that’s ok, they don’t mind.  They just know they have one.