A Note on Bravery
It seems like the pups that come to our facility fall into one of two camps: 1) Recklessly fearless . . . those that jump in without a care for what is in front of them and 2) Cautiously guarded . . . those that need to sniff around a bit before getting comfortable with the facility and those in it. Recently though, I’ve been noticing a new brand: Those that are remarkably brave.
Unlike the reckless group, the brave group are very much aware of the challenges before them. In the two instances that I’ve had the good fortune to work with directly, the challenges were thrust upon them by way of some disability.
I’m a little biased on this one, but the first is my own Anni. Anni is a soon-to-be 19 year old miniature schnauzer. Over the years, she has lost her hearing, her eye sight is failing, and now her spinal cord is starting to degenerate. Still, every morning, she’s up like a trooper going outside, fending off her siblings for her breakfast, and out-eating them at every chance she gets. She faces the world as best she can, but the point is that she’s facing the world. I often wonder if I’d have the fortitude to keep plugging away with those types of challenges.
Then there’s Mini. Mini is a fully blind 15 year old Jack Russell Terrier. Her humans were in the process of moving so she needed to stay with us for a while. Mini had been here before, but only for a few hours and so had very limited experience with the facility. Despite not knowing her way around and not being able to see anything, she gets out of her bed every day and insists on being able to walk around to sniff out everyone and everything! If we were to contain her in any way, she barks and demands to be able to explore. Again: I can’t help but wonder if I would have the bravery to go exploring if I couldn’t see anything in a strange new place with a lot of “dog smells.”
I’m a firm believer that there’s so much we can learn from our 4 legged friends. I can only hope I can follow this exceptional bravery when confronted with my own sets of physical challenges!