September 28, 2011

Saving Private Grissom by Janice Robinson

My sister, Janice, sent me the greatest email about her dog, Grissom, and I asked her if I could share it with my pet-loving readers. Grissom is as wonderful as she describes him, and more. Since he came into her life, I've seen Janice blossom with pure happiness. A soul mate isn't always a human. Sometimes it's an old dog with shaggy hair.

Four years ago tomorrow, I rescued my love. Hasn't it only been 4 years? Seems like we have been together forever. I wanted a Spinone for years, but knew I could never afford one. So I put my name on a rescue waiting list. It took over 3 years to be called.

I took my daughter, Jenna, with me to take a look at this older dog. Didn't really want an older one, already had one of those at home. We drove on to the breeder/rescuer's property and she had a pen full of puppies, ready to go. Damn. Then they brought out ‘Caesar.’ Jenna put a leash on him and off they ran into the nearby field. I was holding a cute little puppy. Decision time. A half hour later, Jenna and Caesar emerged from the field, both panting and huge grins on their faces. No decision was necessary. He made my daughter laugh. He nuzzled me and pushed his face into my leg. As we opened the back of the Jeep, he leaped in and Carol, the rescuer was in tears. Caesar had not shown any interest in people before us. He was considered a Shut Down from the abuse and abandonment he’d suffered. In fact, he didn't even interact with the other dogs. But she saw him come to life with us.

I renamed him Grissom, new life, new name. He took to it immediately.

Now 4 years later, we have been through so much together. No words can describe what he has meant to me. No poem, no eloquent words can adequately tell you what he has done for my heart. I've only gotten one kiss from him, the day my Dad died. He was sitting so close to me, I was sobbing and he gently kissed my cheek. It was what I needed. He always gives me what I need.

I constantly tell him what he means to me, I brush him, play with him, take him to the park and to the vet. When I come home, he does this ridiculous "Happy Dance", where over 100 lbs of Spinone bounces up and down and leaps in the air. It's a sight to behold and it's all for me.

In the evening he will stand quietly and then make a small moo sound, yes, like a cow. If I ask if he wants to Snuzzle, he will run at me, full force. I sit at the edge of the couch and he will push his nose into my neck and take long breaths...like he's trying to memorize my scent. I rub his ears, face and back, he breaths me in.

Grissom now plays with others, greets humans if somewhat cautiously and lives a pretty good life. He takes orders from my cats, sleeps in my bed and has his own couch. He protects me from men in hats and little girls who scream in front of our house. I put his needs before my own. There is nothing I wouldn't do for him. His face is on an expensive purse of mine, his picture is my avatar on a forum. He's met and played with former Tiger pitcher Milt Wilcox.

He's been to more places than you can imagine and has had his picture in the paper and across the internet. He has participated in Meals on Wheels for Pets, many pet events, Halloween parties, Christmas parties. I've thrown him birthdays parties complete with doggie cake. He's had his paw print in clay and donned a pink hair weave in support of Pet Cancer Awareness. My boy has done it all. Yes, I rescued him and he rescued me right back.

Grissom lives to make me laugh and feel loved, I make sure he is healthy, happy and loved. It's a win-win situation. Four years ago my life changed. Who would have thought adopting an older dog would have been one of the best decisions of my life? Think this is too much ado about a dog? Tell me, have you ever been loved unconditionally? Everyone deserves this type of love, whether man or beast. Wouldn't the world be a better place?

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