Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lessons From a Puppy

Lessons from a Puppy


Meet Annabell, aka, Piddles.

Annabell is an 8 month old Black Lab mix.

Like almost any puppy, Annabell is extremely lovable, so cute she could make your hear melt, and very energetic.

AND, like most puppies, she “piddles” everywhere (hence the nickname). 

The problem is, however, her accidents inside the house have not gotten any better despite weeks of training.  Everyday, there is a new spot on the carpet to clean.

My mom and stepdad adopted Annabell from a work colleague of my mom’s a few months ago, saving her from going back to a shelter.  Like many people, I’m assuming her previous owners found out they did not have the time or energy to care for an energetic puppy.  (I say “save” because the likelihood of adoption decreases when a dog is brought back to a shelter). 

At my mom and stepdad’s house, Annabell receives all the love and food a dog could need.  She even has a doggy friend to look up to, in their 9 year old Black Lab Savannah (Savannah may act like she doesn’t like Annabell, but deep down I know she does).  It also helps that my mom is very patient, perhaps a virtue that grew stronger from raising 3 daughters.  In other words, my mom can calmly deal with all the destruction a puppy brings, in addition to all the love and joy.

So, with much patience, day after day my mom and stepdad scrub the carpet to clean up where Annabel has her accidents.  And, day after day, they wash the towel left in Annabell's crate where she stays while they are at work.  It has now become part of the routine.


If you are a dog owner, you know the last two sentences shouldn’t make sense.  Dogs never soil their own area, unless left alone for long periods of time (which Annabell is not).  Actually, Annabel can’t seem to hold it for more than an hour or two.  At the same time, my mom and stepdad can’t seem to keep her away from the water bowl either. 

Knowing something wasn’t quite right, they took Annabel to the vet and described her symptoms.  Soon after, she was scheduled for tests.

The results weren’t good. They found out Annabell has renal dysplasia, meaning she has an abnormal kidney formation.  The doctor told them she has 6 months to 1 year to live.  Besides feed here a special diet to slow the progression of the disease, there is nothing they can do…

Except love her.

Below is a video of 8 month old Annabell.  As you can see, she seems like any other puppy:  living life full speed ahead, always awaiting what’s next, and always eager for love. 
(*I apologize for the poor quality! **Annabell is 8 months old!)
In fact, you would never know Annabell was sick.  In truth, she probably doesn’t either.  But what difference does that make?

My mom and stepdad treat Annabell like any other puppy because she IS like any other puppy.  They don’t act sad or depressed around her because she is not sad or depressed.  They give her love and she exudes love. *

On the other hand, how many humans do you know that when the slightest conflict or illness arises, it’s like the end of the world?  We let the tiniest of things get to us and bring us down.  We sulk, we moan, we complain.  And that leads us too?  Yes, more sulking, moaning, and complaining.

But what if we were like Annabell?  What if, the next time some problem arose in our lives, we continued on as normal? What if we smiled, laughed, and lived adventurously, just the same?

What difference would that make?

(* I honestly believe a Higher Power put Annabell into the loving arms of my mom and stepdad.  With them, she is provided with a safe and loving home.  Not only are my mom and stepdad lucky to have Annabell, but she is lucky to have them.)

(An even worse recording by me, but shows Annabell's energy!)

***Annabell received her wings on January 25, 2014

For more lessons from a dog, check out my post on Pacer, my Australian Shepard, click on the following link: http://rachelnypaver.blogspot.com/2013/03/lessons-from-dog-trail.html

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