Ten years ago, I became one of the luckiest people alive, although I didn’t know it right away. A special litter of puppies was born, a few days early from what I’ve heard, and they started changing people’s lives from the beginning. The breeder was supposed to go on an outing that day, and had to cancel it to stay home and make sure the delivery happened alright. The puppies grew up and while most of them seem to love to run, none of them were especially successful race dogs. Their true talents really began to show as they retired from racing and went to live in homes. Every one of them that I’ve heard of went on to heal a broken heart after they were adopted.
For me, it was getting over the loss of my first Greyhound. I thought I’d be adopting a three or four year old hound, but after meeting nearly a dozen dogs, I was introduced to one who was barely eighteen months old. I worried a lot that I’d made some mistake and that two weeks later when we went back up to get her, she’d have turned into a more typical Greyhound puppy. In other words, I feared I’d be adopting a landshark who would make life difficult for our senior Greyhounds and possibly for us humans. The reality was that I needn’t have worried.
Bunny not only settled in well, she brought new life to Hawk, who I feared would grieve himself to death without Treat. The old man rallied to show her the ropes and teach her how to live life as a pet. It was so much fun to see him play like a puppy again as enjoyed his time with Bunny. Back then, I never dreamed what a colorful life she would lead.
Bunny became my therapy dog, visiting people tirelessly in nursing homes and as a hospice volunteer, travel companion, model, muse and sidekick as she grew into her life here. She’s always been active and will attempt just about any adventure or request that I ask of her. On hikes, she is an amazing trooper who never quits. When we go out together, people often ask me if she is adopted or rescued, and often tell me what a wonderful thing I’ve done. Little do they know how much she has given me. I’d say she’s given me so much more than I have given her.
Today, she becomes a member of the two digit birthday club, and I admit, I find it hard not to start worrying about how many more birthdays we’ll celebrate together, even though she’s in good health and there’s no sign that I need to worry anytime soon. Still, the shift in perspective has made me realize that I need to celebrate so much more than birthdays. Today is a gift of time together and new memories and experiences. I want to hold on to each of those moments and realize how special they are. I want to live in the moment with her, whether we’re standing on the beach at Dewey Beach admiring the ocean together or sleeping in together on a lazy Saturday morning.
What I’d like to ask each of you to do for us to help celebrate the day is spend a little time together doing something you love. Put aside the worries and frustrations of the day for a little while and just enjoy what you have with that favorite furry companion by your side. Seize the day in the best possible way.
Happy Birthday, Bunny! You’re one in a million!