You never know it when they happen. I certainly didn't. I didn't know that August 21, 2004 was going to be a particularly meaningful day.
What happened? It was the first time that I was picking Lisa up for a date (we had met at the date place before then). I arrived at the door and was greeted by a ferocious almost-black creature making loud noises and bearing his oh so sharp teeth held in place by massively strong jaws. He could have torn me to bits and at the time, I think I knew that.
Upon placing my heart back in my chest, I learned that his name was Shep and his much smaller (at the time) little 'sister' was Duckie. Shep was about 7 1/2 at the time while Duckie was just a puppy. I had never had a dog in my life. I didn't know what to do, but as my relationship with Lisa progressed, I knew I would have to learn.
By Christmas (probably much earlier) of that year, Shep was no longer ferocious to me. In fact, I learned that while those jaws and those teeth could tear me to bits, they never would. He was playful and he was loyal. I found out that he and Duckie were special creatures indeed.
I don't know exactly when they became my four-legged children, but there was a time when that happened. I could say pretty much all of the same things about Duckie, but today is about Shep.
He is a rescue dog --part Doberman, part Shepherd. He suffered a severe hip injury during his first year of life. When you see him, you could always tell that it bothers him, but rarely has he shown it in his spirit. He is lovable. He adopted me as his Papa as much as I adopted him as my four-legged child. And, he is loyal.
As Shep is in what may sadly be his last days, he remains oh so loyal. Today he has trouble moving. He is suffering with a number of ailments, difficult to diagnose because his version of English has a limited vocabulary, But, there is one thing that I know for sure. If someone out there were stupid enough to threaten Lisa and me in our home during these days, they would still have to deal with Shep. He would be there for us, and while I don't know what would happen to him, he would make sure that we were safe.
Unconditional loyalty ...
Unconditional love ...
A true friend ...
You've given me 7 good years and I know the end is near, but if you can sense what I am writing, I want you to know before you leave us what you have meant to me.
I love you Shep.