Monday, April 14, 2008

The Great and Powerful Oz

This is my best friend. We've been friends for about twelve years now. I could tell about all that we've been through, but I want to celebrate my friend. I brought Ozzie home from Wheat Ridge Animal Shelter when he was almost two years old. Everyone at the shelter loved him, but I got to bring him home. Then I discovered what it's like living with a 75-pound two-year-old lab! I found a great trainer. Affection and Praise Family Training...the key is FAMILY. She believes as I do that it's never the dog, it is the owner. Ozzie and I learned a lot about each other our first year together thanks to Jackie's consistent help. We have been best friends ever since. He is truly devoted. My Mom has tried to take him for walks without me, he only goes so far and then stops. He did the same with my old boyfriend. He doesn't want to go far from his Mom. We used to hike for hours on off-leash trails south of Boulder. He got to interact with other dogs, and be a dog himself. He loved those hikes and would come home exhausted. When I traveled for business, I found a kennel that had doggie day care so he could get out of his kennel and play. He'd wag himself silly over those trips I took. I was always glad that I had good people to care for him in my absence and was grateful he was getting exercise. Alas, dogs age. I'm reminded of "Marley & Me". Thank God, the Great and Powerful Oz is still with me. He's not so powerful anymore, but he still is great. Our walks are short now, a block or two. I have to lift him on my bed to sleep at night, he used to jump up on his own. I give him massages a couple times a day to ease the pain of his arthritis, and special treats just because he is so special to me, and has been my best friend through good times and the very worst of times. He never questioned why things were so tough, he just stood by me, loved me and comforted me. Love your pets, treat them as the precious gifts they are, no one will ever love you more unconditionally, or make you laugh the loudest when you are sobbing, or keep your cold feet warm at night without complaining. They are our greatest gift from God.

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