Dear Ben…

Seven months ago, you came into our home scared, mistrustful, unpredictable, and dangerously food aggressive. You wolfed your food at what seemed like close to light-speed, and you had such severe kennel anxiety that even a few minutes of being in it made you potty in it. Walking you was often very difficult; you were in a new environment and you were so anxious and nervous that you couldn’t relax. Playing with you – especially with a toy – was out of the question; you didn’t know what play was. To you, it was all about doing whatever you had to do to get the prize – including biting.

But, in the seven months that you have been with us, you have changed… and so have I. I’ve helped you learn that not all humans are bad, and you have helped me remember to trust my instincts. I’ve taught you how to play, and in return, you’ve taught me how to enjoy life. I’ve taught you how to give and accept affection, and you’ve taught me that affection feels good. I’ve worked to help you become calm around food, and you’ve helped me become more patient.  I’ve worked to help you learn to restrain yourself around the cat, and you’ve helped me learn to be calm. I’ve worked to help you become more trusting, and you have helped me learn how to face and deal with my fears. Between the two of us, my beautiful boy, we’ve helped each other become more balanced and happy. Yes, we both still have a ways to go, but that’s what life is about.

Today is our last day together, Ben. It has been quite an extraordinary journey for you, and for us. You stole my heart the first time I saw you, over a year ago, and I will never forget you. I will cry for awhile for missing you, but I know that your new forever family will give you an amazing life filled with love, laughter, play, and so much more. They already love you so, so much – and it’s clear that you love them so much, too. Your eyes light up and your whole body shakes with joy and excitement every time you see them. You and they are going to make a wonderful life together.

Thank you for choosing me to share your journey with, my beautiful boy. Thank you for teaching me, for loving me, for trusting me, for being patient with me, and for all the life lessons you’ve worked so hard to help me learn and remember. I love you more than you will ever know…

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