So often with advocacy blogs we end up sounding like we are harping on a topic, which can be a turn off to others.
So I thought I’d change the subject and talk about The Happiest Dog in the World.
Her name is McKinley and she’s named after the largest mountain in North America. Why? Because her heart is big as that grand peak that rises straight up 18,000 feet out of the surrounding plain. Unlike Denali (the Athabascan name for it that means “Great One”), McKinley’s heart is not made of granite, but of joy and love – all 7 pounds of her.
Yup, that’s right, she’s a mix of mini-Doxie and Jack Russell and the mini really went small on her. She’s both lovely to look at and light as a feather to hold. Besides that, when the creator of dogs made her extra helpings of love and joy were added to make her extra-special.
Several months ago, ‘Kinley was designated a “mental health” companion dog. She’s got a vest and everything. But she’s really missed her calling. She’s the dog that lets me know there is someone at the door. She’s started acting as my hearing ear dog – she’s got it that she needs me to watch her. She trained herself in no time flat. At night she checks on everyone in the house to make sure we’re all safe. She also breaks up fights when the cats get into it with each other. “No unhappiness in this house!” But when it storms out, she is a scared little dog – the only time she isn’t happy.
Other dogs might like to play tug of war and growl and play fight. McKinley isn’t interested. She wants to cuddle up and give you love. Now and then she’ll pick up her stuffed dog and give it a shake, but then it is “pals forever” and she lays down with it. When she’s not being a cuddle bug she loves to go for a walk. And let me tell you, you’ve never SEEN a happy dog until you’ve walked with ‘Kinley. Sometimes I let her walk ahead and even her little butt is happy! Every step is a tail wag and every step has a little skip to it.
I’ve met lots of happy dogs. I’ve met dogs who smile. I’ve met lots of really great dogs. But in all my life, I’ve never met a dog with as much sheer joy in life as ‘Kinley.
Her former “Dad” didn’t like her – at all. He tried. She drove him nuts. When Mom and Dad got a divorce she ended up with Dad for a long time. It was sad, because she ended up rejected. Then one day we were able to have her certified as a mental health companion dog and now she and her Mom will always be able to be together.
Maybe the reason she is so happy is that she lives with 5 people – 6 sometimes – who love her to pieces. She greets everyone with great joy when we come in the door and she lets us know she’s going to miss us while we’re gone. If you’re sad, she’s there to make your day brighter. If you’re hurt, she’s there to soothe your pain (she used to lay her head gently on my broken shoulder) or your broken heart.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why her former Dad didn’t like her – even a little bit. She’s brimming over with love and joy. Maybe he likes the opposite? That would be sad. But he does have another dog he loves, so I guess it just wasn’t a good fit. Although, ‘Kinley loves him even if he doesn’t like her. Dogs are better about that than people are.
She’s right beside me now. Sleeping on a blanket I told her she could use. Resting after a nice brushing and a canned food and tuna treat (burp!).
When, someday, I move away and don’t see her as much, I will miss her so much. She’s my grand-dog and while the grandkids will grow up and go on to their own lives, ‘Kinley will always be a little love bug full of great joy and able to bring happiness to others.
She’d make a great “hearing ear” dog for the Deaf, but she’d miss her Mom and new Dad and the kids too much. Too bad we can’t clone her “I’m the happiest dog in the world” personality.