I love my dog. I love him as a child, as a best friend.
Leo came to me as a rescue dog. At the time, I was struggling with a recent diagnosis of chronic pain. Trying to accept that the disabling pain in my knee was here to stay is another story, but I can say, I was not coping.
Then my dog died, a friendly old Pit Bull by the name of Sid. I had rescued her ten years previously, from what would have been, a miserable life as a pig dog. I took it hard. Having to put your best mate down is an awful thing to have to do. I was in pain, physically and emotionally and lonely without my old mate.
My Daughter, having grown up with our two dogs, both now passed, wanted another dog badly. I have rescued every animal I have ever owned, so our next pet would be no different, and so our search began.
It is surprisingly hard to find a rescue dog through the adoption agencies. This is a good thing, I understand they need to be certain the dog will be going to a good home, but it can be quite a task finding the right dog. We ended up feeling quite discouraged after several dead-end enquiries. It was then we got a call from a foster mum, would we take a Staffy?
I had never owned a Staffy before, but was keen to give it a go. This particular Staffy had been a bit of a problem, through no fault of his own. One look at his profile picture on the rescue site and we fell in love. He was so cute!
At the time we became aware of him, he was staying with a family on a trial basis, it wasn’t working out. It seemed they couldn’t keep him contained. As they were living in the city, with virtually no yard, I knew we had just what this ‘problem dog’ needed.
Our future dog was located two hours drive away, so we made the arrangements to go and pick him up. The night before we were due to leave, we get a call, he has vanished. We were devastated! We had bought him all the things he would need, and looking at them made me feel such loss and regret for what could have been.
Late that night, we get another call, He’s back! We were overjoyed and couldn’t leave early enough the next day, before anything else happened and our dog-to-be vanished again.
We loved him on site. I have known a lot of great dogs in my lifetime, but this dog had so much character and charisma, it was impossible not to love him. Both the temporary family and his foster family had a real soft spot for him, though the former had to admit they just couldn’t keep him. Their loss proved to be our gain.
I took to this spotty little dog immediately, but over time I grew to love him. My family all agree that he was, quite possibly, human in a previous life. He has the character of a mischievous little kid.
We had to learn to contain him to our property and keep him safe, through a bit of trial and error. On one of his earlier attempts, he took off over the fence and was gone. We all flew into action, driving up and down the lane, frantically calling his name. No sign of him. It wasn’t till the next door neighbour returned from walking his dog, that we see Leo, running along beside him, having the time of his life. The neighbour had found him a few paddocks away, swimming in a farmers dam!
He loves to be with us. Whether this is playing with his favorite toys, going for a drive, or snuggling up on the lounge for a cuddle, it’s all right by him. His favorite time of the day would have to be bedtime. No dogs on beds rule went out the window upon the arrival of Leo. That right there is the problem, I look into those expressive, big brown eyes and don’t have the will to refuse him. Besides, he makes the best ever teddy bear.
Leo is constantly by my side. We spend our days together, he sleeps on my bed at night, he always comes on holidays with us. Even if this means we end up staying in a dump, because it’s the only place that will allow dogs. Yes, he is spoilt, spoilt rotten. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. He deserves a good life, with a family that love him as a valued member of the family. He helped pull me out of the debilitating depression that often accompanies chronic pain. He helped me begin to enjoy life again. It is impossible to be sad when you have those little eyes looking at you,saying, come on, let’s go for a drive!
He is well-known at our local vet clinic, probably as one of the more difficult customers. He gets so excited when he walks in the door, especially if there are other animals in the waiting room. By the time he gets seen to in the exam room, it takes a lot of wrestling and, literally, pinning him down so that the vet can examine him.
He was also the best man at our wedding. My Husband and I eloped, settling for a small wedding on the coast. It was just us, my Daughter, and my Dad and Kay. We had a lovely day. Leo was so well-behaved and looked so very handsome in his specially ordered tuxedo.
So thank you Leo. For being my baby, my best friend, my personal trainer, my teddy bear, my side-kick. I feel lucky to have you in my life and truly blessed that you found us. It is a privilege to be a part of your life.