Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Best Dog

For a lonely only-child college student in the middle of her second year of school, this dog was the answer.  My parents really did not want me to get a dog.   My dad was afraid it would tie me down, prevent me from doing all of those college things.  My mom was afraid I wouldn't have time.  
I KNEW... I needed a dog.   So I got Bonnie.  

You've heard me mention before that Bonnie is a very confident dog.  She is.  I used to ride horses for a lady who did a lot of parades and she was always talking about the best horses being "bomb proof." If Bonnie was a parade horse I'd like to think she'd be described in this way. 

Getting a dog during the middle of a college career could have really messed me up.  Especially if it wasn't the right dog.  But somehow, I ended up with not only the right dog, but the perfect dog.  

All my life up until Bonnie our family had two Golden Retrievers and a German Shepherd mix.  Goldens are the quintessential American family dog and my dad's favorite.  Our goldens were sweet pups but they lacked a certain gusto... and much to my dismay, they did not retrieve.  Now perhaps this was some failed training effort on our part, but none of our dogs retrieved.  No interest in balls whatsoever.   I tried.  And tried. No success.  

Our dogs also spent a lot of time outside.  They were backyard dogs.  There is nothing wrong with this, but I always wanted more.  I wanted an inside dog.  I wanted a dog that would sleep under the covers with me... because now I was doing the laundry myself.  

Bonnie came to my life at 7 weeks old and has and will always be the Best dog.  She retrieves, she sleeps under the covers with me, and she is always up for something new.  She travels well and has lived in 5 different houses with several new people over her life.  She was my co-pilot on many 8 hour car rides from Sacramento to San Diego.  She flew across the country to Virginia and walked out of the crate like it was nothing.   She likes water, cats, every kind of food imaginable.  She seems to have a very good vocabulary because she always knows what I'm asking her to do, even if now in her older age she isn't always willing to do it.   

I love this dog.  She is the reason our family will have corgis for years to come and she will likely be the standard to which they are all held.  She is that dog that changes everything. 

And she is entertaining. 

I am still young.  And I am still enjoying time with this sweet girl.  This best and first dog that will always be the one to beat.  And while she is still far from leaving us I often think about how sad it will be to be remembering her instead of reaching over to touch her ears while I'm writing this post.  

Many of you have loved and lost your "Best Dogs" already.  Here's to you... and to them :) 


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and touching tribute to a wonderful dog. She's fortunate to have found her "best humans". May you have many more years together.


Taryn said...

Erika, what a beautifully stated post. You brought tears to my eyes!

Boo's Mom said...

Don't tell Darby and Pumpkin, but I agree--Bonnie is the BEST dog! I did't want you to get her, but I'm glad you did. However, there's still that issue of the bathroom vanity she devoured... Love, Mom

Lois said...

Lovely post, Erika, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. You and your mom say so many things that I can connect with....Your Bonnie was my Willls. My forever dog, always in my heart...

scotsmad said...

She is definitely your perfect dog. We hope you have many, many more years of enjoyment together.

XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

corgimas said...

As someone who also got his first cardigan while in college against advice from friends and family i understand this completely! Getting Sammy helped clear my head from a lot of the mundane school things.....I then added a Swedish Vallhund to my little pack during my senior year....

Every little thing about Sammy was/is memorable...he passed over the bridge 3 years ago, and i still feel him with us watching over our 'new' cardi..