Today is the third anniversary of Chico’s ‘got ya’ day, the day he came to live with me. On that day I didn’t know he was going to be my dog. If you’ve read my first posts, you know I wasn’t looking for a dog, I didn’t think I had the time or the money or the living situation that would permit me to have a dog.
In the last three years, I have developed a regular yoga practice, walked miles in beautiful places, taken up a new sport and, for the first time in my life, started to enter competitions.
In the last three years, I learned that I really, really needed a dog. I meet new people and have something to talk to them about, it has drawn me out. I get more exercise, I’m healthier and happier.
In the last three years, Chico has gone from a fearful creature who tries to manage the whole world to a reasonably confident (though still far from perfectly adjusted), sociable, friendly dog who (literally) looks to me when he thinks something is not right (well, OK, maybe he only does that 60 or 70% of the time). He’s gone from a dog who jumped and hid behind me when another dog banged the see-saw to a dog who, when loose in the arena, will run to the raised end of the apparatus and stand on his hind legs to bring that end down on the floor with a bang-clang. When Chico first saw an agility tunnel, he wanted nothing to do with it. He had to be lured through a very short, straight tunnel with super high-value treats and much coaxing; now he sees a long, curved tunnel and dives into it, racing out the far end looking for me. He loves the weave poles so much that he will drag me to them when we arrive in the arena. In this video, starting at about second 22, he is so eager to do the poles, he almost glows.
Chico has been a lot of places with me: Washington, DC, Portsmouth, NH, Portland, ME, Algonquin Provincial Park and Toronto in Ontario, Niagara Falls, and more. Every time we come back from an adventure, he handles the day to day things here with more aplomb and grace.
And he’s so, so very photogenic: