Bradley A. McClain, a local funeral director, posted this on Facebook. After I got done sniffling about it, I asked him if I could use it here, because we all need some help from our friends sometimes.
Enjoy, and thanks, Brad.
This is Zak II. He is old, smelly, has two teeth, and is about the pickiest eater ever. He came to me from a rescue shelter after he was taken from a home with 108 dogs. He was number 47. His back leg was broken at some point and it healed crooked, so when he runs, he has to hop to make his back end keep up with the front. He has a fistula in his mouth that runs up to his nose which makes him whistle if he sleeps on his left side...which is absolutely impossible to sleep next to.
He is the most lovable old man dog I have ever had the privilege of knowing. He's stubborn and annoying, especially when another animal has one of his toys. He prefers to only do his number two at the office yard, so I sometimes have to drive him 8.7 miles to go. Of course, this is because he's figured out this is an absolute certain method of manipulation to get to go for a car ride―with the heated seat turned on.
He loves almost everybody at work and likes to snuggle with people that are having a bad day. At least until the dreaded "brown man" shows up at the door, and he turns all rabid-Rottweiler on the UPS guy, wanting to shred his legs and make sure that he never terrorizes our place of business again. We really don't know why he hates the UPS man, but it's something he is absolutely dedicated to in his beliefs.
When I get up to go to the bathroom in the night, he steals my warm spot and all my pillows and burrows down in an effort to hide himself in the warmth. He usually wins and I go to his side of the bed to not disturb his happiness. He sleeps all night in the same position, and doesn't get out of bed until after I've showered and put my socks on, enjoying each second of blessed rest before absolutely having to extract himself from the comforts of his queen size bed, which he allows me a portion of most nights.
He flirts with all the drive-through servers in town, with an extraordinary ability to get a free small French fry or chicken nugget. The bank tellers know him by name, and he expects that drawer to contain a biscuit when it returns my deposit slip. He has made friends with several other delivery persons, one of whom even has a special bag of soft treats for his toothless self to enjoy. He has trained the humans at the office to feed him with a fork―it's easier for him than sliding a plate all over trying to pick up food without his choppers. He is devastated when dinner arrives via take out and there is nothing for him in the bag.
|Zak II and Brad|
He is old, he has his issues, but I couldn't love any bag of fleas any more than this mongrel. He's faithful and steady in his friendship, and when I've had an emotional day, he knows just how to snuggle to make things better. His best friend is the cat that snuggles up to him nightly and gives him a good bath around two am. He catches the "slow" squirrel in front of my house every couple of weeks, licks his face, and lets him go.
Tonight, I lay here snuggling with the old mutt and thinking how thankful I am for his loyalty, his friendship, his forgiveness, and his love. I should probably take a few lessons from him, as he is a great example of how man should live. Try to love unconditionally, forgive and let go when necessary, remove and drive away the toxic people in your life so that you can be happier. Enjoy the simple blessings (like car rides and treats), rise above your afflictions, and move on from past struggles. Know when you need the care of others and when to snuggle and love those who are broken. Rest as needed, share (well, everything but special toys), and do everything faithfully and with conviction.
Lessons from Zak II.