These are my miniature Schnauzers, Rudy (in gray) and Reggie (in black).
After I finished my yoga this morning, they each separately came to sit in my lap and let me wrap my arms around them for a few minutes, their warm little heads right under my chin, which helped ease me more deeply into peace and compassion.
Rudy, about 9, is a rescue dog, but which of us rescued the other is an open question. He’s had a bit of a bumpy ride; I am his fourth owner. His original owner died suddenly, his second owner was hospitalized for several months and couldn’t care for him, he was attacked and nearly killed by a wild animal when he came to live with his third owner, and shortly after I got him, he had to have his matted coat completely shaved from head to toe and have about a dozen rotten teeth pulled.
Here he is right after he got shaved, looking like a Jack Russell.
He also got sprayed by a skunk three times, and ran away from home one day and was gone for hours. But a kind neighbor returned him to me, we moved out of the house that had skunks in the back yard, and for the past 3 years anyway, he’s had no trauma or drama to deal with at all … except maybe the arrival of his co-dog Reggie. He’s a champion, through and through.
Here he is about a year after he came into my care. What a handsome guy!
Reggie, nearly 3, is a success story that I thought for a long time would never happen.
Here she is meeting Rudy for the first time when she was just 8 weeks old.
Our first year together was a test of my mettle such as I have never experienced. She ate her own (and Rudy’s) poo, she took months to house train, and she was a shredder and destroyer of anything that would fit in her mouth (which resulted in surgery for a bowel blockage when she was 6 months old).
Here she is during her recovery from that surgery.
She had several urinary tract infections, then we found out she had a congenital portosystemic shunt (an extra blood vessel on her liver that was shunting blood around her liver rather than through it, which was preventing the liver from properly filtering her blood) that had to be surgically repaired last year.
Another recovery, this one smoother than the last one, and I hope we will never have to put her under the knife again.
She seems impervious to any kind of training—her only trick is to sit for a treat—and she bosses us all around relentlessly. But since the liver surgery, she’s had no health or house training issues at all, and even though she’s still bossy, we’ve all settled down into a comfortable balance.
Every day that I wake up to see those fuzzy faces looking back at me is a good day. When they jump off the bed and dance at the door, do their chores readily in the back yard, dive into their food bowls the instant I set them down, nap quietly through the day, get excited when I grab their leashes and say “walkies,” and settle in on either side of me on the couch after dinner to watch a movie, I know all is right in our world. They are the sweetest things in my life, these two.