To the Editor:
Dogs have always been a huge part of my life. My first dog, Leroy, was here before I was, and would follow me around the house to keep me out of trouble. He was some kind of German shepherd hound mix, so he was the biggest dog I've ever owned. When I was only four, we got a puppy.
She was a tiny fluffball named Lacy -- a Yorkie/Bichon cross. We got her from a breeder, and I didn't understand that we should have gotten our puppy from a shelter. I mean, who cares, right? A puppy is a puppy.
Maybe a year or two years after Lacy came to the family, Leroy died, unfortunately, of cancer. He was only eight -- way too young. Lacy was an only dog for a couple of years, and she loved it. However, that didn't
My mom decided that she wanted a puppy. She scoured the Internet, looking for the perfect puppy. They were all cute, but none were just right. Until, we came across a small litter of two Cavachons. Sugar and
Sweetie were photographed in flower pots, work boots, flowering cans, flower beds and covered in dirt. They were being sold from Lancaster,
Pa. After lots of convincing, we took the four hour drive on my parent's anniversary to pick up one of the pups. She was supposed to be my mom's anniversary present, but as soon as I laid eyes on the two fluffy munchkins with their “adoptive mother” - a German shepherd - I knew that wasn't happening. She rode home in my arms, and the whole way we were thinking up a name. I was the one to pick it out. "Lulu!" And it stuck. Lulu was mine, I was hers. I started training her as soon as she turned four months. We did obedience, rally and showmanship. We even got so good that we won first place in shows. When she was about a year, I started her in agility. She loved it. We got her CGC, we did more shows.
I registered her with AKC partners. Then the family decided we should
foster dogs. The first foster we were emailed about was the one we chose. A black and white beagle mix, sweet. Oh, one more thing- she's pregnant. She wasn't recommended to us first time fosters, but whatever. We loved the face staring up at us. She had eight adorable puppies in the midst of a snow storm. We couldn't go anywhere, so it's good there weren't any complications. We found out that she was actually a beagle/springer Spaniel/other stuff. They were all named after Peanuts characters, mama was Sally. She had a little bit of food aggression towards Lacy, but other than that she was perfect. She had nothing to do with what happened next. One day, while my mom was off at a meeting for work, Lulu started yelping. I was scared, so I said we should go to the vet. My dad said no. After about an hour of begging, though, he finally agreed. We went to Pender vet, and they promised to take good care of my three- year-old doggy. When they came back they delivered the news that she had medial luxating patella. As serious as that sounds, it's just the sliding in and out of the knee cap, but it is extremely painful. That meant that I couldn't jump her, so we couldn't do agility shows. Unless we got the surgery, which we still haven't decided on.
While thinking about this, I have realized that getting upset about the no-more-agility thing is extremely selfish. I should be really happy that nothing is seriously wrong with Lulu, and that at least now she can feel a little better. Have you ever heard that "life's about the journey, not about the destination?" I would agree with that, but it's really not true. Life is a destination. You need to slow down sometimes, and look at what you've accomplished. You don't always need to know exactly where to go, or what you are doing. You don't need to go anywhere! When you stop and think about it, life isn't a journey at all. Because you have to appreciate what you have, because that can change in an instant. I didn't know that the Sunday before we took Lulu to the vet might be the last time we did agility! My dogs have taught me that sometimes it's ok to slow down, take some deep breaths, and just hug your dog.
Seventh-grader/Sydney Lanier Middle