I have 2 dogs and they are the complete opposite of each other in many different ways. Maggie Moo is my little rescued 7 lb Malti poo and Ziggy Brees is my 80+ lb “high quality bloodline” sable German Shepard who has a father worth more than my car!
In addition to my ” fur babies”, I have one child-a beautiful amazing daughter. I became a single mom when she was 3, so we are pretty close. When she went away for school as a high school Sophomore, I went through the dreaded “empty nest” stage.
My fur babies is what saved me the most in that phase! It was very difficult adjusting to being on my own again. I had never realized how much my life revolved around my daughter and how strong of a need I have to “nurture” until she left. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without my pups during that time.
We adopted Maggie Moo from a local rescue agency about 3-4 years ago. She was found wondering the streets, wearing a torn sweater and was so dirty, they didn’t know what color she was. While she was being cleaned up and shaved, they found sticks and barbed wire in her little coat and she had to be shaved all the way down to the point of being ugly. When the rescue agency posted her pic on FB, I immediately jumped on it because I knew how she d look after her little coat grew out and there was just something about her that grabbed my attention.
She was scared to death when we brought her home and it took about 3 months before she really warmed up and started coming out of her shell. I know all too well what it’s like to be reserved so I never pushed it. I just let her be herself. The one thing that struck me the most about her is that, despite all she endured, she still continued to love and trust. That just amazed me because as “closed up” and emotionally unavailable I was at that time in my life, I didn’t have the capacity to open myself up and love as much as she did/does.
Maggie’s around 9-10 ish now, the best that we can guess. She s very quiet, doesn’t get into things and doesn’t even like playing with toys. All she wants is to be loved and doesn’t demand a whole lot. We have a bedtime routine. She knows when I’m getting ready for bed and follows me and goes into her little corner of my bedroom and sleeps on her special blanket. Don’t let her quiet nature fool you! She’s also a little bad ass that will grab her bully stick right out of my German Shepard’s mouth when he steals it from her and will fight him off if need be! Watching her do that reminds me that I always need to stand up for myself. I do need to be kind, forgiving etc but I also can’t let people walk all over me and take advantage of me. That is something that I forget very often. I hate conflict etc and typically will “swallow things” and walk away over chancing some sort of negative reaction, risk losing someone or have someone think of me in a negative way.
Mr Ziggy Brees. He is the flip side of Maggie! Before I found him, I tried to do the right thing by searching rescue agencies for the right large breed. I’m very particular about where I get large breeds from because of my daughter, my nieces and nephews and lil Maggie.I had found some in local shelters but not knowing their background and temperaments etc just turned me off. Instead, I searched local and out of state rescue groups that had fosters. I found several dogs that I tried to adopt but they would not adopt to me because I lived out of state.
Around this time, my uncle had been telling me about a litter of German Shep pups that his good friend had. I was starting to get concerned because my daughter was going to be leaving for school soon and I wanted to make sure that she bonded with the new pup before she left. I fought off going to see those pups as long as I could because I just knew my rescue friends would hate me! Finally, though, I just couldn’t stand it any longer and I went. OMG, those dogs were just beautiful! Especially Ziggy’s father, who is solid black. The minute I saw Ziggy, I fell in love and I just couldn’t walk away. I named him Ziggy because it’s German for “Victorious Protector” and Brees, after my favorite quarterback, of course!
Ziggy is incredibly outgoing, friendly, happy and 100% male German Shepard. Unlike Maggie, he DEMANDS attention. He has a dominant( but not aggressive) personality and is so intelligent that it’s uncanny at times. He also has an excellent temperament and he loves everyone and other animals, with the exception of cats! He is clueless of his size and strength and likes to sit in laps. In addition, he is very attached to me , doesn’t let anyone close to me and is extremely affectionate.
It has taken me time to get used to his affection. Remember, I’m a recovering “commitment phobic” and “emotionally unavailable” person that hates to be smothered. Therefore, displaying affection is just not typically my thing, with the exception of my daughter. However, Ziggy is showing me how to accept love and I’m actually now starting to embrace it. Every single night, he cuddles up next to me. In some way, shape or form, he has to always be touching me. I also trained him to rub noses, so he has to always rub my nose while he’s cuddled up. I am unable to let him sleep in my bedroom because when I tried he kept waking me up all hours of the night “kissing me”
Recently, he has shown me the importance of patience and how to NOT try and force things to happen. Now, I can see the lesson in it but at the time-not so much. Around 11ish-midnightish one week night, he refused to come back into the house. He wanted to play. When I’d go out to grab him, he’d turn around and run away and then come charging at me acting like he was coming to me but divert at the last moment.
Finally after a few hours, I got very frustrated and gave up because I had work the next morning. I knew that my yard was securely fenced so I just threw my hands up and went to bed and left him out there. The next morning, he was at the backdoor crying and begging to come back in. My lesson learned was that whatever or whomever is meant to be in your life will find its/their way, so there is no need to try to force things.
I love my babies, all of them. It may sound crazy to some but I do feel as if my fur babies are as much family as my daughter is. They are definitely helping me to fill the void in my daughters absence and I would be very lonely without them. I’m looking forward to the continued life lessons they will teach me.
There is so much that can be learned from dogs, animals etc. I challenge you to take some quiet time, open your mind, step out of the box, and learn lessons from things out of the ordinary as well.
Thanks for reading!
Peace & love