Superdog: Keeping us healthy
Just a dog. Not my dog. My dog has super powers. I was working at a local vet, making splints for animals with joint problems. In walks the vet, and she says, “do you want to see something cute?” Immediately, I said NO. I knew what was coming and she knew I couldn’t leave without the cute thing under my arm. And I did. My new dog was gorgeous. She had bat like ears with wisps of fur sprouting from their tips. Her fur was as black as the darkest night, her eyes a piercing light brown and she was the perfect size for a tiny, minuscule garden. Without a question, I took her home.
What my husband saw was something different, maybe closer to reality- a malnourished puppy of about 3 weeks (that was going to grow out of our teeny tiny garden), whiskers that broke off at the slightest touch due to having never eaten, broken hips, patchy fur from cigarette burns and a vicious bite. I thought she was perfect.
Changes needed to be made as we now had a commitment to a 3 week old puppy. The first week was not the week to take on this kind of commitment. I was off to Durban to write exams for my masters and my husband was off to Namibia to arrange an event. So superdog went on her first flight. From street living to the high life all in 7 days. The flight was fine, exams were fine and then coming back...problem. The sweet looking handbag looking dog’s legs had grown and she was now resembling more of a goat than a dog. And she didn’t fit into her aeroplane regulation transport box. Week two of being in each other’s lives and already chaos reigns.
This superdog has navigated through her own life! And we were taken along with her. Don’t be fooled it wasn’t the other way around. She is the reason we sold the teeny, tiny garden and bought a 1000 square meter property. Just so she can stretch her legs. She is the reason we looked for a house where she can just run out onto the mountain trails and be free. Literally, we looked for this. When still in our teeny, tiny garden apartment, we used to take her to properties we knew were empty, just for her to run around in. Why not to the parks you ask? That vicious streak my husband saw in second one of her being home, never really went away and she eats other dogs.
This dog even entered herself into a 35km Namibian desert run! While my husband was arranging a 3 day, 100km desert run, superdog decided it was a great idea to run off with the runners. The kind hearted runners then looked after her the entire route , carrying her down ravines, up treacherous rock scrambles and giving her water!! All the while we only heard glimpses of how the superdog was doing on radio comms, maybe once every hour. Even the paramedics were relieved when she came back and offered to put her on a drip. She spent the next three days indoors on pain killers as she was so stiff And her paws were a bit cut up. But I bet she has been dreaming of her big adventure ever since.
Superdog, really has many more stories but we would be here for days. The real point I am trying to make is that dogs change our lives. They give us a reason to exercise, to love, to care. When we were in the teeny, tiny garden I was taking superdog for walks twice a day. (She turned out to be a kind of border collie so if we don‘t walk her the furniture gets herded). Throughout her life she has encouraged my husband to go trail running with her Those eyes on a Saturday morning that beg, “is it a 15km today?” or the excitement when I walk past her lead in the afternoon; these things keep us motivated to move more. And moving is good for all of our souls.
These days superdog is calmer, as her arthritic body hurts. She has weathered baboon brawls, falls from 2nd stories, being hit by a car and knee surgery. But her spirit still wants to walk. And so we take her. And when the pain killers don’t work anymore, we will pop her into my daughters pram and push her so that she can smell the smells of the neighborhood and keep in touch with the other superdog adventurers. And we will keep doing this for her. She makes us care, and she cares for us by making us move.
Keep listening to your dogs, keep moving with them. #dogsforahealthylife