What a weekend!
I don’t even know where to begin.
I’ve always dreamed of having a dog that can go places with me. When the weather is just right she can run errands with me, hang out in the car, and is the happiest dog ever. She’s just never been that into people. She had a rough past and bad experiences when I first rescued her. She has never been thrilled with people or dogs she does not know, and I’ve grown accustomed to this fact. I keep a good distance and make sure she’s only in situations she’s comfortable with. Or so I thought.
Since her surgery and being handled so much by strangers, her personality change has just been simply miraculous. I also think that her classes at Our Companions Animal Rescue have been life changing. Her ability to adapt and grow comfortable with situations that freak her the heck out has been remarkable.
So this Saturday Beth and I wanted to head up to Treehouse. For those in the non-beer fan world, it’s kind of like the mecca for craft beer enthusiasts. All breweries are incredibly dog friendly, and I knew this one in particular had a great outdoor area with trails and a pond. I was torn because I’ve been reluctant to leave Liza behind for too long on my days off. Beth and I looked at each other and said, “Should we bring Liza?” thinking, even if it wasn’t going well she loves the car so much, if all else failed, she could hang out in the back seat. So she came and hung out at the brewery with us. I asked people at first to stay at a distance and they respected and just asked questions.
And then she received the best compliment ever…
“You wouldn’t even know she had 3 legs.”
Which brings me to my next point. If you are single and interested in either men or women, I am happy to loan you Liza. The universal attention she receives is insane. She’s an incredible conversation starter and I assure you, there is no such thing as walking 10 feet without being stopped. After a while, I personally have to just look down and ignore peoples “awwww’s” and “look at that dog!” comments, or else I would never get anywhere. However, if you are looking to meet people, you are welcome to take Liza along. I assure you, you’ll have a date before you know it.
So on our way home from Treehouse we stumbled upon an Earth Day (yay Earth!) block party in Hartford. Again, it was a nice car day and we didn’t intend to stay long, so we decided to just stop. We started walking in and left Liza in the car. We made it about 20 feet before I looked at Beth and asked, “You think we should try it with Liza?” to which she agreed.
And oh.my.goodness. She was the happiest dog ever. We weaved through crowds of people and dogs like pros. People asked to pet her, and despite my warnings (please don’t sue me if she eats you), they proceeded to love all over her. Now, I think the near free alcohol was making people a little more friendly than typically appropriate. But Liza doesn’t judge and loved everyone equally.
From what I gather there are a few explanations to this recent friendly behavior.
- She has been harboring all of her anger and hostility in her front left leg for all these years.
- I’ve projected my own anxiety onto Liza for her entire life.
- Between her classes at Our Companions with the wonderful volunteers and her experiences with the amazing surgical team at the vet, her exposure to people has been incredibly helpful.
I’m not too sure explanation #1 is very likely, but am pretty positive it’s been a combination of 2 and 3. I’ve always known that Liza and I are very in tune with one another after all these years. We have a very strong connection that allows us to communicate on this other-worldly level. Perhaps we’ve been so in-tune that we’ve been protecting each other far more than is necessary.
Whatever the reason, we are going to run with it. She is the living definition of truly embracing this new opportunity at life and embracing it to the fullest.
I’ve never been one to take pictures and always wish I had. I’m so glad that this experience has inspired me to grab a camera and embrace as many moments in her life as I can. The impossible part about loving our fur babies so much is that they don’t stick around forever. Whether this surgery gave Liza 1 more year or 5, I’m going to do everything I can to make it the best of her life and be sure I document it. She has been there for me at every stage of my adult life to date. We are so incredibly proud of her it’s hard to put into words. Which is why there are pictures.
Some from our road trip: