I leave Flynn out of this only because that boy was cut from different cloth. Sailing canvas, I believe!
I brought Pad home in 1996. He was my first-ever dog. Oh, I'd been around dogs all my life... neighbor dogs, friend dogs, dogs in a park, dogs in the hood, dogs who just showed up in our yard then left. But never ever my very own dog.
From the day he came into my arms I felt this incredible *lub-dub* in my heart. While he was young we played and walked and swam and made up games and I was constantly admiring his intelligence. His calm manner. His observance of everything around him. He grew and my love for him grew. I looked up to Paddy. I had such a profound respect and admiration for him! He could look me in the eyes with such knowing and love... it often brought a tear to my eyes just to be on the receiving end of such love.
Six years later, Seamus came home. (Megan and Darwin had come along in between time.) For months, practically until he was just too big for me to hold, I carried that boy and cuddled that boy and trained that boy (I had learned a lot about dog training by this time!) and from day one that little black thing was inside my brain ! Whereas Paddy would look lovingly, awaiting the next word, Seamus would look me in the eye and almost direct me to the next thought, the next "move", the next thing to do. By now, at 10 years of age, Shea and I are so intertwined I hardly know where he leaves off and I begin. And he knows it... and respects it. We're sort of... co-mingled.
So, when people ask "Which has been your heart dog?" I really have to pause. It's like I have separate hearts for each of these labs. There is my Paddy heart, reserved for eternity for ONLY him, and there's my Seamus heart, where ONLY he can reside.
Gosh. I just had to get that out today for some reason.
Seamus and Flynn
Beautifully put. Thank you for sharing Hugs.
Very beautiful. It's just like with children. They each grab a different piece of your heart and never let go.
I think you love each dog harder and faster than the one before because you know what the end result will be. I know that the puppy we got to help heal from my old girl will be a lifetime (her lifetime and mine) of love.
Nance, Who says we only have one heart dog! We have them at different times and go through different things, they touch you differently and still are a part of you.
I feel we are fortunate to be able to have multiple heart dogs in our lifetimes. I always think that our heart grows which each addition to the family, be it human or canine!
I agree, too. I believe they can each be a heart dog in different ways. At least that's been my experience with the two Labs I've had so far. To quote something I read once on a different retriever forum...
"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." - Anonymous
My Lab is smarter than your honor student.
Deacon 12/1/1999-4/2/2012 RIP, bestest boy.
Diesel 3/29/2010 My little hard charger.
Each dog trains us, and the next dog has an easier passage and understanding because of this.
doesn't take one jot away from the original teacher.
Lovely post Nance
Nance you hit the nail on the head I do believe. When Princee left I felt a piece of my heart was gone forever and this little monkey that is here now wellllllllllll I sure do love him and he is already claiming a piece of my heart as his very own.