Daddy's Boy

Mulligan and I quickly came to an understanding. He would do what I told him, when I told him. I would repeat myself as many times as it took for as long as it took, and still takes.

Oh I used the choke collar – a few times. After that I had to stop because other than getting his attention it really wasn’t working. Here’s how effective it was. When he grew out of the first collar, (which happened very quickly) I spent a whopping 74 cents at Big Lots on a replacement.

This dog is constant energy.

Rather than be perplexed or angry we found a more effective tool for keeping him calm – a gentle lead.

The rest I just kind of made up as we went along. Mulligan was teaching me something I had never been very good at before – being patient.

His behavior was improving, rapidly really, but his ability to do anything for more than a few seconds was, heck is a serious challenge for him.

But while Mulligan has a short attention span for obedience training, he has an incredibly long attention span for love.

And as 2005 came to a close – I needed some love.

For a number of reasons I won’t detail today – late 2005 saw me reach an incredible low. I was very depressed. My glass was, as they say – half empty.

But my dog, my boy wouldn’t let me stay that way for long. He was always there when I needed him.

He would greet me at the door each day, learning to wait until I had come in and kissed the girls and Annette, and then he would roll over on his back as if to say “Hey Daddy, I need you to love me.”

He would snuggle with me in the mornings until it was time for me to leave for work. He would hop into bed with me at night when I needed something to hold onto.

He actually still does all of these things, and they mean just as much to me now, but I don’t “need” them now like I did then.

Don’t get me wrong, Annette and the girls were there for me too. They always are. But Mulligan brought an intangible, something I can’t put into words – which is why this last Mulligan post took a little longer to put up than the others.

He saved me from my worries, from my depression, from all the things I needed saving from. The sparkle in his eyes, the energy in his body, and even his slobbery kisses all made me feel so much better about myself, and my life.

I really don’t know why. I just know that I am grateful.

I think Annette knew exactly what she was doing when she handed me that newspaper in the spring after all…

Thanks Honey!


Juice in LA said...

Awwww, I love dog stories, and this is a great one. I lost my pet of 16 years recently, Cello had been through everything with me and frankly I mourn her as much as any family member. Cheers Jimbro.