It is incredible how the spirit of aa animal can crawl itself into one’s heart without you even noticing it. A dog accepts you just the way you are, they do not judge or hold a grudge. ‘Happy’ is more than just a pet, much more than just a dog. She has become part of me. It feels like saying that she is my best friend would be an understatement. In fact, the only way to define her is to call her an ‘angel’ because that is what she is, a soul made purely out of love.
‘Happy’ is an angel without flapping wings, but with a wiggling tail that always puts a smile on my face. It is not for nothing that her name is happy; it is because she takes happiness with her everywhere she goes.
I still remember that day when I got Happy like it was yesterday. It was May of 2007; I was living in Aruba and my then fiancée got her for me because he was feeling guilty of not spending enough time with me. He never asked me if I wanted a dog. He just went and got it. So you can imagine my surprise when suddenly there was this long white haired half-breed (Cocker spaniel, Terrier, Poodle, who knows what else) full of lice and ticks in front of me. I must confess; it was love at first sight.
Happy was 4-5 months old, he got her at a local shelter where she was left by the previous owner. The shelter does not rely on much funding and quality of life they can provide to the animals is very low. The cages where the animals are kept in are made of a wired fence and in each cage there would be chicken, cats, dogs or goats. They did not have enough space, and some of these cages would be 4 to six dogs in them. It is certainly not the best place for healthy living and is no wonder that Happy had heart worms. This type of worms wraps themselves around a dog’s heart and kills the dog slowly. I had to take Happy to the vet almost every day for a full month so she could get the right treatment and that we could get rid of these lice.
One of the first things I asked the assistant to do was to trim her hair, give her a good wash to get rid of the lice and ticks (She was hardly recognizable after this). This trend continued for a few weeks till we got rid of all the lice and got her as free as possible of ticks. It is impossible to keep a dog 100% tick free when living in such a warm place because they just are everywhere.
During the first weeks, you could notice that she has been mistreated by the previous owner. Happy as very afraid of men in general and every time the assistant would have something in hand she would get like a panic attack and run away scared. Did come to pass though as she grew confidence in her new comfortable home. We did not have to teach her anything. She seemed to understand the situation I am in, and she understood her role in my life. The wheelchair became her sanctuary. A place where she go under when she was afraid, a place where she can feel protected and safe, which is a funny fact because it is impossible for me to defend her physically.
The one most important thing for me when I decided to move back to Finland was to take her with me. No way was I going to leave her behind. She had become a big part of my life, and she is going to remain as such. I will take a month more of this narcissistic abuse while she gets all her shots and wait the proper amount of time before she can fly just to keep her forever in my life.
We arrived in Finland in November 2008. That year it started to snow early and by November everything was already covered in snow. When we got home, she jumped out of the car and started running around in the snow, she seemed to love it. In a way, it was like she knew that this new strange and cold place was her new home. My mother and father are cat people; they never cared much about dogs, yet it took ‘Happy’ just a short time to conquer their hearts. My parents had two cats, ‘Eetu’ and ‘Dusty’. But cats are no strangers to ‘Happy’ once in Aruba she found a few weeks old kitten in the garden, and her mother’s instincts kicked in immediately. She picked her up, took her inside and started caring for her. She would sleep with the kitten close to her chest wrapped between her paws. She would take her everywhere she went and would even let her suck her nipples even though she had no milk to give.
Henning loves animals and is pretty much a dog person. Now wonder that they get along so well, and nowadays Happy is not just my dog anymore but ours. I should say that she is part of the family kind of like our daughter in a way. She shares our bed at night, sleeping next to me for the most part of it. She does this habit of going to sleep next to Henning in the morning. We do not know why, but she must have her reasons.
She got the name Happy because she was always so happy, even when she was so very sick. She is just as happy and positive as we are, in a way you can say that she is the perfect dog for me. We never had any problems with her not even a small one. And I never had to teach her really anything. She seemed to understand everything. You can give her a command, and she would know what you mean even though we did not teach her this. She can be herself all the time, but when she is around me, she knows that she has to be more careful and relax. Anything can happen while she is sitting on my lap, and she would not move or make a sound, she would sit there and keep a close eye.
Happy is not a service dog and was never trained. She just understands the situation, and she adapts to it. She gives us so much by just being herself and sharing her life with us. She is much more than the definition of ‘man’s best friend’.
My ex caused me so much pain, more than you can imagine, but he also gave me one of the biggest gifts of my life (much more than he can imagine); Happy.
A dog (pets in general) can mean so much to one’s life. They are not like people, the only law they abide to is; the law of Karma. So, what you give is what you get, but multiplied. If you give them love, they can heal your life and do a very good job about it.