My son bought me the novel “A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameronfrom Amazon for my birthday. I am almost at a loss for words in trying to describe this novel. The first word that comes to mind is “emotional”. Emotional only if you’re a dog lover. If you’re not, you wouldn’t be reading it anyway. As I read through the pages, they made me smile, contemplate, laugh out loud (in public), and cry out loud like a puppy spending the first night in a crate. As I sobbed, Simba, my nine year old German Shorthair Pointer, would rush over to console me as she usually does when she senses a change in my emotions
This book has changed the way I look at my two dogs. It is as if I am watching them through different eyes. I find myself wondering if Simba could be my “Bailey”. Of all dog’s that I have had in my lifetime, Simba is very different. She has always been connected to me in more ways than physically. GSP parents know about their Velcro dogs. German Shorthair Pointers are referred to as Velcro dogs for good reason. They never leave your side. The world comes to an end when I close the bathroom door for some privacy. I’m not sure if she thinks because I watched her doing her business as a puppy, that she needs to watch me too. Even when I’m in the shower they both take turns poking their head in to make sure I haven’t been swallowed up by the drain.
GSPs are sensitive dogs to begin with, but Simba has always been in tune with my emotions. She runs around wagging her stubby short tail carrying as many toys as she can fit in her mouth when I’m happy or excited. She slowly approaches to watch over me when I’m sad. First she puts her nose real close to my face and waits (maybe she’s nearsighted) then she lightly nudges me with her nose. Finally, she lays up against me laying her head on me. I will admit that feeling the weight of her head is always somehow always comforting, like a hug. She has also mirrored my ailments and personality. She’s a true tom-girl. She also suffers from stress, IBS, and allergies. One thing she doesn’t mirror is my anger but knows well enough that mum needs space. It is the only time she keeps her eye on me from afar rather than beside me.
Simba’s one year old sister, Gypsy, joined the family at eight weeks old just like Simba did but the connection between her and I is different. It doesn’t go beyond being the normal Velcro dog. I love her immensely and she loves me but she is oblivious to my inner thoughts or emotions. After reading “A Dogs Purpose”, there may be an explanation to the difference between my two pups. Simba maybe a dog with a purpose.
I brought Simba home 9 years ago. I must say it has been a learning experience every step of the way. I have had many breeds in my lifetime but none like the GSP. The first lesson was that GSPs is a very high energy breed. They aren’t kidding when you read that if they don’t get enough exercise they can be very destructive. Another detail I learned is why they are called “Velcro dogs”. Simba lives up to that label perfectly. She is glued to my hip at all times. It doesn’t matter if I’m outside, inside, upstairs, downstairs, in bed or in the bathroom; she is there watching over me. Simba has hundreds of FB friends and one thing I noticed in pictures posted was that there was always more than one GSP. There were usually two if not more and always huddled together. Even when sleeping, they seem to all sleep on top of each other. For years, I contemplated with the idea of getting her a sister GSP to keep her company during my work day but I was worried that she would change. Not that I wouldn’t mind some privacy when in the bathroom or getting dressed but I love how she cuddles up to me. I love how she likes to sleep right up against me, I love that she can read my moods and acts accordingly. I didn’t want any of that to change. As you may already know, we adopted Gypsy one year ago because she needed a home. This has been my observation having two dogs. I would suggest that if you’re going to get two,
make them closer in age. The nice thing is that I don’t have to worry about fitting in at least three hours of ball play with Simba. Gypsy makes sure to keep Simba on her toes and running quite a bit. Sometimes, it can be a little too much. There is a great difference at this point in energy levels. Gypsy has become very attached to Simba. She wants to sleep on top of her. She wants the same toy Simba is playing with. She follows her around and wants to be next to her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still her mum. When the loud red monster trucks are screaming their sirens, it’s me she looks for to comfort her as she howls them away. Simba is still behaving as the only child. They say that the first-born of two children who are more than 5 years apart will grow up with characteristics of an only child. I believe this holds true for dogs as well. Simba still wants to cuddle with me, sleep with me, lay on me, play with me, sit with me and everything else she can do with me. However, she does not let Gypsy lay on her or too close for that matter. If Gypsy lays near her she will wait a few minutes and then move away. Granted, Gypsy being a puppy has pushed all of Simba’s buttons and has exhausted her patience. Simba will play with Gypsy for a little while but then brings the toy to me to play with her. If I had to do it over, I would probably have kept them within two years of each other. At least they would be similar in energy and play with each other a lot more.
This Christmas I had to teach Gypsy many things. This must be this puppy’s first Christmas. She was really good about not playing with the ornaments on the tree. However, about a week before Christmas she came home from the woof doctor with a funny looking cone thing on her head. In her defense, she would forget about the cone when running past the tree and the cone would knock off the bottom ornaments. She did pull my human sister’s gift out from under the tree. I explained that was not hers; her gifts are in the stockings hanging from the fireplace. She is still too short to feel the stockings for presents but she watched me as I poked each one and pointed out which ones were ours. On Christmas Eve we got to open our presents one by
one. Mum would give Gypsy her present to unwrap and then she would give me mine. As soon as Gypsy saw mum hand me my present, she would drop her wrapped present and run over to take my wrapped present away. Mum chased her around trying to get it back but that made Gypsy run faster. I would open my present and then go over to show Gypsy how to unwrap hers. Gypsy was more interested in playing with all the great toys that I had already unwrapped than unwrapping her presents. I love unwrapping presents so I unwrapped them for her. We spent the next hour playing tug-o-war with all our Christmas presents. Having a little sister isn’t so bad sometimes.
Mommy was busy pulling plants out of the front yard. I don’t understand her sometimes. She brings home plants and digs them into the yard but then she spends all this time pulling plants out of the yard. Does she want plants or not? She calls them weeds. They grow so nice and strong and they grow everywhere! You would think she would be happy to have so many plants because then she doesn’t need to dig new ones into the dirt. It must be a human thing. Suddenly I look over at our car and… A TREE IS GROWING IN MY SEAT! I can’t believe my eyes. I slowly approach the open window spying for movement. No movement. I cautiously raise myself up so I can see inside. Yup it’s a tree growing in the car. I try to alert mommy but she thinks I want to go for a ride. “Not now.” she says as she continues to pull out plants. She must not know about the tree growing in our car. I need her to look up! I stay on guard at the car window making sure the tree doesn’t take the car for a ride and I keep wincing. “Maybe later, I need to finish this up” she calls out without looking up. I guarded the car standing on my hind legs for what seemed like forever in doggie years (15 minutes in human time). Then mommy finally looked up wondering why I was being so stubborn and she started to laugh. She said I was being silly as she walked over she didn’t seem alarmed to see a big tree growing in the car. She opened the car door, pulled it out and reassured me that it everything was okay. I guess it must have been another weed. Later that afternoon we finally went for a ride and my seat was weed free. Thanks mom.