Find your inner Pit Bull

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I have a dog, and most of you know that. His name is Toby. Toby is the one on the right. We have a house guest as I write this. His name is Levi – though he doesn’t know that yet.

In an effort, to be kind to animals, and also to add another body to our little house, I decided to volunteer to babysit/foster a pet. At first, I looked at two shelters and was excited about helping both – but then circumstances deemed it impossible for me to do that kind of volunteering.

Then we all saw Levi. Levi is a Chi Chi – which is a part chihuahua and part Chinese Crested. He is 10 months old, a male and was a part of a family of 10 – possibly more – with five of those being canine family members.  For whatever the reason, Levi, who was named Alex – though he didn’t know that name either, and his canine family members were surrendered.

Upon meeting Levi, I thought he was just a little too much like Toby. But then I held him and we went nose to nose.  Further inspection revealed a very small, skinny dog with a curiosity about things – especially small things that rivaled any cat’s curiosity about anything.  At the same time, this little bit was very anxious and seemed to need to sleep.

It appeared he had been to someone who tried to pierce his ear. My face just grimaces at whomever would want to do that to a dog. Not only is that just plain dumb, well, it is just stupid. Levi has some insecurities. Yet, I watched him when Toby would challenge him or push him, he would grit his teeth and give a little snip or growl. You know, it is the quiet ones you have to watch for. I call it his “inner Pit Bull.”

But as soon he would do that, even before I would make a noise, he would get all cowardly and start licking like he was apologizing.

The dog has a desperation about him – a desperation of wanting to be liked.

I kind of guffaw when I think about that. I know my dad would just snort. A dog can’t think. A dog is a dog, my dad would say. And he is right for the most part. But even my dad has admitted to dogs having some sort of sense about things.

My reason for guffawing was I am just like Levi. i want to be liked. There are times that I have looked back at my life and friendships and realized I gave way too much and that there was not a real friendship. Had I been honest with myself and those I was striving to please, I would have walked away.

We all need to feel loved and appreciated. There is a point. Some of us, like me, have confidence issues. Which is crazy, because we were all created to be who we are – different.

Levi will be going back to the the place where I got him as we strive to find him a forever home. He will continue to lick and kiss and be apologetic. That is just in his nature, but I hope he doesn’t lose that inner Great Dane/Pit Bull in him. The one that will let him stand up for himself too. There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself and there is nothing wrong with wanting positive affirmations – you just have to balance it out a little.

I hope I can find my inner Pit Bull again. (Laugh)

(Becky Holland)

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