I lived down the street from Gus (a bichon frise) and his previous owners when I was younger. He came along when I was in high school! I have a few memories of him trotting down our street, looking puffy and proud. But after a while he became neglected and very lonely. |
Years went by, and everyone in the neighborhood forgot about him--he lived behind a privacy fence and spent his days (never barking), just alone in the yard, waiting for someone to love him again. Tied to the fence, no shelter, no companionship.
After college, I saw him again and I believe our paths were drawn together by fate, I felt compelled to give him a new home and a second chance. I volunteered to walk him every day after work, for seven months, driving over to my parents neighborhood just to see him and make sure he had fresh food and water (things he usually didn't have access to). One of the happiest days of my life was the day I got the phone call that I could adopt him! His owners did the right thing, and let me take him!
And so the journey began. He was never far from my ankle (often tripping me)! All he wanted was food, his mommy and a warm place to curl up and rest. And in return he provided total devotion.
We went on many trips together, Florida (where we both saw the ocean together for the first time) and tons of little Minnesota towns. Lanesboro was one of our favorite spots.
Those who knew Gus were amazed at his energy and will, his vital force. For a senior citizen he was extremely limber and mobile up until 17/18 years old. He had an inner strength that far outlasted his little body. He had a sense of entitlement that was a delight to witness. He became very use to being spoiled and had a staff of devoted caretakers and dog sitters.
When I first rescued Gus, I was phobic about dogs. I had a childhood fear of them, as well as most animals. If I saw a normal dog walking with it's owner down the sidewalk, I would panic and run into the street. Even as an adult I was paralized with those fears. As my friendship with Gus developed, I learned how to relate to animals and got over my fears. He gave me a great gift.
My favorite memories were our snuggle times, and watching him roll around on the rug when he was happy.
I learned so much from my best friend and I will never forget him. Best bichon ever!