Of all the things I’ve taught my dogs – this has to have been the most difficult. Vega came to me with a tough past and not much trust at all. He was very fearful of people – especially men. But he didn’t run away or cower – he barked and growled. Which – as it turns out – is not the best way to make friends.
They say dogs live in the moment. But maybe for the really special dogs – that’s not so true. Vega was a jumble of his past, present and future. Worrying about what’s happened, what’s happening and what might happen. Definitely not a happy place to be. He is as complicated as Piper is straightforward.
With the help of a lot of people, I’ve worked really hard to teach him to forgive and to trust. He’s so much better today than he was when I got him. In fact, he’s never been happier. He’s still scared every now and then. Like all of us, I suppose. But he’s no longer a fearful dog. He’s not as worried about the past or the future. He’s taken a page out of Piper’s book and tries to enjoy the moments in the moments.
This is one of my favorite photos of Vega. But the story behind it is even better. Probably just 30 minutes before this photo was taken, I wasn’t really thinking and let Vega out of the bedroom into a dark hallway with my tall cousin standing there in the shadows. Well, when Vega saw him – he erupted into a fit of barking and growling. But then he realized – that was then, it was over. We couldn’t take back that moment. So, he found forgiveness, grabbed a hold of trust and made the next moment much, much better. Good boy – Vega.