HENDRIX THE HIKING DOG – When Hendrix was a puppy, I must have said it a million times! Look at those ears! When I look at pictures of Hendrix as a puppy, I of course am taken back to how adorable he was; at least to me. But, it also takes me back to a time of transformation for me! A time when my heart was being changed, and healed!
I had grown up with dogs my whole life. We had cattle dogs for the barn. We had outside dogs to protect the house and play tug of war with. We had inside purebred show dogs that we bred and showed on the AKC circuit. Dogs were always everywhere. As a child, I can not remember a time that there was not ample healing licks and kisses, tail wags, and play times readily available for the taking.
While raising my own family, we always had at least one dog in the house. I raised 5 children, and I cared for other children as my job, at the time. There were always children everywhere, and there was always a dog around, to lend a paw to anyone who needed some extra love and kisses.
When Hen came into my life, I was actually without a dog! My life had been in a constant state of change, including all the kids moving into adulthood, and extensive traveling as an RN. When life started slowing down a bit I found myself single, kids grown, a steady job, and a big ole empty place in my heart.
I saw a picture of Hendrix on Facebook! It was a post that was shared on a friend’s page. I was living with a friend of mine, and her then 2 year old son. Several weeks before I saw Hen’s picture, I had mentioned, just in passing, that I would love to get a dog. Seeing the reservation on my friend’s face, I just kind of let it go. But, what could it hurt to just ask about him, right?
Hen was part of a litter that had been found wandering in Phoenix, picked up, and taken to a kill shelter. The day before they were all to be put down, they were rescued, and placed into a foster home. Shortly after being placed in the foster home, the litter came down with parvovirus, which was not a surprise, since it is common in unvaccinated dogs on the streets in urban areas. It was a huge surprise to their foster mom, as she was headed out of town, but had pulled the pups anyway, so they would live. Only by the generosity of several nurse friends, did the litter survive. I was told Hendrix and his brother were the sickest of the litter. I had to at least go meet him, right?
When I went to meet him, the connection in my heart was immediate. But…… he had an appointment to do a “meet and greet” with someone else. My heart just sunk! I tried to bond with the other pups, but it just wasn’t there. So, I went home. And then I got the phone call. Apparently the meet and greet did not evolve into a good fit. “Would you like to set up a trial period?” YES! Can you bring him to me now? Hendrix has been my soul dog from that day forward!
There have been many things happen in my life that have required great effort to get past and over.
I will forever believe that I owe the healing of my heart and soul to this canine. On days when I did not want to get over anything, including a boulder or a creek, I would get this face! And to the mountains we would go! With each mountain and trail we conquered, my heart would feel stronger and more whole.
And every time I thought I was good, and would rather just stay in my pajamas, I would get this face. And, again, to the mountains we would go! This process happened over and over again, until my life was healed and my love for hiking and adventures was almost as much a part of my life as breathing.
Life has been well …….. life; since Hendrix came into it, but to this day, he never fails me! When I take this dog, and hit the trails, there has yet to be anything that I cannot get through!
Do you have a story to tell about your soul dog? I look forward to reading your comments!