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Woman’s best friend

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I can’t scoot my chair in under my desk because my dog Vinny won’t move. This means I am stretching to reach the keyboard, but that’s okay. Vinny has been my soulmate since April, 1999, when I found him living in the elements on a busy Tampa street. He was eight months old and the vet said he was days away from dying. He was literally starving, and he needed surgery because of a broken hip that occurred when he was hit by a car. Anything I did for him was nothing — nothing — compared to what he has done for me.

I am crazy for him. He’s part Pit Bull, part Chow — and his hair is cut into a Mohawk, so people always play with the hawk and tell him how very cool he is. His breeding sounds ferocious, but he is the biggest baby you have ever seen. Proof is that he has two huge boxes stuffed with about a hundred of his “babies.” Every day, he digs through those boxes until he has selected the “right” baby that he wants next to him. Awhile later, he’ll go back and select another. Right now, there is a brindle dog at my feet, along with his stuffed owl, fox, chicken, parrot, moose, possum and chipmunk. He has killed the squeakers in all but one of them.

When I left on a two-week trip last month, Vinny was still spry and playful. When I came home, he’d aged into an old man. The vet told me that, in human years, Vinny is well into his 70s. He has a heart problem, a respiratory ailment and arthritis in his bad hip has him in a great deal of pain. It feels like this happened overnight, and it’s breaking my heart. At night, his breathing is labored and he is restless. I’m going to the vet in two hours, hopeful that a different drug treatment will work. But, I am so worried. I want him to live forever, and his health over the last two weeks reminds me that he won’t.

I’ve written four books since I’ve had him. In every book, I have acknowledged all of my supporters. I never thanked him. I never thanked Reggie, my other dog. Or my cats. I didn’t want to sound like some crazy dog-and-cat-lady who had no life.

But, they’ve really been the heart of my life. So I want to acknowledge them now.

To Vinny, Reggie, Katie, Little Bit and Willy. Thanks for everything.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.soul men dvdrip download

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