A love story
Maverick, and I didn’t choose each other; we were thrown together through circumstance.
My brother got a dog for his daughter as a Christmas present five years ago. In all honesty, he was against the idea, having traveled down this road before he understood that the initial excitement would wear off. The responsibilities of feeding, walking and picking up poop would fall to him. She wore him down… The sad eyed looks, the vows of eternal love and the promises of personal responsibility that only an eight-year-old girl can deliver, so the search began, there would be NO puppies; no amount of sad eyes or promises would sway him. She would get a dog, but they would adopt one of the thousands of dogs that through no fault of their own now occupied a cage at the local shelters.
On December 23, 2008 he adopted Maverick from a local shelter. An owner released, two-year-old Siberian husky, little did I know that on that day my life was about to change forever.
Our first meeting was when my brother and his daughters brought Maverick to my house, like all rescued dogs, he managed to exude happy excitement and wary uncertainty in equal measures and like all young huskies he almost quivered with energy, you could feel it emanating from him, like a coiled spring, ready to burst free. His ribs showed through his beautiful white and auburn fur and he finally looked at me and totally freaked me out! The dog had white-eyes; my brother had adopted a devil dog with white eyes! I couldn’t look. I turned to my brother and asked, “What’s his name Cujo?” Laughing, he said, “No, his name is Maverick” He assured me that the dog was “normal” and that his eyes were in fact very light blue. “Didn’t they feed him?” I questioned. This is when I learned that Maverick had been at the shelter for four months. Poor baby, left by his person, scared and confused he just didn’t eat; white-eyes or not, my heart broke for him.
One year later, Maverick was healthy and completely in love with my brother, as predicted, my niece had moved on to other obsessions and the care of Maverick has fallen completely to my brother. Unfortunately divorce was on the horizon for my brother so his life was getting ready to change and as it worked out so was Maverick’s and ultimately mine.
My brother moved in with me, it was a simple answer to a complicated problem. He needs a place to stay; I live five minutes from his girls. I need extra money, he pays rent it was a win-win for everyone. At first Maverick is left with the soon to be ex-wife and daughters, needless to say that didn’t last very long. After an extremely trying week for the ex-wife, it is agreed Maverick will come to live with my brother and me.
Our relationship started out slowly; I fed him a few times (after all, I am in the kitchen already) I took him for a few walks………has he been out today? Does he need a walk? The backyard was always my domain, so of course the poop was mine.
We went on this way for a year, there was no declaration, no announcement; he just over time became my dog and I became his person. Then I was lucky enough to be in the position to buy a place of my own, and I moved. It was discussed, “what about Maverick?” it was decided to leave him at the old house with my brother and his “owner” my niece who was there half the time, that lasted three days… three days that Maverick and I pined for each other! On my third day in my new house my brother called me and told me that Maverick had not eaten since I had left, the first night he walked in circles, crying in my empty bedroom, and on this, the third day he had lay down in the entryway facing the door and would not move for love or money; what else could I do… I went and got my dog.
It’s been three years and Maverick and I are doing just fine. I am not going to tell you it’s been all sunshine and roses…..far from it. There is fur, a lot of fur! I spend ridiculous amounts of my life trying to control the fur, and there is his separation anxiety; I think this mostly stems from his initial abandonment, whatever the cause, it results in guilt trips (his) feeling helpless (me) counter surfing (him) and compensation (me).
On any given day I will come home to something in the front courtyard that does not belong, a loaf of bread, a bag of biscuits, etc. Maverick will greet me, nearly sideways in his exuberance….look at me, look at me! Please don’t look at the bag of bread product I have grabbed off the kitchen counter and dragged outside, look at me! He know he’s done wrong, he just can’t help himself. I don’t scold him too badly, I know he does these things because I left him, and that triggers something scary in his brain and he has to communicate it. Maverick does his communicating through bread products. It could have been socks or shoes or intimate items but he chose bread products. I am eternally grateful; I could have come home to underwear strewn about the yard!
Maverick can communicate more with his beautiful white/blue eyes than most people with all of Webster’s words. There’s the “I’m bored” look, the “can we go already” look, “did I hear cheese?” (Yes, he HEARS cheese, you cannot open any container of any type of cheese and him not hear it), the Oh my God! There’s a (insert noun here; dog, cat, rabbit squirrel etc.) outside please open the door look! My favorite is the “I love you” look, it melts my heart every time.
He will lock himself in the bathroom or slam the bedroom door like a petulant child when he is mad. He will drive me crazy over a bone under the couch that he MUST have, despite the 20 other bones scattered around the house. But on the nights he doesn’t sleep with me, instead choosing his favorite spot on the cool wood floor in front of the main door. I will hear his nails, click, click, click coming down the hall at least three times during the night. He never barks or try’s to wake me, he’s just checking on me; making sure I am still there.
So no, we didn’t choose each other and it wasn’t love at first sight, but it’s very definitely a love story.