I kissed my dog, Gizzy, goodbye this week. He was my boy for 9 years, 8 months and before that, he was yours for 4 years, 8 months. You called him Gizmo, and you tossed him away.  Do you know what you missed out on? Your loss was my gain! He was so smart. He learned tricks with little effort and loved to perform his large repertoire. You only saw a dog with a strong, independent personality that didn’t suit you. He was the kind of dog who needed to work that smart brain and if he didn’t have that outlet, he got bored. Of course, you wouldn’t know that because you didn’t care to understand him and see his potential.

He was not just my friend but my teacher, an amazing teacher.  I learned what it was like to live with a dog who would bite children – because you allowed your children to mistreat him. I learned how to show him that toys can be fun.  He didn’t know how to play when I adopted him – because you took his toys away from him. I learned what it was like to live with a dog who didn’t like other dogs – because you didn’t socialize him with other dogs at a young age and you used an invisible fence and a shock collar on him.  I showed him that other dogs could be his pals, not threats. He even had two canine “brothers” that he enjoyed life with.

Yes, you certainly missed out. He was my fitness buddy. We walked briskly for two hours each day and I was never in better shape. I looked forward to our outings. He pulled tremendously on the leash when I first got him but I learned about the best harness for his issues and trained him to walk nicely. And when he grew old, we slowed our pace and enjoyed the world in slow strolls. I learned patience.

In that old age, he never lost his strength and independent personality. I loved that about him. He didn’t give up easily. Even though he was old and weak, he was determined to stay by my side while I was going through some life challenges. It was only when he saw that I was okay that he stopped being strong. He allowed me to take charge and say goodbye.

Rest in peace my Gizzy bear, the best teacher I’ve ever had.  I miss you and will love you always. I’m glad I never gave up on you.