He is our sweet fourth baby. I’d like to introduce you to Booker, who at the moment is snoozing at my feet.
Now I know that it may sound as though I have become a crazy dog lady, but I promise that is only partially true. I am crazy about our dog, our sweet almost 7 year old Boxer. Admittedly, if you ask my teen-aged kids, they would tell you I’m crazy too, in good fun, of course! (Wink) Booker is just the best dog ever. While I realize that most people would make this same claim, our fur-baby really is the best. Why do I think he is so amazing? Allow me to explain.
We adopted him into our family in September of 2010. As we visited with his litter, he was the only one who kept coming up to us and our kids, then would go back into the crate he slept in, and then would come back out to see us. In a way, he chose us. This tiny 7 pound puppy soon became a part of the Mills clan and we fell in love with him. He responded very well to crate training, and would even put himself in timeout in his crate when he was caught digging in the trash. He learned to obey hand signals, too, as well as understanding some words and sentences.
As he grew into his now 95 pound self, he also developed a relationship with each of us. His perceptive skills are pretty amazing; he knows who he can play rough with and who he can’t play rough with. He prefers to be in the same room with us, and is especially fond of his “Daddy”, my husband. He absolutely adores our kids. And when occasionally one of them is upset or feeling blue, he hangs close to them. He just seems to know when someone is struggling, and often snuggles in with his muzzle as if to say, “It is going to be o.k.”
Booker is a complete and total clown. Even now, he will spin in circles and jump around to entice you to play with him. He will bait us into chasing him in the back yard using a stick or a tennis ball. Just when you are almost to the “bait”, he will grab it with his mouth and take off like a shot. (This is also a fantastic workout!) When you get tired and decide that it is a great idea to sit down, Booker will back up and plop down onto your lap, which makes everyone who hangs out at our house laugh. If you are on the couch at our house, this will still happen, especially if you are using one of our soft, fuzzy blankets. He is tall enough that he can back into and sit on our couch. He will even scoot more and more of his body onto the couch with you- I mean the blanket, until you realize that he has half of his body on and half off the couch.
I once read an article about how dog is God spelled backward. This article compared the loyalty and love of dogs to God’s love for us. At the time that I read the article, our family was in crisis. We were completely alone in our situation, and it was one of the most difficult times we had ever been through as a family. We had to completely rely on the Lord in ways we didn’t dream were possible. We know that the Lord carried us through the pain, the agony, and finally the release from a really tough situation which led us back home to Virginia. Booker was there, too. I am not suggesting that he understood every detail of our circumstance, but he loved and supported us with his fierce loyalty. He was the one who could cut through the painful moments with his muzzle in my lap as I sobbed. I know that this may sound strange, but Booker has taught us a lot about loving others. He loves people without judgment. He doesn’t sit and ponder about someone’s past mistakes before he approaches others. He does not withhold love. Truly, we are so blessed to have such a wonderful pup who we love.