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Puppy Love

I have two rescued pit-mixes, and, as dog lovers know, our dogs wind up rescuing us more than we rescue them. I know my dogs regularly rescue me from bad moods, self-absorption, loneliness, stodginess, and overrated to-do lists. Case in point; yesterday was a beautiful sunny day with more than a hint of spring after a long, grey, wintery week. The laundry called, the supermarket beckoned, the bills demanded attention, yet Indie and Luna set me straight – it was time to go the park for a nice long walk.

Naturally, they were right – they almost always are. I enjoyed our walk, felt energized, and did my chores more easily after having spent a few hours getting some fresh air and sunshine. If I’ve had a bad day, they let me know it’s all over and done with by a flurry of wagging tails and kisses. And it’s impossible not to start the day off in a good mood when simply opening my eyes upon awakening in the morning triggers a joyous romp from my pups celebrating my return from the Land of Nod.

But more than anything it is their heart that affects me most. Indie was thrown off the roof of a 5 story building in the Bronx when he was a 4 month old puppy, breaking his hip and nearly ensuring a premature euthanasia, and Luna lived on the streets of Philly for almost a year before she was rescued. In the beginning, they had a few insecurities, but, smart creatures that they are, they let the past be the past and live and rejoice in the moment – every moment.

I love my dogs unabashedly, and I cannot forgive the cruelty that was inflicted upon them before they were rescued – but somehow they have managed to. They are open to people, and loving and joyful, and I am humbled by their behavior. I may have taught them basic obedience, but they taught me how powerful and transformative a force love is. Everyday they remind me that life is better when you love unconditionally, when you leave fear at the door, when you seize every opportunity for joy, a warm snuggle, a yummy treat and a belly rub. Me rescue them? Hardly.

What valuable life lesson has a beloved pet taught you?

Article by LYDIA GNAU
Sculpture courtesy of LOUISE PETERSON
Louise Peterson was born in 1962 in Darlington, England. She trained in classical ballet at The Urdang Academy and The North London School of Performing Arts and performed with Dance for Everyone (London) and The Israel Ballet (Tel Aviv). Her dance experience helped shape her love of figurative sculpture. After moving to the United States in 1984, she worked as a massage therapist, which further developed her knowledge of anatomy and feel for the human form. She began to study clay modeling at Santa Monica College. Louise learned to sculpt with the human figure but after moving to the rural mountains of Colorado in 1998 the only model in her small studio was her Great Dane. What results are fine classical renderings of dogs that are often both humorous and elegant. Louise works from her ranch studio near Guffey, Colorado, inspired by vistas of the surrounding high country. She lives with her husband Chris, Great Danes Rigel and Bella, and cats Adora, Illana and Kaz.

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