Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Life With Shelties Means..." winner Cynthia and her pack!

As you may recall, in December I had an essay contest for sheltie lovers. Teddy chose three winners who all received a signed copy of A Dog's Way Home. I'll be posting the winning essays (plus some of the others I received) from time to time so we can all enjoy the joy of sheltie life!

Here is Cynthia Anderson's winning essay about her life with her three shelties: DunKen, Jim Dandy, and Jadie. I think you'll find yourself smiling and nodding in agreement as you read along. Enjoy!

Jim Dandy, Jadie, DunKen (L-R)
I will start back when I got my DunKen, who is 11 and 1/2 years old and whom I brought home when he was 8 weeks. My husband had died in 1990 and after trying to put my life back into some kind of order for the following 9 years and not really being very happy on my own, I decided to get a dog. I had always loved collies but had a small place so I decided on a sheltie after I had researched their temperament and needs. That sheltie was my DunKen and he has been my heart dog and protector for all these years.

What I want to say first is, life with a sheltie means a lot of hair. Brushing and grooming is a priority and no matter how well that is done the house still has wispy sheltie decor along the edges of the floors and on anything where it can cling. It also means having responsibility for another little life; feeding and exercising, training in good sheltie manners and having thought for this little soul when you travel and work. DunKen was lucky because he could go to work with me for the first four years of his life and this time together cemented the close bond we have had.

Life with a sheltie though, more than the day to day needs and chores is most of all, the adoration I see in his eyes when he seems to look right into my soul. And the happy little dance, complete with a squeaky for accompaniment, whenever I come home. It means never being alone, and having a loving companion to whom I can pour out my deepest thoughts and who is never judgmental, but always giving and forgiving, because I am not always the very best human he could have chosen but he never lets me know that. He loves without conditions and has taught me volumes about loyalty. I have three now and they have very different personalities but as all shelties they are so very loyal and loving. This is LIFE with a sheltie.