My constant companion "Armor of God", a.k.a. "Armageddon", celebrating.
I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.
– D.H. Lawrence
It’s been six years since my first pet as an adult, an Airedale Terrier named Mimi died. She was my social lubricant, 99% of my friends were her friend first. She was my cross fit gym, my workouts weren’t just trail runs, but trail runs accompanied by the rhythmic squeaking of a stupid carrot toy. Airedales hate anything that feels like work, but she did love her carrot. She was my fashion accessory, too. I know the hard core dog people will find this irksome, but there is something about walking a dog so beautiful that traffic stops. Everyone seems to look at you and sing: “She’s got legggggs! Sheer energy legggs!”
And the circle of life goes on. I have Amy Wicks, City Council Woman in Ogden, and Airedale owner to thank for finding my new friend. Amy told me a 14 month old “little” Airedale boy was homeless in Idaho Falls. Within just a couple of hours of hearing about him I got in my car and I drove. I left at four p.m., got him, and was back in the SLC about 9 a.m. I witnessed a heart-breaking parting, his owner was a good guy, but couldn’t afford to keep and house the pup. His loss is my gain. Jared had taken him through the hard part – the crying at night, teething and housebreaking. Terriers are not easy to house train.
I’m glad he is a boy, because if he weren’t I know I would drift back in time and mistake him for Mimi. He spooks just like her, like a horse. He leans like her – leaning on a human’s legs is the highest compliment in big dog language. He plays like her, big paws punching me in the face. He sniffs crotches just like her, no hesitation, wet nose all the way up. Just like Mimi, he is the official welcome wagon of the dog park, smoothing out conflict to prevent fights and being the “rabbit.” He relies on brawn and bravery to “win” the games rather than speed, a tactic I thought was all Mimi.
And like Mimi, we named him a name that no one else likes. His name is Armor-of-God Sampson Horatio West. Armor-of-God is a character in an Orson Scott Card book I read when I was 12. Horatio, of course, was Hamlet’s best friend. And Sampson was his original name, which we liked, but it seemed a bit too obvious. You can call him Armor, or Army, or dipshit. If you look at him and smile when you say it, he will prance on over.
I’m grateful that his original owner is still involved. I text him photos and he is going to visit over the holidays. Army is taller and thinner than he was two months ago when we brought him home. His physical stamina is improved. He is a beautiful boy who always needs a bath. I have to admit, I feel so much more like myself with a sexy, bad ass dog at my side. It feels so right. That said, you never, ever forget your first love. I think of “Big Orange” the original often, especially when I watch my tall, curly friend bounding ahead.