Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Heart of Beethoven

So my mother has this inherit knack for finding poor lost animals. There was the black Pot-bellied pig running down the interstate she mistook for a dog. The 2 dogs outside a big box mart that she just couldn’t separate. The cat named Mr. Murder in honor of the film she was working on that magically hopped in the transpo van and decided he was staying. Buddy the golden retriever that dug his way IN to our yard. There was a turtle, a horse, another dog, a litter of kittens, another dog and a partridge in a pair tree.
I’m sad to say because of this I am now immune to their cute pathetic plight.
Then Beethoven happened. (*click link to see video*)
This little guy is aptly named for his condition: he’s deaf. He’s also smart as any jack russell terrier that has ever lived. He already knows hand signs for “No” “Come” and “Sit.” He’s learning to heel but I’m convinced this is more because he figures if he follows you he won’t get lost and he can’t hear the dog barking at him from he opposite direction.
Beethoven is a-friggin-dorable. And I’ve been sucked in. He’s smart enough to yip when he needs something and manages to communicate what that is more effectively than some humans I know. So what if he walks like he’s drunk, he has no balance due to deafness so back off!
We’ve noticed he is slightly afraid of the dark and terrified of stairs. But with practice and treats three weeks ago he went up them all by himself. Down he still needs practice and set of hands ready to catch him if he falls, but he’s learning. He’s so smart. He watches and observes everything. He calculates and the decides if or what he needs to do. Usually with a bounce to his step and a wag in his tail. He absolutely loves life.
Sometimes I wonder about Gods plan and the universe in general. How do you decide what’s right and what’s wrong? Are you making choices just for you or for some higher grace? Beethoven has given us a challenge like no dog before him and no dog after him ever will. You can’t just call out to him, you have to touch him. You have to be involved in his learning. If our purpose in having a dog was to teach us to be better parents, little Beethoven was perfect for that. He was not a demanding dog, but he required that you love him unconditionally so that he may return the favor.
Beethoven died today….
His little body has not been doing well for a little over a week. We’ve tried every tactic under the sun to give him a happy home that made him healthy, but he caught a cold that turned into an infection and weather the infection attacked his body, or his body couldn’t sustain through the infection his organs started to fail. Everything but his heart. His eyes asked for the pain to stop, he huddled close the those he loved most and had come to know as his family. He nuzzled close, just had always done right before bed time.
There are no words to describe the void in my heart. Perfect strangers, young and old wanted to touch him, even if only for a moment. Perfect strangers who wouldn’t help their best friend move, wanted to reach out and say hello to this little guy. Perfect strangers noticed him from across the street or down the block, because when Beethoven walked down the street, there was a wiggle to his step that said life is beautiful, and needs to be treasured.
Watch the Beethoven Slide-Show

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