When I was 44 my husband and daughter decided I needed a black lab puppy. I named him Angus. I had successfully raised 4 golden retrievers before Angus. I was not prepared for this high energy, fearful dog. After six months and a dog that would not listen I turned to books to educate myself. I was able to train Angus but he developed fearful issues towards people at around 14 months and suffered from car sickness. In researching his issues I discovered I liked working with dogs and went to school to obtain my dog training certification. Angus became a very well behaved dog, excellent companion and overcame car sickness. However, he was never able to totally overcome his fearful issues around people.
What I have come to know is we don’t get the dog we want, we get the dog we need. Angus’ fearful issues are really a reflection of my own fearful issues. People that know me tell me how strong I am. What they don’t know is taking chances and stepping out of my comfort zone is difficult for me. Because of the lack of security I felt as a child I find it difficult to just throw caution to the wind and just take a chance. I have always opted for the safe side of the street. Since the year of Richie’s death I vowed to occasionally venture out of that comfort zone a little at a time. I noticed as I have ventured out of my comfort zone Angus also healed a bit more and was more accepting of being around people. I too learned to become a more open and trusting person. As a result amazing things have happened to me.
Since 2008 I travelled to Alaska for a 2 week vacation. I travelled to Montana and drove on roads I never would have imagined me driving on. I am much more comfortable in navigating myself to a place I have never been. I feel less anxiety over the unknown.
By bringing this black Labrador into my life, he taught me the lesson of patience. He showed me we are all a work in progress and we all need guidance from time to time. He has shown me a mirror of myself. He helped me to discover a passion for helping people understand their dogs and help them to truly enjoy their four-legged friends. Finally, he helped me discover it is okay to take chances and let the chips fall where they may.
Angus lived 13 plus years and passed away in 2016. I miss his companionship and total dedication to me, but I take his lessons with me through the remainder of my life. Angus helped me be a better person.