I have a five year old dog named Joy. I got her when my beloved dog, Magic, died. Actually I got her later because Magic’s puppy (grown and 9 years old at the time) was grieving so badly. That was my dog, Blackie. I’ve had Blackie since the day she was born. She missed Magic as much as I did. So I found a litter of puppies and came home with one the children, who owned the mother dog, called Joy.
Joy got Blackie up and moving again. My son, Conrad, spent a lot of time with Joy training her and taking care of her. I watched from afar as Joy got Blackie up and participating in life again. I was grateful. That was my extent of my attachment to Joy. She had restored Blackie’s will to live.
My other son, George, took over Joy’s care when Conrad moved out. I was not mean to Joy, but she was not my dog.
Joy is my dog now. Did I mention my new neighbor’s dogs whom I have nicknamed Cujo and Bozo? I do not know their real names, but I am terrified of them. They are large boxers and I’ve never seen them when they weren’t snarling, or growling, or generally scary looking. They drag my neighbor around and she has a hard time holding them back.
One day last week I was in my driveway. Out came my neighbor with the one I call Cujo. Cujo saw me and tugged hard enough to pull his owner (and himself) towards my yard. I was behind my car and Joy was in the carport. Before I knew what was happening, Joy had darted around me and the car and planted herself firmly with her legs locked between me and Cujo. Joy didn’t bark, but I could tell by her stance that she had no intention of going anywhere. I screamed because I was sure Cujo was going to attack her. Joy is part collie and weighs about 35 pounds. I admire her bravado, but she was no match for Cujo.
My son, Anthony, who was in the house heard my scream and came running out. He got hold of Joy and together the three of us came in the house. I had a few choice words for my neighbor, but mostly I just wanted to get away from her unpleasant dog.
Maybe I didn’t see myself as owning Joy, but she certainly saw herself as owning me. She risked her life for me that day. I have loved and thanked her every day since. If Blackie gets something, Joy gets it. I never neglected Joy, but she was not high on my list like she probably should have been. She is now.
Joy, the Brave