Many years ago, Farmer Tom was out working at his "real" job, a construction site with a lot of large equipment, digging holes and laying infrastructure, when he noticed a random dog hanging about. As his nature is to feed all animals treats, he soon acquired a friend in this dog. One day, a man showed up to retrieve the dog and Farmer Tom got to talking with him. He learned that the dog would soon be on his way to a shelter, as the owner no longer wished to care for him. Farmer Tom went into panic mode and asked if he could intervene and the owner gladly handed the dog over. As the dog had no name and had only Spanish speaking handlers, we originally named him Pedro. Later, it became Pete. Even later, Pete Lay Down.
In those early days we learned a lot about Pete. He was a maniac. Severe separation anxiety, jealous, hyperactive, food aggressive. The only way this dog could ever settle down was if he could have literally crawled inside our skin. He could never have enough contact, was starving for attention 24/7 and would never relax.
He made a sport out of tormenting our old boy Sammy by nipping at his heels to get him to play. Sammy was not having it and would attempt to spin and lunge bite Pete in retaliation, but Pete was always too quick and would dance away. Repeat this behavior 100 times per day and you could probably guess how Sammy felt about this new addition to the family.
Pete also enjoyed destroying things. When we were away at work he would dump all flower pots, eat the plants, then the pots. He stripped the siding off of the hot tub. He dug up and chewed any wires he could find. Extension cords were his favorite. He shredded every blanket and cushion he was given to lay on. Shop towels were sprinkled around the yard like confetti. He dug giant holes in the grass. When the plants were gone, he started eating the trees. He killed chickens. He climbed fences. He ran off anytime the gate got left open.
He also disabled our electric gate. He pees on anything you set on the ground longer than 10 seconds. If you let him in the house, he pees on the furniture immediately. He barks a lot.
I have realized over time that if you put yourself out into the universe you cannot control all of the twists, turns and challenges that life will throw at you. Neither will you be able to anticipate all of the joys. This is as it should be. That is the whole point. We didn't know the journey Pete would take us on when he came to live with us and if we could change it, would we? Probably not. Being accepted, warts and all, is what we all would choose for ourselves, if given the chance. Having seen his transformation over the years has been as satisfying for us as I'm sure it's been for him.
...And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end
the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have to miss
Lyrics from "The Dance" written by Tony Arata