The first of May, we suffered the sudden and devastating loss of our male English Mastiff, Bentley to cardiomyopathy. Therein began the Great Puppy Hunt of 2011 that would monopolize our hearts and minds for the next 120 days.
After extensive research, meetings with our vet, meetings with our trainers, talking to a dozen top breeders, researching forums,health certifications and pedigrees, forfeiting one deposit and two babies, we finally located Micah, a 7 month-old, 87 pound brindle male English Mastiff halfway across the country. The logistics of getting him from Indiana to Phoenix alone would be enough for an HBO mini-series.
There was an instant bond…a “knowing”, if you will between the DogFather and Micah. July 1st he donned his “Service Dog in Training” vest, hopped a flight with his new Daddy and flew to his new home…Casa de Muddy Pawz. There are no accidents in the universe, and the MonsterDogz gods were with us in getting the “baby” accommodated in the cabin of the aircraft on a full flight on a holiday weekend. Everyone worked with the DogFather from airport security at Indianapolis International, to US Airways, the management, flight crew and neighboring passengers (Micah’s “posse”.)
Touchdown Phoenix! 118 degrees and MamaDog waited in the cell lot until Micah finished his photo shoot with passengers and crew. Our amazing trainers with Team Canine met us at our home to introduce the baby to Nala, our 3 1/2 year-old female Mastiff (rescue). Now Nala has been known to show some attitude, having previously lived in an abusive environment, but our master trainers at Team Canine cut through her fear with patience and a true love of all things “dog”. Within an hour, we were able to take one tired puppy off leash, knowing he was fully integrated into Nala’s life and our home. His Majesty has arrived.
Five weeks and 43 toys later, Micah has met and captivated the hearts of all our friends, the staff at Arcadia Animal Clinic, especially Dr. Bracken, his classmates and teachers at Team Canine, and basically everyone who lays eyes on him. He is completing his obedience classes with Team Canine and is already enrolled in their AKC Canine Good Citizenship class. Our dream is that Micah becomes an official therapy dog, helping all those who need the warm breath and the healing, cinnamon eyes of a gentle giant. As his predecessor, Bentley did instinctively with Alzheimer’s patients and autistic children, we hope Micah will follow suit and masterfully capture, heal or soothe one heart at a time.
Okay, so we’ve lost a few articles of clothing and shoes, a couple of shrubs and a saddle blanket. We have a few more Band-Aids and twice the scooping to do in the back yard, but we are the luckiest family in the world…the DogFather, MamaDog, Nala and Micah.
We’ve had one good scare when our “healthiest puppy on the planet” developed a septic knee and spent a few days in the same hospital where we had let Bentley go less than 5 months before. He’s home, recovering and gathered a few more hearts in his pocket while he vacationed at Sonora Veterinary Specialists. We know he’ll be bouncing around again in a week, sliding down the hall like a furry torpedo into his daddy’s arms.
Oh, I nearly forgot to tell you how he got to be “Micah”! Micah is an ancient Hebrew form of “Michael”, and we named him after the Archangel Michael, since Mastiffs are all about protection. The movie, “Michael” is one of our all time favorites, and Micah has the personality portrayed by John Travolta. Joyful, curious, powerful, loving, protective and healing. Besides…sometimes he smells like cookies!
© Copyright 2011 Mary Watson