Sometimes they did not come to me directly when called.
Sometimes they had Different Opinions than mine.
And they began to realize that they were separate from me.......
They were given car keys, new clothes, allowance money, and options for Freedom and Independence.
And they messed up. Royally. Only to be reconciled back to Us, and forgiven and released again to try once more these wings of growth. They pushed and they failed and they progressed.
And we loved them. We loved them with Complete Abandon and Joy. We loved beyond the mistakes and the setbacks. We were building a lifelong relationship, and everyone involved knew that it was of ultimate importance.
This month, our Collie Puppy, Curtis has discovered a broader world. Most of the care and positive reinforcement I have lavished upon him for the past 5 months has been for naught.
Curtis is now seven months old. The age when many young pups get relinquished to the local dog pound. He has forgotten everything I have ever taught him. He makes me doubt that I have used the proper methods for education and building a relationship.......
My Spirit of Courage has a mind of his own, and doesn't come when called anymore. He cannot be trusted off leash from the house to the car.
Curtis has forgotten what "sit!" is supposed to mean. He jumps up on people. He put his teeth on me when I was grooming him. He ducks his head and wiggles out of the way when I reach for his collar.
Somedays he delights me in his increase of understanding and his focus on me. Somedays I cannot get him to leave my side and disconnect.
Other days, he roams the room, looking for Something to do. Rings the bell to go out, paws at the door to come in. Pokes the cats with his nose. Steals the socks out of my shoes.
People tell me that I will love him again in a few years.....I love him now! I love his independence and his courage to explore new worlds. I love his keen mind and his attitude of importance. I love his gangly body and his clumsy gait. I love the way he looks at me. And I love the warmth of his sweet back nestled up against mine.
I love what he is right now, and know that we will both survive the changes. I love who he will be someday......For I can see the Future, and both of us are brave enough to go forward.