Monday, August 29, 2011

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains

Princeton looks back to say, “You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains”

When I say something that Princeton really likes, he stares intensely in my eyes as if to say, “Yes, yes, YES!” Usually he does it when I say words like “walk,” “go to,” or “park.”

But the other day we were listening to Josh Groban singing “You Raise Me Up,” and Princeton keyed in to the lyrics. (Yes, my dog is that smart!) It was the word “walk” that first caught Princeton’s attention. But he stared deep into my eyes through the whole song. I like to think that it expresses his feelings toward me:

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to WALK on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

Often I’ve been frustrated by Princeton’s strength pulling against me on the leash. But this song helped me see that my dog and I are strong together.

Until recently Princeton has been a giant dog who gave tiny, stingy little kisses. Usually he wouldn’t kiss at all. I trained him to kiss on command for a treat, but he would almost never kiss to show affection. Once in a great while he let the very tip of his tongue touch my skin for a split second.

For three years we kept trying to show him that we LIKE kisses. This week it was like he finally got it. One day I got seven kisses from Princeton! Every time he gives a kiss, he has a proud, happy look on his face, as if to say, “I finally figured out how to express love to humans!”

Princeton stands on another "mountain" with a much smaller friend

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happy birthday! Princeton is 3 years old

Princeton struck a pose on his birthday.  A real 3-year-old charmer!

Our Great Dane Princeton celebrated his third birthday recently. He is doing great!

He still LOVES to play, but he is more mature about it. He stopped pulling pillows off the couch and hardly ever gets mouthy anymore. He seems to understand almost every word that we say!

This was a tough year for Princeton. There were times when we didn’t think he would make it to his third birthday. He slipped and fell in a cement-lined creek, and severely injured his toenails by clawing his way out. They got badly infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It took 3-1/2 months to nurse him back to health. I learned more than I ever thought I would about canine nail infections and osteomyletis. Now he’s finally healthy and frisky again, but it looks like some of his claws will never grow back.

Now that he’s all grown up, Princeton has an almost human look in his eyes sometimes. As one of our friends said, “I can see that there’s a beautiful spirit inside.”

I’m grateful to have Princeton in my life!

Princeton’s paw with missing toenail

Princeton’s beautiful spirit shows in his eyes on his 3rd birthday