As the universe taketh away it also giveth such as the case in 2002 when my mother had her third stroke and was faced with a nursing home. It didn't take much reflection for me to abandon New York City, the mother of all cities to rescue my own in New England. I was aware I could always have NYC...but I wouldn't always have my mother. I anticipated to live with her for years and work on a book....except the cruel hand of fate had other ideas and took control by evaporating her auto-pilot of breath three weeks later.
I remained in the country where I mourned my mother while trying awkwardly to reinvent myself in the silence of a rural environment. My sister and her husband generously allowed me to move in and do just that. She wanted her Miniature Poodle, Snowy to have a litter and searched for a mate. A virile 8 month old handsome, apricot gentleman was up for adoption and Buddy became her beloved. Within months she was pregnant and on Easter Sunday 2003 gave birth to four dark, furry eggrolls; one female and three males.
I was attracted to the homeliest one with cauliflower ears, whom to me resembled 1940's tough guy, actor, Edward G. Robinson. For six months I wrestled with my inability to make an emotional commitment to the pup that I named Sunday. He mirrored my ambivalence and was standoffish, and rejected my need to cuddle. Finally I rescinded, and like the Grinch my heart grew five times the size, as I accepted him as my doggy; to protect, to heal, to love, to treat with respect, to nurture, to learn everything about his animal lineage. He became my partner, my friend, my trainer, my soft shoulder, my playmate, my daily dinner guest, my funny bone, my dancing partner, my driving companion, and traveling mate. He taught me patience, and acceptance.
And as he grew...he became the swan...the most handsome in the litter.
Now as he has become a senior citizen at age 12 [60 in human years], I couldn't live without him. And it is because of Sunday that I have stretched emotionally to understand the dog mind, body and spirit [influenced by the teachings of Cesar Millan], and it is my empathy and compassion that fuels this campaign to see one million dogs...in four hundred days. ---R. B. STUART
Sunday far left
Edward G. Robinson