One day a beautiful baby boy Samoyed was born. As he came out I noticed that his coloring did not look right and that his mother did not try to get to him. He was the last of seven puppies and his Mama was tired. As I took him, and stated to massage him, he was not breathing. I continued to massage and to work with him for some time. He finally began breathing and let out a little whimper. As he whimpered, his Mama became interested and began to demand her child from me. I did not give him up right away, but continued to massage until his sound was a little stronger, but as I watched this boy begin his new life, I felt a tug at my heart.
With the special sense that a breeder had I knew that this was to be a very special boy. I couldn’t have told you how he would be special, just that he would be a boy who would make his mark on the world in some way. As the litter matured over the weeks, I continued my special bond with little Green Boy, and knew that there was definitely something special about him. He was always the first one to me as I came into the room; he seemed to know instinctively if I wanted to snuggle or to play; he even knew when it was time for me to pay attention to the others and would back off.
The bond I had formed with this boy made me question my own evaluation of him. My little green boy would stay with me, I had to know what that special quality was. I could not let him go, and let someone else find it, I had to watch it develop and see who this boy would become.
The six other puppies went to their new homes when they were approximately twelve weeks of age. As the last little girl left, I was still trying to come up with a name for my green boy. I finally decided on Heart Song with a call name of Music. Each time I saw him my heart would sing, so what else could it be.
We soon began working on conformation skills for him. Music loved going to the classes and getting attention from all the folks there. After a few weeks of classes, we entered a couple of fun matches and he seemed to love it as he pranced around the ring and showed off for everyone watching. We continued working and when he turned six months, Music and I entered our first AKC show together.
We wandered around the show site and Music accepted pets and attention from all those that he could con into it. We groomed and he lavished on all the attention. Then we went to the ring. He was the only six to nine month puppy dog entered. We went into the ring and I attempted to stack him but he would not stand still. He kept turning and looking at the entrance to the ring to see where everyone else was. We ran around the ring once and he wanted to go out. The judge came to go over him and he immediately play bowed and began running to the end of his lead. We went down and back he nipped at my pocket untied my shoe laces, and tried to jump in the lap of the lady sitting at the corner diagonal. As the judge handed us our blue ribbon, he suggested that we might want to try some conformation classes before our next show. All I could do was look at Music and laugh.
Music and I had a long talk before we went back into the ring for Winner’s Dog. I guess what he heard and what I said were two different things because not only did he try the same tricks, he actually managed to trip me on the way around the ring.
We continued to show for several months with no better results. He completely humiliated me each time we went into the ring, but was a perfect angel outside the ring. One day as we went into the ring Music looked up at me, dropped his tail and ears, and walked all the way around. His tail never came up nor did his ears, he showed no animation just kept giving a sideways look. As we left the ring and he became his normal happy, excited self, it dawned on me. He had been trying all along to tell me that he hated showing and was not going to do this the proper way. No matter how much I worked with him, he would continue to make a fool out of us in the ring. I decided that I should listen to him and that maybe we should try it again after he got a little older. We would try a couple of shows when he was three years old and see how it went.
As it turned out, this was really a blessing. It was the holiday season and my life was hectic. I had so much to do to get the house ready for Christmas and had a large group coming for Christmas dinner. I devoted my time to getting ready for Christmas and Music had a wonderful time romping and playing with his Mama and the other dogs. He no longer had to have frequent baths or worry about staying clean for several days at a time. He was having the time of his life.
As Christmas Day dawned, the dogs woke us and got to open their gifts first. Music got a new collar and lead. He looked at it a little strangely because it was not like his others. I told him that we were going to try a new fun class called obedience. Someone must have told him about this because I got this look like, “Oh yeah, over my dead body”. The look disappeared quickly and I decided that I had imagined it. You know how we all are with these dogs, we figure they can’t possible know what we are talking about until they prove it to us. I still wonder to this day what happened to that lead and collar because I have never seen it again. It is secreted away in that special dog hiding place that no human has ever found.
I decided to take Music with me to pick up Mom at the Retirement Village to bring her to the house for Christmas Dinner. This was Music’s first trip to Mom’s apartment so I explained to him that we might see others as we were on our way to Mom’s and that if they wanted to pet him, he would have to be very gentle and stand very still. As we went in the door to the apartment building, a group of the residents were in the lobby singing Christmas carols. They all stopped singing and one of the ladies in her wheelchair exclaimed “Oh look, a Christmas dog. I had one when I was growing up.” She put her hand down, and called Music over by saying “come here, baby”. Music went over and sat down beside her chair and waited for her to pet him.
Several others gathered around him and he sat there and let them all pet him and exclaim over him. He did not flinch over hands coming at him from behind or the noise of the electric chairs, or the walkers. He welcomed all and never attempted to paw at them or jump up on them. I became concerned when one of the residents with severe palsy came up to pet him. I was afraid that the tremors would frighten him and did not know how he would react. I shortened his lead and as the resident got closer, Music turned to look at me as if to say “Mom, let me go, I need to get closer, she can’t reach me.” Music never even flinched when this lady reached out to him. Although her touch was fairly rough because of her lack of control, he seemed to know that it was okay. We spent much more time in the lobby than I expected and Mom finally came looking for us. As we left to go home, many of the folks asked if I would bring him back to see them. With tears in my eyes I assured them that we would be back.
As I put Music in the car, I realized that I had found his special gift. I will always wonder what made me decide to take Music with me on that Christmas day so long ago but will be forever thankful that I did. After the first of the year, we began work to earn Music his Therapy Dog title. He long ago earned that and never had any problem with any of the classes. He was a typical Samoyed and stubborn and playful at times, but overall took the classes seriously. He knew that this was important for him and for his world. Since that Christmas day, we have visited many retirement homes, nursing homes, and even a couple of hospitals. Music has never made a false move with any of “his patients”. It was hard on him when one of “his patients” was no longer there. He would look around and hesitate when we left as if saying, “wait mom, we missed someone.” I explained to him that they had gone home and were very happy. This seemed to satisfy him.
Over the years, Music has given many elderly and disabled individuals something to look forward to, as well as bringing happiness and “Music” back into their lives. I have learned that he is not only my Heart Song but the Heart Song of many elderly and sick individuals who look forward to his visits. I have also learned to listen to my dogs. Some of them have special missions and needs to fulfill. Music and I never did go back into the show ring together, but he has something I would not trade any conformation title, he has a Therapy Title and uses it.