I was about 3 to 5 days old when mom found my brothers and me on her front door. She had no idea where my birth mom was. Maybe my birth mom had to leave us, maybe her owners deserted us. I guess we will never know, and it really doesn’t matter. Mom scooped us up and rushed us to our vet. (Of course Mom saved us! That is how Mom is.)
There were four of us and we were in pretty bad shape. We stayed at the vets for a few days then came home with Mom. Mom became our real mom when she took on the schedule of feeding us every two hours, burping us and literally doing everything a mom dog would do. And we thrived under her watch. I was the biggest and strongest of my litter.
Days turned into weeks and me and my brother Mole flourished. My other brothers, Cubby and Pony Boy, had health and mental issues, which led Mom to believe we were the results of a backyard breeding gone wrong. She loved us all anyway. And we love her!
My brother Pony Boy went to the bridge when he was just two years old, but it was a good two years. Cubby followed a couple years later at age four. I am happy they knew Mom loved them and did her best to keep them healthy. They lived a short but fulfilled life.
I guess I am a momma’s boy. Never grew out of it! I tail her like a hawk. I guess I felt the need to protect her. After all, she saved us (she saved me!).
One day I did get to return that favor, though being a dog, I don’t think it’s a big deal. People around here do though, and so does Mom.
The neighbor’s big dogs got into our yard three years ago. They were really big, bigger than me, and I am no slouch! They went after Mole and me. Mom is always a mom and was not about to let them hurt us, so she got involved. She threw, she kicked, she screamed, she prayed. I remember hearing her say “Do not hurt my babies!”
She must have fought a good battle, because we got away. She told us to go, and we did. Mole made it to safety and hid…I turned around and saw the biggest dog grab Mom’s hand and knock her down. The way Mom describes it, she saw a big flash of fur body slam the one that would have possibly killed her. At that point, Mom had nothing left to give.
I had to save Mom; I had to show her how much I loved her for what she did for me that day so many years ago. I was angry seeing Mom hurt, and I knew I had a name to live up to. I got the dog off of her and the fighting started all over again. Then the dogs were called off by their owner, and it was finally over.
I remember Mom hugging me and crying and checking me and Mole for wounds… There was blood everywhere… It was not ours — it was Mom’s — but she didn’t care as long as we were all right.
I sat with her while she cried and licked her face. We were the pack at that moment, her and I. We had fought the good battle, and I was proud I could return the love that she gave to us. Mole tried, but he is more timid, I told him not to feel bad, I was the bigger brother, it was my job to protect and defend my pack.
We got a special dinner that night. Mom was alright — she has a few scars, but nothing that was bad, though she couldn’t walk for a couple of days. By the way, Mom being Mom was not angry at those dogs. The owner on the other hand…
I didn’t think much of what I did. Like I said, being a dog, it’s not a big deal. It is just what we do. And Mom needed me.
I love being outside and around the horses — my favorite place to be. I love when Mom spends hours and hours brushing me. Most of all, I love to cuddle with Mom.
I am almost 15 years old now. I have slowed down a lot. I have this thing called arthritis on my spine which sometimes is painful, and a problem with my thyroid. Mom gives me my medicines every day. I have so much gray hair now, and my eyes are not as keen as they once were, but I can sense Mom coming as if I were a pup. I still place my head on her shoulder after eating and give her a good burp as I did when she bottle fed me. See, Mom is my pack.
My brother Mole got his wings recently. Momma hugged and kissed him all the way to the bridge. I know I’ll be going there too one of these days but I have had a good life. Sometimes Mom and I talk about my birth mom, and we wonder if she had a good life. Did she leave us knowing that Mom would take us and help us? Maybe…
All I know is I am a dog, I am a lucky one, and I am loved.
Editor’s Note: Hercules grew his wings on December 31, 2013. He was his momma’s guardian for 18 years and although it was hard, his Momma listened to him when he said it was time. She held him all the way. Hercules was a lucky one for he was so loved.