It was a quiet and tearful ride home, it's a short ten-minute drive but it felt like we were driving on a treadmill and going nowhere. Pulling into our driveway was difficult because for the first time we didn't have to lift Chester out of the back of the Blazer. We entered the house through the garage like normal and waiting patiently in their crates were D, J and W. They bounded out of their crates and greeted us with lots of licks and tail wags. Once the excitement of our return was over I watched Wyatt sniff the kitchen, then trot down the hall sniffing the floor and turning the corner into the living room and searching every corner of the room and then returning to me with a look in his eyes that I figured was his way of asking where's Chester. He trotted over to the back door and hopped up to look outside and then down into a sit waiting for me to open and release him through the door. He shot out of the house and renewed his search, sniffing the air, ground and me. He could smell Chester but couldn't find him. He eventually settled but not for a game of fetch, he lay in front of the shed and looked pitiful.
Wyatt appeared out of sorts for a couple of days, checking the windows, laying in the places Chester used to lay and he was more clingy. Our mutual loss of Chester forged a bond. Wyatt now greets me with his full body wag, where they were reserved for my husband and kids in the past. Our walks changed and eye contact went from good to excellent, Wyatt seemed to understand before I asked. He began sitting when greeting strangers and while he's been good on the leash for a while he seemed more content to just follow me. At first I wondered why the change and passed it off as he's growing up, maturing but what I think it really is he finally felt my entire heart. I let go of his shortcomings and embraced him with all I had in me and Wyatt responded with his own kind of love and loyalty. He still has his moments at home but whenever we leave the house he makes me look like an A number one trainer and he's rewarded in kind with treats and his favorite of all things a game of fetch.
All of my dogs have my heart, but Wyatt was and is my challenge and whether good or bad the pup that has taught me about what owning and living with dogs is really like. Chester and Yucca were my first dogs and will always hold huge part of my heart, but they were my dress rehearsal. Wyatt and the rest of my crew are the show and no matter how long their run it'll be learning, fun and sometimes-bumpy ride and one I relish in taking. Who knows what the next year will bring, but it's sure to be an adventure.
Until next time, Woof, Woof, and a Roo.