A Gun Dog Saved My Life [Back to Stories]
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A Hunting Dog Saved My Life
Over the past few years, I have determined that my guardian angel does not sport a pair of wings or a glowing halo. Instead, she is a four legged hunting machine that slobbers water all over my kitchen floor and sheds enough hair to make my house look like an untidy barber shop. Her name is Lily.
Lily and I started our journey together at what most would call the worst of times. I was going into my senior year of college working as an intern for Sportsman Channel, just purchased a house and was recently engaged. So many things were changing - I really had no extra money or time to take care of a dog. But on my way out to shoot trap one night, I saw a sign that read "Chocolate Puppies For Sale". Being an avid waterfowl hunter who finally had a place of his own, it only seemed fitting to add a dog to the chaotic mix.
After talking to the breeder for a while, I took all of the puppies out into the yard for observation. Some of my resources suggested picking a pup that was curious and active, while others boasted drive to fetch was the most important quality. As I looked on trying to determine which one was the best text book dog, a small female puppy with a light chocolate coat came over and sat next to me. She did not bark, whine or even want to play - all she seemingly wanted was to enjoy my company. While I knew my choice would go against every book and person I had consulted, I ended up taking that puppy home.
Shortly after bringing Lily into my life, everything turned upside down. My fiancé and I parted ways, and as a result, I began to struggle to focus on work and school. Over the course of a few months I fell into a deep state of depression. Drinking excessively was unfortunately the method I chose to handle all the stress that I was under - thoughts of taking my own life came frequently.
In the middle of it all, one person (in my mind) stuck with me. Lily never left my side when I broke down. She always seemed to do something with the intention to make me laugh and get my mind off things. I started devoting more of my time to dog training and focused on getting my life back on track. The more time I spent with my dog, the more I realized how much I could learn about life from her.
As it turns out, I think that Lily came into my life at the perfect time, despite what anyone else thinks. Without Lily, I don't know if I could've made it out of that mess. Her unconditional support and faith in me intensified my drive to become a better person, and still does today. There is a quote that I ran across not too long ago that goes like this: "I hope to be at least half the person my dog thinks I am". My goal is to live up to that statement, as it can only make me a better person.
This blog post was about a very difficult time in my life. Today, I am happy, healthy and enjoying life to the fullest. If you or someone you know is going through a rough patch and would like to talk, I can always be contacted via info on my website at www.campauli.com or direct message me on Twitter at @CamPauli.