Dogs are so much better than people when it comes to handling adversity. My favorite example of this is my cousins’ dog, Gordie. What I love about Gordie (named after the famous hockey player, Gordie Howe) is that even as he suffered from a degenerative disease-causing blindness, his personality never changed.
Growing up, I only ever had cats. So, Gordie was quite a departure as an energetic Jack Russell Terrier. He was a wild one from the moment they got him. The first time I came over to my cousins’ house to meet Gordie, he was jumping extremely high for his little body and trying to bite my cousin Dan. He certainly knew how to make an impression.
Although Gordie is a part of a loving family, he has had a difficult couple of years. His blindness has been a struggle, but he still has lots of energy and hasn’t let it get in the way.
When he turned 13, my aunt and uncle threw him a “bark mitzvah.” In the Jewish tradition, when you turn 13, you have a bar or bat mitzvah (bar for boys, bat for girls). It is to celebrate coming of age. Therefore, my aunt and uncle thought it would be funny and cute to throw him one as well. Gordie wore a little kippah and was of course given presents. Gordie loves to get presents. Each year on Hanukkah, he always gets a toy.
Gordie was always super energetic. When he was younger, and we used to take him on hikes, he would try to run the whole trail. He would jump and be super excited to be outside. He has gotten too old now for hiking, but he gets just as excited to go to the park across the street from my aunt’s apartment in Philadelphia or relax on the balcony.
He loves human food, like other dogs. His favorite is scrambled eggs. My aunt always makes extra eggs in the morning so they can eat their breakfasts together.
Additionally, he is a super protective dog. When the doorbell rings, Gordie is already at the door growling at whoever walks in. Fortunately, he relaxes when he realizes that the person is not only not a threat, but a friendly soul, he calms down and goes back to sleeping in his spot on the couch.
Gordie is certainly a unique dog. I think there is a stereotype that dogs are happy-go-lucky, but Gordie certainly is not that. He is sometimes hyper and a little aggressive. But, we him just the way he is. Sure, he isn’t a perfect dog, but I think it can be more fun to have a little craziness in our lives.
All of these wonderful thoughts about Gordie are top of mind this summer because of my internship with Vizion Group Public Relation, which does marketing and publicity for the National Dog Show that everyone watches on Thanksgiving Day. The internship has provided great opportunities for me to learn the ropes of public relations in a non-academic setting, as we promote the Kennel Club of Philadelphia and the National Dog Show Presented by Purina coming up in November.