This is Felix – nested into the pillows on my bed, hard at work. He was one of my “heart dogs,” for many reasons. He had strong convictions about squirrels, hated it when he was left behind; proved he had the tenacity to survive on his own in forever wild lands.
He has a chapter all to himself in my first book, Love Always Wags Its Tail which describes some of his personalty quirks.
He was one of those whippets that had more terrier temperament than hound temperament. If you’ve lived with any kind of terrier, you know what this means. Terrier types are always up-beat, somewhat incorrigible; they never sulk or piss and moan about what life hands them.
He was given up by his first owners – something about not having any time for him anymore – and when he came to me he was riddled with worms and, as I discovered, had the worst case of separation anxiety I had ever seen, which he never got over. Which made me wonder how much time his human family spent with him in the first place.
I found him a place to lure course shortly after he came to live with me; I drove over three hours to get to a huge field in the middle of nowhere. He was one of the last dogs to run the course because he wasn’t one of the regulars. I wasn’t sure that this was a sport I wanted to get involved with but I wanted to find out if this was something that Felix would be good at. Would he have that “gaminess,” that strong prey drive?
When I was a high school English teacher, I used to tell parents that one of their jobs was to either help their kids find their gift – the one thing that they were good at – or, if that gift was readily apparent, their job was to open the door and get out of the way.
What Felix showed me was that I could do the same for him; find the one gift he was good at and then open the door.