Monday, November 15, 2010

Django Day

CIMG0034 Today marks the seven-year anniversary of a very special day – the day we brought my heart dog home to live with us.

Django’s backstory is a bit of a mystery.  He was picked up as a stray in the Detroit area, spent some time in a shelter, and finally was brought in as a foster by the Almost Home rescue organization.  He weighed less than 30 pounds, and his dark red coat was sun-bleached almost blonde in places, meaning he must have spent a lot of time outside. 

He was lucky to go home with a very loving foster mom who saw what a special guy he was, and wanted the very best for him.  She brought him to a companion obedience class being taught by our flyball teammate, Karen, who was impressed that this little stray was so biddable, quick-learning, and eager to please.  Karen suggested that his foster mom bring him to our flyball practice that weekend.

When Django walked in the door, our eyes met and he grinned at me, and I knew he was going to be ours.  It was love at first sight.

I can’t express how much I adore this dog.  Obviously, I love all our dogs, and have a special relationship with each one, but something about my connection with Django seems like a once in a lifetime thing.  The best way I can describe him is that he always wants to be right, and would try to do anything I asked of him. 


Django watches me in a way that none of the others do.  He is always in tune with what and how I’m doing.  If I look around in the house, in the yard, wherever, his eyes are following me, waiting, watching, wondering what I need of him.  Dogs, God love them, are by nature a self-interested lot.  They primarily are interested in when we might give them a treat, when we might take them for a walk, when we’re going to throw the ball.  Django, as much as he loves tennis balls and food, feels somehow like he is watching me on a different level – wondering what he can do for me, how he can make me happiest.  He never does anything wrong, is never a bother, and is always easy and delightful to be with.  We could go anywhere together.

Many don’t know the source of his unusual name.  He is named after Django Reinhardt, a jazz guitarist from the early 1900s.  Reinhardt was born into a family of Romani gypsies, and at the age of 18, his left hand was badly injured in a fire, leaving his third and fourth fingers partially paralyzed.  He was told he wouldn’t play again; nevertheless, he went on to become one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time.

The name “Django” is a gypsy word meaning “I awake.”  I have always thought it was a fitting description of the way my shy boy who was looking for a home came to blossom into the wonderful dog that he is. 



Joan Ginsberg said...

He is what author Jon Katz calls your "lifetime" dog: a dog who comes into your home and heart at a time and in such a way as to change it profoundly. Much like my Ike. :-)

May Django give you many, many more years!

Casper Bear said...

Happy Anniversary and many more to come. Django looks a very happy dog.
Lotsa Licks
Casper Bear