Freedom is her name. It is also the gift she was given when my sister and her husband rescued her and chose her name. Neglected and dirty with backbones that shouldn’t have been visible, she stood quietly waiting at Pet Smart that Saturday morning.
My sister and her husband had just lost their beloved dog, Max, after fourteen years. Their hearts were breaking and empty but full of love to give. And there was Freedom, a ragged German Shepherd, ears bitten by flies, who needed that love. They saw beyond the neglect and filled the need. They brought her home. That was two months ago.
I went to visit my sister on a recent trip to California for a family reunion. That’s when I met Freedom. She was beautiful, her coat shiny, her ears healing, her backbones no longer protruding. I swear she was smiling. She had every reason to be. I’m not a dog person by nature. I got the cat gene. My sister got the dog gene. But this dog stole my heart.
She was gentle, playful and practicing her lessons from obedience school. At seven years old, she was a quick study. I needed a few lessons myself in dog behavior and how to behave with a dog. We shook hands and became fast friends. I took her for a walk first and then we broke into a run. I was running with Freedom—Freedom was “free!”Note: Freedom was rescued from the Greater California German Shepherd Rescue Society and is taking her obedience classes from Pet Smart.
Yours in fitness,
Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN
Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACSM ( . . . and recent “Dog Whisperer”)