A little over a year ago, I got a new puppy, a Belgian Malinois X.  This is a new breed.  Like the Labradoodle, it’s a cross between two other breeds: the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd. He’s a cutie and has been a great deal of fun until he got his rabies shot at six months.  It nearly killed him.  His body became so inflamed; he couldn’t walk on the leg in which he got the shot.  For over a week afterward he would barely move, except to walk on three legs out to pee.  I had to dunk his snout in water to get him to drink and hand feed him.  Luckily, our vet believed me and provided cleansing herbs and homeopathic medicine, enabling him to walk normally again.  Ever since then, he’s been more aggressive, mouthier.  I’ve been bruised numerous times.  He’s lunged at children and nipped several people.  Some of my friends don’t want to be around him.  I’ve done a lot of training with him and he’s getting better. He plays nicely with our kitten.

Given the challenges with his mouth, we’ve done muzzle training.  The first muzzle was mesh.  I kept them either attached to my fanny pack or hanging on a hook by our back door.  That’s where we keep leashes and grocery bags.  One day, it disappeared.  I wondered if I had misremembered and left it somewhere else.  We looked everywhere for it and never found it.  The trainer thought Knox, the puppy, had hidden it.  But there was no evidence of that; no knocked-over chairs, no mess.

I bought another mesh muzzle, did some more training, and again, it disappeared.  It didn’t work great, as he was able to nip someone with the muzzle on.  So, the next time around, I bought a rubber basket muzzle.  And we did more training, giving him treats out of the muzzle.  He liked that just fine.  After training, the muzzle was hung on the hooks by the back door.

A couple of days ago, I went to get the muzzle to do more training.  Guess what?  It was gone.  I dug through all the leashes, grocery bags, a couple of ball caps that didn’t belong there and didn’t find the muzzle.  I was flabbergasted.  This was easily the third muzzle to disappear. I actually wondered if it was the fourth! ‘I guess someone doesn’t want me to muzzle train the dog’ I thought to myself.  I hear in my head, ‘that’s right. You’re not putting a muzzle on that dog!’

I sat down today to talk to our resident ghost.  It was her, not my deceased son, who took the muzzles away.  I knew my angel son wouldn’t do that.  He always returns things he takes.  She has before, but not so far with the muzzles.  I explained to her that although she’s right that he doesn’t want to wear the muzzle, the piece she doesn’t understand is that he does want to go to work with me.  And he can’t go without the muzzle.  I asked her to consider returning the muzzle, so he could learn to wear it and be able to go to work with me.  She said, very reluctantly, that she’d consider it. 

Later, I talked with her again.  I asked her if she thought he enjoyed having to stay home when I go to work and when I go to other places where he can’t go.  She said, ‘I keep him company, him and the cats.’  I told her I appreciated that.  Then I asked her if she thought he’d prefer to stay with her or be able to go with me some of the time.  She reluctantly acknowledged that he would like to be able to go with me.  I once again asked her to give back the most recent muzzle. ‘Put it somewhere obvious, please.’ I’ll keep all of you posted regarding the muzzle.  I imagine that the muzzle is still in the house, but she has dematerialized it so I can’t see it.  This also makes it easy to move it from the hook by the back door, to another location.

Later, we had another conversation in which I told her in no uncertain terms that she had to give the muzzle back.  I explained how crucial it was to his life, given additional nips today.  Does anyone think I’ll get it back?  I’m reticent to buy a new one given that so many have disappeared.  It feels like I’m throwing my money away!

I welcome your stories of serendipity, miracles, and spiritual experiences.  Please share them!

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