Out of my three dogs, he is often the one I have the hardest time talking about (or for this matter, writing about). Not because I love him any less than Blade or Shine but because one must get to know him to truly understand what I mean when I try describing him.
Simply put, Viper is Viper.
From a very young age, Viper had little to no interest in interacting with people, let alone me. At the time, it was a blow to my then 20 year old ego. I had purchased a puppy with very specific goals I wanted to accomplish in Agility. The only problem with that, was that while I had specific goals I wanted to achieve, Viper had his own agenda and I wasn't privy to know what exactly that was.
As he got older, everything that should have been valuable to him, wasn't. Everything that should have helped him bond to me, didn't...
It made living with and training him a challenge to say the least.
That and my own stubbornness.
For months I lived in denial about my puppy and for months I talked myself out of listening to my own instincts when it came to him. How could my puppy be anything less than perfectly perfect?
As harsh as it is to say, Viper wasn't a perfectly perfect puppy...
He was perfectly imperfect.
And to this day, he still is.
I am not a person who holds my beliefs in religion, or fate, or in destiny or things of the like...
But I do believe that while Viper was not the dog I had envisioned for myself, he was truly the dog I needed at that point in my life. Looking back, it took me years, to stop trying to mold him into something he was not...
Viper has not nor has he ever loved Agility.
Yes, he likes it. No, he does not love it...
He loves to go kayaking at the lake.
He loves to chase squirrels.
He loves to race other dogs while out hiking,
and he LIVES to run.
And while, none of the above align with the Agility goals I had intended to pursue with him, he has taught me about humility, about frustration, about acceptance and most importantly he has dished out more pieces of humble pie than any other dog I have shared my life with. For each and every one of those lessons I am grateful for my goofy, goofy boy.