How The Runt of the Litter Became the Blessing in My Life

I was blessed with the daily companionship of Porkchop for 11 years. He was given to me on my birthday, but when I first saw him I was disappointed. I wanted an Australian Shepherd, and the dog in my mind’s eye looked nothing like Porkchop. He wasn’t the cutest puppy, and as a result he was the last of a litter to find a home. To add injury to insult, one of my horses stepped squarely on his face within 15 minutes of our first introduction. That left my new dog with a swollen nose and many restless nights of discomfort and labored breathing. I took him to work with me every day. I was, and still am (in addition to running Meet Me At The Barn), a co-owner of a San Diego-based physical therapy and wellness company. From the very beginning, Porkchop captured the hearts of our patients. He had an uncanny sense of who needed his love and encouragement. He showed up every day until his last ready to serve, expecting nothing in return while putting smiles on faces and extending genuine comfort to those in pain. Maybe it was long-remembered empathy. When my house burned down in 2007 Porkchop patiently tolerated the gypsy lifestyle of shuffling to four different temporary homes over two years until we were able to move back into a reconstructed house. During the long and demanding days of construction, he never left my side and he generously allowed me the time I needed