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December 27th, 2008
I don't know if you remember me or not, but I had purchased a returned brindle Scottie boy from you about three years ago while I was I living in New York - a boy I named Agni. I know that you have wanted to get updates on him because I knew how worried you were about him - especially after a traumatic start to his life. Even though I won't be able to write about all of Agni's life, this is my opportunity to let you know about some of the highlights of Agni's life.
On October 9, 2005, I had come to your place in Pennsylvania, where I had purchased a 5-month old brindle Scottie boy from you to take back to New York City. He was one of two puppies that you had mentioned was returned to you because the original owner was about to move to California for a new job. You had mentioned to me at the time that his father was a prize winning Wheaten Scottie. For me, this was a 15-year wait for a Scottie puppy, and I couldn’t believe that my dreams were coming true. On my way to pick him up, the name “Agni" came to me. Agni is the Hindu God of Fire, who loves all his worshippers equally and wholeheartedly, and Agni the Scottie truly did live up to his name.
My prime directive has been to do right by Agni. As a first time dog owner, I did an enormous amount of research, but I felt strongly that it was important to bring out the best of Agni as a dog while keeping him socially acceptable. For me, this meant respecting his qualities as a Scottie dog while keeping a disciplined framework for him. I always made sure he knew that I was alpha dog, but I wanted to allow him to grow and live to his full potential. I encouraged the hunter in him and his natural social desires. By providing this structure, he remained calm and even-tempered throughout his life.
Agni the Scottie grew to be a strong and healthy boy with the best disposition of any dog we had known. Even as a puppy, he had a very calm temperament, which made it so easy to train and teach him. Since my philosophy was to reinforce the positive behaviors and discourage the negative behaviors, most of the time I was just being positive and loving with him. As he carried this temperament into his adulthood, there were a few dog professionals that mentioned that I should have had him certified as a therapy dog. While the thought did cross my mind, I selfishly wanted to protect him.
Agni had an incredible social appetite. During our time in New York, we had met no less that 1000 dogs (no exaggeration). Living in the Wall Street area, not only did we meet all the dogs that lived in the area, but we had also met all the bomb sniffer dogs who worked in some of the nearby buildings. He was always happy to meet new dogs wherever we were. He would even spit out a biscuit to meet other dogs. As he got older, he was a little bit more discriminating by barking at dogs that were mean. It did1't take long for Agni to become a neighborhood celebrity. In fact, there were certain dogs we had met who hated every dog except Agni. Agni had a way of making friends out of some of the most behaviorally difficult dogs. And those who did not like Agni just didn't like dogs –period.
Agni was loved by everyone who had been in our lives. From his groomer, to his walker to all our neighborhood friends with and without dogs, everyone loved him. It was really had not to love him. They all commented how easy-going he had been and how he was so good at calming their dogs down. And he hardly barked. He would only bark when I was on the other side of our apartment door with another dog, or if someone was "bad". Of the incredible number of dogs we met, I could almost count on one hand the number of dogs he didn't like. Because of his keen sense, I let him bark because it was so rare to actually hear him bark. There were people in New Yo1k who knew Him for 2 years who never heard him bark even when other dogs would bark at him. I found this truly amazing about him.
My journey has been one that has crisscrossed the Atlantic Ocean a few times, and it was with the intention of pursing a second career that I moved to Scotland. I thought that life for Agni would be better because he would have more access to grass and less pollution - maybe even find a home with a backyard for him. I managed to bring Agni over here without having to go through quarantine. It was important to me that he was not put through such trauma.
Agni's life in Scotland was one that he wholeheartedly enjoyed. With Agni's social personality, it didn't take long for him to make new friends. But it was the grass he enjoyed. Even on rainy days where there were no dogs, he would still gallop around the park as long as he had his raincoat on. Agni enjoyed himself here. His new pastime was chasing rabbits in the fields
On October 25, 2008, at the stroke of midnight (l:00 AM because of daylight savings time), we were out for our last walk of the night when Agni was suddenly hit by a taxi. This was a strange twist of events because he never left my side and the streets was usually quiet at that time. Even with the emergency vet hospital only steps away, Agni died in my arms within about 5 minutes. Even then, he did not make a peep, and he went quietly.
These past weeks have been an enormously difficult time for me. Agni has been my only family, and his death has been difficult for me. There has not been a day since he died that I have not cried for him. I have his ashes, and I haven't decided what I'm going to do with them yet. Right now, I am trying to write the story of our life together as a means to heal if nothing else. I have been looking at the photos of puppies on your website, but I think it will be some time before I get another Scottie. Maybe one day soon I will be contacting you for another Scottie puppy. Rigl1t now, Agni is the one I want back in my life.
Agni was a beautiful and spiritual boy who was truly the embodiment of love. For over 15 years, I have wished for a Scottie, and Agni was more than I could have ever wished and hoped for. For three years, he brought so much love and joy into my life thanks to you, and there was never a day I didn't tell him how much I loved him. Agni has not only changed my life, he has healed me of my past wounds as well. Agni was a gift of love like nothing I have ever known in my life. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have had a blessing like him in my life; I just wished for more time than we were allowed. I believe that I will always miss him, and he will never be forgotten.
Scottie: Brindle Boy
Born: April 23, 2005
Died: October 25, 2008
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