The first time that I met Reese, she weighed only a few pounds and stood mightily on her hind legs, flailing her playful paws in my direction like a young Joe Frazier. If she were a large dog, I would have corrected this behavior, but seeing that she would be lucky to knock out incoming fruit flies, I warmly accepted the challenge. We boxed regularly in her early years, as I would sometimes pup-sit her while my sister, Jen, and her now wife, Kristin, tended to professional matters.
See, I was in college when Jen and Kristin brought Reese home (nearly seven years ago); thus I garnered few real world responsibilities. My day to day routine included writing essays, reading books, playing baseball, hanging with my bros, and sleeping–it was a daunting lifestyle. Playing with Reese was a welcomed and joyful task, but in her early days, I had to be very careful with her. Reese is not a boxer in a pup’s body simply because of her jab, cross, and uppercut skills, but also because she went toe-to-toe with a rather gnarly case of Parvo, a serious intestinal virus that can easily take the life of any dog affected by its woeful nature.
In many ways, the small but resilient Pomeranian Fox-Terrier reminds me of Philly’s beloved Rocky Balboa. Other than failing to possess turtles named Cuff and Link, and void of a relationship with a woman named Adrian and a trainer named Mick, Reese is a similar underdog. She was given slim chances for survival, comparable to those that any sane viewer of the Rocky series would have given Balboa when watching him receive skull-bashing blow after rib-blasting shot, yet she managed to pull herself through the unfortunate circumstances that defined her first few months of existence.
Now, as Reese transitions into her middle-aged years, she is busy training an up and coming warrior: William Hohn. The youngster from Upper Darby is already maturing into a stellar Fisher-Price basketball legend, and one cannot help but cite Reese’s role as mentor and coach for the toddler’s progression. Like every great champion, regardless of their arena or particular trade, Reese must pass the torch that she shouldered so well for so long, as she has appropriately and deservingly earned her retirement from the featherweight division that she dominated for years.
Never underestimate the hunger that one might have for the world and life they desire. In this case, Reese wanted nothing more than a chance to experience the world she was born into, and she fought for every second of what she now enjoys. Her battle was her own, but it was noted and supported by all of those in her corner.
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”