We see our sports hero’s as supermen! So what could possibly make Derek Jeter, retired New York Yankee shortstop, cower in fear? What could cause him to freeze and be at a loss of how to defend himself? Here is a hint; it is a little ball of fur that barks!
When Derek Jeter, famous Yankee was a child he saw a movie about a killer dog that terrified him! He came from a family of people who did not have pets and he never addressed that fear. He spent his life “dog-less” and was just fine with that decision.
Though most of us cannot imagine not loving a dog, it is a fact of life for many people who are not exposed to animals or have suffered a trauma involving one.
Last Christmas, Derek Jeter’s fiancé surprised him with a puppy. A one-hundred pound, blue eyed Mastiff! Derek was terrified. He was so nervous that the puppy reacted to his feelings by behaving nervously and barking and nipping. This did nothing to remove Derek’s fears of being eaten alive by this huge and adorable ball of fluff!
As Derek adjusted to the dog, he began to feel what dog lovers around the globe have always felt. He felt that special tenderness in his heart warm to the creature that would love him completely and unconditionally. As Derek trained his new charge he trained himself. While learning to control the puppy, he learned to control his fear. When learning how to respond to the puppy the spark of love in his heart ignited.
Derek learned how to care for his dog. The man who thought he could never love a dog credits the dog with changing his life. A dog has a connection with his owner that is unlike any other. A dog is loyal to his “human” and there is little his human could do to change that loyalty. Dogs are devoted to a fault. Even if his owner mistreats or abuses a dog, the dog will return to his side.
Perhaps the Mastiff sensed the fear in Jeter’s heart. Perhaps he knew that there was a missing part in Jeter’s world. There is not a doubt that the life of a person is changed when they connect with an animal. Dogs have been known to stay beside a person who is depressed and never leave them. They have fought advisories well above their abilities to protect a person. Perhaps the animal has a sixth sense which allows him to see the good in us, even if we cannot see it ourselves. Whatever the case, once the flood begins, it cannot be tamed. Derek Jeter has crossed over to the world of doggy dad!