Category Archives: Dog

Three Truths and One Wish

bigboyharness1. Sometimes having a puppy is boring. You have to watch them constantly when they are awake and loose, and even though they sleep a lot it’s in short bursts so you can’t really get a lot done. You are cautioned by your vet to not take them anywhere until they are 16 weeks and have had all their shots, so even if you cheat on that so you can socialize them, you are more isolated than usual. You get cabin fever, go stir crazy, and this particular puppy came in the middle of winter, so there was even more of that. After weeks and weeks of this, you kinda wish they’d grow up already. They are impossibly cute and loveable and sometimes hilarious when they are small and you know you’ll miss it when they get big, but at the same time they are making you crazy and boring you to tears.

Spend as much as you want on toys, an empty plastic jug wins every time

Spend as much as you want on toys, an empty plastic jug wins every time

Danielle LaPorte posted last week about being so sick she’d had to cancel lots of important things, stuff she’d really wanted to do. She said about it, “Sometimes life will bind you so you can feel how free and loved you are.” I feel the same about this moment in my life, this brief moment that I keep wishing away even as I work so hard to be here, to stay present.

Ringo's first bath

Ringo’s first bath

2. “The days are long, but the years are short.” I’m not sure who to attribute that to, as I’ve seen it assigned various authors. Whoever said it, it’s so true. These puppy days feel like they’ve gone on forever and might never end, but the almost eight years we had with Obi and the barely ten we had with Dexter felt impossibly short. I still have trouble believing they are really gone, struggle to understand how that could even be possible.

theboysbig3. You have to be a particular kind of crazy to raise a dog. It’s so much work and your time with them is so short. And the love sneaks up on you. One day you are fantasizing about running away from home or giving them back, and the next you are hopelessly and irrevocably bonded to them. There’s nothing else in my life I put so much effort toward only to have my heart broken in the end, knowing that’s the only possible outcome.

brothersparttwoOne wish (okay, more like many wishes): To keep my heart open and stay present no matter what arises. To not give up, no matter how hard it gets. To lean into love and joy as an antidote to suffering. To be gentle and forgive myself when I make a mistake. To know I am doing the best I can. To relax and stop trying so hard.

I am wishing the same for you, kind and gentle reader, in whatever way you need that in your life.

Ringo Blue

ringomaybe02This is Ringo Blue, Boy #4, our fourth boy, our therapy dog, our new puppy. He was born on purpose. It was a different way for a dog to come into my life, a difficult choice after having rescued three. But it’s so clear that the way this happened is exactly how he was supposed to come to us.

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for long know that we have lost two dogs to fatal cancers in the past four years, and now our Sam has a mysterious neurological issue. We’ve had a rough go of things. It’s been so hard that when Dexter died and then Sam started getting worse, I even considered not getting anymore dogs, ever.

theboysbig

obi and dexter, boy #1 and boy #2

At the very least, we decided to wait. We were hoping with time that we’d stop feeling like we were just waiting for the next bad thing to happen, that we’d be ready in invite another dog in, even knowing that eventually he would break our hearts. As we were waiting, I posted this status update on Facebook,

I’ve rescued three times, give a monthly regular donation to my local no kill shelter, and believe in rescue with my whole entire heart, and yet… lately both Eric and I have been looking into Cattle Dog breeders in Colorado. Two reasons: Dexter was one of the best dogs ever and we believe it was due to his Cattle Dog-ness, and we have had two dogs with fatal cancers and other health issues and another who has a weird tick that could be something neurological or at the very least unexplained, so the idea of getting a dog from a healthy, known line is pretty appealing. And yet, even with all the heartache, I’m not sure I can go through with it. So, dear Universe, when we are ready, please, I am begging you, put the right dog for us and for Sam at the right place, make it easy for us to find him. And please could he be joyful, playful, and a cuddler. Love you. Love, Me.

The Universe got on it almost immediately. Just a few hours after making the post, my brilliant dog friend sent me a message introducing me to a local Cattle Dog person, suggesting we keep in touch in case she knew of any available dogs. This new person immediately responded saying she was going to visit a litter of puppies that weekend, and maybe I should connect with their person. I did, and looking at puppy pictures, talking with their person, I knew.

ringoblue

It was the same feeling I had when I saw Dexter listed on Lifeline Puppy Rescue’s website. All it said was “11 week old male, German Shepherd mix,” didn’t even have a picture, but I told Eric he was our dog. He said “we’ll see when we get there,” but I knew. Same thing with Sam. We were planning to go to Lifeline that weekend, but I was home sick midweek, looking on Craigslist and saw a post about Sam and his brother, two siblings rescued through Animal House Rescue. I sent the link to Eric and he said it wouldn’t hurt to email the foster mom. As soon as she responded, I knew.

Same thing this time. The new friend who went to visit the pups said they were amazing, told me about one boy in particular. When we went to visit, it’s the same boy that came over to me and sat at my feet. As soon as I picked him up, I knew. However their person still wasn’t sure who was going home with who, so we had to wait to know for sure, but I told Eric, “Boy #4 is ours, I just know it.”

This is me holding him for the first time. Do you see how he’s looking at me? I think maybe he knew too.

ringoandme02