Before you read too much into that title – no, you did not miss some discreet pregnancy announcement! I’m not, nor was I pregnant. But, I would like to tell you all about my newest family member – or fur baby1.
Meet Gertie. She’s just a little over 9 weeks old. She was born alongside what was thought to be 15 siblings outside the gate of a school in a neighboring town. Only 6, including Gertie, survived. Thankfully for all of them (and for me!), the couple that runs the school noticed these remaining babies and took them in. And, they did a great job of it, because they are all happy and healthy, and full of life, personality and energy.
Following the completion of a Permaculture Design Certification course2, I was feeling pretty drained. Of course, it didn’t help that it ended the day before Mother’s Day3, and a week before the 4th anniversary of Mom’s passing. I was thinking about how I could do something different not only to honour her, but to keep my mind occupied enough so that I wouldn’t end up spending the entire day in bed. Originally, I had planned to spend the weekend away in the woods somewhere on my own, thinking it would be nice to be within nature and just have some time to relax and write for myself. But, then I realized I would be alone, and I didn’t want that. Now, back to Gertie…
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason – my Mom’s passing included in that4. So, when I returned home the day the course ended, I flopped into bed and as I struggled to find sleep (even though it was only something like 7:30!), I found myself scrolling through Facebook. And that’s where I saw the post, with photos of some of the most adorable puppies I’ve ever seen. My heart smiled just looking at them and I almost instantly began dreaming about taking one of this couple’s hands.
The truth is, I’ve been wanting a dog for some time now, but have never been in a place where I was home enough or stable enough (financially and job/life wise) to responsibly own one. But after talking to several friends, most of whom have owned dogs themselves, we all seemed to think this would be a good life decision – another thing that perhaps of late I’ve not been so good at doing on my own! Getting a puppy wasn’t just about fulfilling one of lifelong dreams of dog ownership, but about having a companion, working on my mental health, as well as dealing with the loss of my Mom. And so, she came at the perfect time.
The first few hours and night were probably some of the most terrifying of my life. Every movement had me panicked that she wasn’t okay. She cried for the first little while, which instantly broke my heart, and when she eventually settled enough to take a little nap, I worried that she wasn’t breathing. But, she was fine. As the evening wore on, we played and snuggled and it was pretty awesome. We didn’t get much sleep, as I failed at keeping her confined and she failed to pee, which also led to me think I’d done something wrong5.
I know this is a big undertaking. I know I’m likely nowhere near prepared enough to take her on. But, I also know that this is an adventure for the long haul, and that we’re both learning together. I’m already ridiculously taken by her6. I knew from the minute I went to inquire about whether or not this was the right choice for me or the dog, that we were meant to be in each other’s lives. Upon my arrival, she leapt into my arms and just stayed there until almost the time I left.
So, we’ll see how it all ends up. But for now, I’m just going to enjoy it all… although not so much her sad ‘I miss my siblings’ whimpers. I should also probably warn you that plenty of puppy pictures are to come!
-the Orange Canadian
1That one was just for you Keir!
2Which I’ll soon get to in a future post – no power for a few days and a new puppy trumps pretty much everything else in life!
3To be honest, Mother’s Day doesn’t actually bother me. Thanksgiving, birthday time, and the anniversary are really the only ones that make me feel… a little lost. Maybe even a little sad or angry, but mostly just lost.
4But that’s a book for another day…
5But don’t worry, she eventually let it all out… on my bedroom floor… twice... which was…not so awesome.
6In fact, the night between meeting her and bringing her home, I was so sad from missing her! It’s the craziest thing. No human has ever made me feel like that! Haha!