“Don’t do it.” Both family and friends cautioned. “He’ll keep you awake at night and demand walks. He’ll chew your shoes and furniture. And walls. He’ll dig in your flowerbeds and uproot your garden.” And then, “Why now, when your children are independent? How will you travel with a dog who’ll want to be your companion for the next decade or longer? How will you survive puppyhood?”
After the loss of my dog Angus in February, I pondered such questions and my responses were few. Another puppy did sound ludicrous. With children no longer requiring my constant dedication, I could hole up in my office most of the day and write if I decided, but not with a puppy. I’d have to stop my comfortable pace and venture out for potty breaks and play time. Oh, my! He’d ruin my stasis, my peace.
See Angus had slowed down over the past few years to the point that he barely moved. Because of his arthritis, we no longer played ball or took walks. In a roundabout way, I stopped moving too.
But I don’t want to stop moving.
I don’t want to stop living.
I talked to a few dog breeders and even put a bid on a Queensland Heeler litter that I let go. I wasn’t ready. Weeks passed. I missed Angus… I missed his warmth at my feet.
But something else had been missing long before Angus had passed.
Paralyzed by inaction and some inner battle, I referred back to my physics days: objects at rest stay at rest.
But so is it true objects in motion stay in motion.
Feeling like one of my characters in the depths of the all is lost moment, I acknowledged my thrill for the outside had died along with Angus’s increasing ailments. But taking a risk and loving another pet, risking a broken heart is scary.
What to do?
Embrace change. To rid myself of this inner turmoil, I needed to change my habits. Replace nostalgia with action, with laughter, with joy. Walk alone if need be. Could I also include a forever home for some lucky pup?
Plain as the spots on my new pup’s back, I feared having my heart-broken again, sure. But I feared being stuck in the dead zone more. And I’d never find peace and joy if I didn’t go after what I wanted and leave the Negative Nelly’s advice in the dust.
Soon as I spotted my new pup’s photo with his seven siblings, I knew he’d be the one. Love at first sight, we’re inseparable. Until he’s fully vaccinated, I’m thrilled to be walking in circles around our property. And my family is elated too!
The next person who asks me “Why puppyhood? Why now?” I’ll have an answer for their question: “Because I choose to live no matter what life sends my way.”
p.s. He’s chewing my chair as I type! *grin*