Rewash

Some people never find the right person.  Wonderful, solid relationships elude them due to their own issues, timing, or their choice of partner.  Broken hearts travel through life wishing, wondering what it will take to have what everyone else seems to have found.

I’ve spent my life feeling this way about dogs.  My past is littered with sad, unfulfilled, canine failures.  I wasn’t ready, I picked the wrong breed, bought the dog for the wrong reasons, or just didn’t take the time.  I have always admired well behaved, mutually loving relationships between humans and their best friends.

After a slew of bad relationships, I took myself off the market.  Told myself the hot tea on a rainy day with my dog curled beside me fantasy was not in my cards.  I convinced myself I wasn’t a dog person, or a pet person for that matter.

For a little over a year, I have been thinking of trying again.  I’ve researched every breed on the planet.  I know things about dogs and puppies no one really needs to know.  If I was going to put myself out there, ask a dog to trust me again, I could not make a mistake.

I went back and forth, telling myself I was great with a less complicated, older children, life.  I didn’t want to be tied down, but that nagging “missing out” feeling kept creeping in.  Two weeks ago, I went to meet Jack and his family.  His brothers and sisters jumped around and Jack slowly came up to my hand.  I picked him up and I knew.

I knew I would be willing to help him transition away from his pack.  I knew I could give time, go without sleep and makeup for a few months.  I knew I would clean up his mess, repeat things hundreds of times, set boundaries.  I knew I would invest, hike with him, love him and keep him safe.

What I was not prepared for this weekend, when I finally brought Jack home, was what he would give me in return.  Puppies sense your energy, so it’s important to be calm around them.  I haven’t been calm since 198…well ever.  Jack slows me down, his bowel movements and feeding times have become so important, very little else gets on my nerves.  He makes me laugh and keeps me focused on our pack.

Jack and I sat outside last night at around 3:30 in the morning and I noticed sounds, stars, his breathing, even when the air conditioner kicks on.  The light is incredible in the middle of the night.

I worked on myself, learned from past mistakes and waited.  Jack is a Brittany.  He’s the right size for me, the right temperament and the right energy level.  All of those things are so important.  I paid attention this time.  Jack is a gift.  We are nowhere near the hot cup of tea or the curling up, but we are on our way.

My thoughts from the laundry room.  Night, Jack.

17 thoughts on “Rewash

  1. I’m not dogs, I’m cats, but it works that way for me, too. For 43 years there have been cats in our lives, and while we like most of them, tolerate a few of them, now and then one appears and walks right into my heart. My husband has had a few do that to him, too. Im so glad you and Jack took a chance on each other. You won’t regret a moment of it. (that is, by the way, a wonderful photo of what looks like a wonderful puppy)

  2. I don’t mean for this time, obviously, but just as a general principle of dog-getting. It’ll take me forever to get another when mine finally goes… sigh. It sounds like you and Jack are off to a good start though! 🙂 (PS: If you don’t already have a copy, Puppies for Dummies is INCREDIBLY helpful. It’s probably at your local library.)

  3. It took me a year to choose between purebred vs. mixed breed. Another year to choose what breed I wanted. Another year to choose a breeder. Another year and a half to pay for the puppy. Only THEN did I get to bring home my first dog. But let me tell you, that dog… when she dies I will mourn her not as a pet, but as a daughter. It will feel like burying my own child rather than some transient animal. She’s everything the breeder told me she’d be and more. She isn’t perfect – no one is, of any species – but she’s amazing and well worth every penny and every bit of time. Take your time. Think things through. It’ll be worth it in the end. (FWIW, I have a Native American Indian Dog from Shirley at Night Eyes in California.)

      1. They are a working breed founded mainly on dogs which had been bred on reservations. The idea is to try to recreate the general sort of dogs that were kept by nations in various parts of the country before Europeans showed up. The entire tradition and style of breeding being followed is very different than AKC-style breeding and I honestly think it produces a healthier, more intelligent animal. There are many non-AKC breeds out there, but it can be hard to find out about them due to all the emphasis on the AKC in this country. I was unsure about the idea at first – it seemed like something likely to be a scam, and indeed in the course of my research I discovered imitators who ARE scammers. But in the end I found that Shirley and her group are honest people whose claims match up to the reality I have experienced. It was a hard decision though. If I were not disabled I would probably have gone for a shelter dog since there are so many in need. But I had to be certain I could care for the dog on my own if need be. At the time I had no caregiver so I had to be sure it was something I’d be up to, and with a shelter dog, you can never really know until you bring them home. And then if it was too much for me I’d have to surrender it again, which seemed unfair to the dog. So yeah. IMO the only greater commitment is having a child (and you can bet a similar amount of thought and planning will go into that too if it ever happens for me!)

  4. Good luck with Jack. He looks like a gorgeous little pup. I’ve had dogs & cats since I was really little; only reason I don’t have a pet at the moment is because my boyfriend has allergies, and my landlords don’t allow pets. Maybe one day I can get a hypoallergenic breed of dog; sadly, that doesn’t work when the boyfriend wants a pug and I want a Rottweiler. 😛

    Anyhow, wish us luck, and again, good luck to you! 🙂

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