Wednesday, November 25, 2015

When You Open Your Heart Again

Add caption
I wasn't prepared to love another puppy, especially not so soon.

I wasn't prepared to have Amelia, in all honesty, when we welcomed her home at the end of March. We had lost our first dog to a sudden illness, after twelve years, in October of 2013 and I thought we were done with dogs. We disposed of everything except her crate and metal dishes and I was fairly certain we were now cat people.

I wasn't prepared for how losing Amelia would break my heart, and I didn't want to go through that heartache ever again. Standing in the kitchen the day we put her down, surrounded by all of her things, many which were still in "near new" condition, was overwhelming. So, I did the only thing I could think to at the time and I packed them away. Out of sight, out of mind. I knew that my husband wanted to consider another puppy later on down the road, but I thought maybe the idea would pass.

I wasn't prepared to find myself looking at photos of puppies online just a few weeks later. The kids asked about another puppy and if we had plans to "try again". Conversations turned to what kind of breeders were in our area, and eventually curiosity got the best of me and very tenderly I looked on the Internet. Just to see. I still wasn't sure if my heart was ready to love another puppy, or if it ever would be.

I wasn't prepared to come home from Vermont after visiting my daughter during Family Weekend, to a message from a breeder we were in conversations with about potentially adopting a puppy later on down the road, and find out he had what he claimed to be, "the perfect puppy for us." Someone had backed out of their agreement to take a "sweet little girl" who was going to be 8 weeks old on Monday, and were we interested? Monday marked two weeks since we had put Amelia down, and that seemed a little ominous. We talked about it for the rest of the night, and all morning Sunday before agreeing to drive up and meet her. We'd see how our meeting went, and then make our decision on Monday. I didn't know if I was ready.

I wasn't prepared to have a puppy be placed in my arms that afternoon, and within 10 minutes begin licking my face like I was her long-lost best friend. I'm fairly sure that a few tears fell into her fur as we stood there, the two of us. She continued to lick, and I marveled at how sweet and gentle she was, as I reminded myself not to cringe when her face came near my own.

I wasn't prepared to leave there with her that afternoon, truthfully, and begin the long ride home from northern Vermont with her fluffy little body snuggled safe in my arms. She alternated between sleeping, and watching out the window and licking my face. We began a bond that I hope continues as she grows bigger and older.

I wasn't prepared to love another puppy so soon, especially as my heart was still broken and tender. There have been plenty of moments that have made me cry over the past 8 weeks, like when she lies in that exact spot next to the chair asleep, or the first time I heard my husband call her by the wrong name. She is a vivacious kisser, and I have to constantly remind myself that she's gentle and friendly, and not vicious and out to bite me with her mouth.

I wasn't prepared for how different it would be to have a puppy that isn't constantly demanding behavior modification every waking minute of the day. We play and snuggle, and she makes us laugh with her antics, and boy does she have a lot of antics.

I wasn't prepared to be the "favorite person" again, and yet somehow I have been placed into that role. Maybe she sensed that my heart was broken and decided that I needed extra love and attention. She might have been right, as I often tell people she has been the balm that is healing my broken heart.

I wasn't prepared to love another puppy so soon, but this little sweetheart has won my heart.

No comments: