Nothing better than puppy kisses
My family recently had to put down our 15- year-old dog, who was, it seemed, the heart and soul of our family. We got him as a puppy and loved the heck out of him until he was a crotchety senior, plagued with a myriad of medical conditions.
We were absolutely heartbroken when he passed, and still are, but we always knew another pup would be in our future. And that future is now! This past weekend we welcomed home the sweetest, most gentle, darling little guy. An eight-week old Cavalier Spaniel cross Beagle with the most endearing puppy eyes you have ever seen.
My family and I have been applying to dog rescues for a few weeks now, and it has been a bit of an exhausting process. I have heard all about the high dog demand and the “pandemic puppies,” but we seemed to be expending so much energy trying to prove how worthy we were to adopt, without an ounce of acknowledgment in return. While I understand that these rescues are supported mainly by donations and volunteers, and that time is very valuable when they are caring for troubled animals and trying to manage the organization, it felt quite disappointing to pour our hearts into application after application and hear nothing in return, only to later see an “Adopted” notice for the dog we had been interested in.
At one point we thought that maybe there was something wrong with us, that maybe we were saying something undesirable in our applications. Perhaps the fact that we have a cat whom we love so dearly or a large yard that is safe to play in, or that we recently lost our diabetic, hypothyroid-suffering, blind and deaf dog that we cared for, with all those ailments, was “not what they were looking for” in a dog adopter.
So although we have always said that we’d rather have a rescue over a breeder batch pup, when we saw the notice for this little litter, we reached out and somehow we were lucky enough that the pups weren’t all called for. And when we saw this little man, OUR little man, we were instantly in love.
Picking up a puppy on the Sunday evening of a long weekend, in the middle of a pandemic lockdown, however, does cause some difficulties. The outdoor, masked, first meeting was quite painless, but thankfully when we picked him up, we were sent home with a bag of kibble; otherwise it would have been porridge and rice until the pet store reopened for curbside pickup on Tuesday!
It’s been a while since we have experienced the puppy years. The chewing and digging and crying in the night is a little overwhelming at times, but so, SO, worth it when you look into those big brown eyes and he snuggles into your chest. As I sit here and write this, I have a little pup chewing on the side of my laptop. Yes, slightly undesirable, and quite hard to focus, but I’ll say it again, THOSE EYES. They could make even the kindest person do bad things.
Puppies take that patience, attention and extra care that, really, only a puppy requires (and maybe a kitten or another baby pet or possibly a toddler). I had someone say to me, as I was desperately applying for one of the many rescue dogs, “why don’t you just wait until after the pandemic when all of the pandemic puppies get surrendered as people go back to work.” I come from a crazy, animal-loving family. To us, pets are family members, and while they can’t talk to express their feelings or emotions, in my opinion, their soul and life is just as important as ours. We do have a bit of “not a rescue” guilt but, hey, nothing is stopping us from also getting a rescue if, god forbid, pandemic puppies find themselves in need of a home (maybe don’t tell my parents that just yet, we’re still trying to get through the night with this puppy)!
With all that puppy talk, I’d like to introduce you to Douglas. He has been told all about how he lives in the Trail Capital of Canada and is excited to get his second set of shots and to then be able to mingle and explore our trails and wild spaces! The hound in him is really looking forward to sniffing anything and everything! So, if you see us out and about a few weeks from now, we would love you to come say “hi”. Doug is still a little young for cookies, but he will graciously take a belly rub instead!
And for anyone who has recently lost a pet, I am sending you all the compassionate thoughts I can. Nothing will replace the hole our loss left in our hearts. But little Doug is shaping up to do a pretty good job at patching that gap.