Once upon a time, a girl lost her sweet older dog. Her heart was crushed when she had to say goodbye to her sweet boy, Jack. She knew that all the goodbyes between humans and animals break the heart a little, but Jack’s just broke her in such a way that she knew it would stay with her forever. She did not know if she wanted another dog moving forward. For months she could not even bring herself to even think about the prospect. The thought of another dog and saying goodbye again, is not something that she thought her little heart could handle.
It has been five months since they said goodbye. It seems just like yesterday yet it also feel like an eternity. But it was there in the surface reminding me of the sweet 17 year-old that was no longer with her. Then two weeks ago while she was on social media, a photograph of a wheaten terrier caught her eye. A beautiful pair of black eyes (that turned out to be the lightest brown) looked back at her. It was a 6-year old male wheaten named Riley. Riley had to be rehomed for a variety of reason the main one being that his owners realize that he needs more time and attention than they can give him. The girl was not sure what it was about this particular dog that felt as if the little pieces of her broken heart were being put back together, but before she knew it, she was calling the rescue.
And so a week later she found herself driving to Nebraska to meet and adopt this angel with dark eyes. And that night she officially became his mom. He was a bit frazzled at first and it was totally understandable. How do you explain to a dog that you are part of a family and the next you are not. He cried for a bit in my car so they just sat in the car in a parking lot. The girl talked to him trying to soothe him and he finally calmed down. But this situation broke her heart in a different way because he was obviously confused. The drive provided an opportunity for them to get to know each other, and the girl spent the majority of the drive laughing at his constant attempts to lick her face. And she knew in that moment that she would love him forever too.
And this is how I became Riley’s mom. Thankfully, his transition has been smoother than I thought although there are some issues that we will be addressing with a trainer that is coming to our home on Monday. He is the sweetest dog but he is a bit afraid of my husband, but only when I am at home, not when the two of them are alone. And he has lots of energy that I need to find ways to channel. We have been exercising him a lot but he is like the energizer bunny. :) Still we are so happy to have him home, and the stepkids love him.
Above all, selfishly I missed being a dogmom. the past 5 months were the first time that I was not a dog mom in 18 years. I felt like a par of me was missing. So much of who I have become as an adult was the result of how much about feelings and emotions from dogs— like compassion, sympathy, empathy, and unselfishness. And to be honest, a part of me was not looking forward to being in my little garden without my canine companion. But now that Riley is here, he can keep me company. And I have a feeling he will love it.