Fast forward to today and after a couple of hint dropping sessions with him and the nice young lady he lives with and I am convinced that I will have to live my "grandmother years" through others' grandkids or buy myself a couple of goldfish. Sure I have Belle, my cat that I love dearly and keeps me entertained but I guess I had hoped for something more permanent and real. This world with all its issues is pretty daunting to most young people right now, let alone entering into a marriage contract that, these days, is more likely to fail than completing a triathelon. There are issues and problems and evils in the world which give pause to many young couples about if and when they will bring a new life into it.
So, I can live with that..as long as I can exercise the option to add to my animal menagerie. With my kitty Belle I have been so happy. She is a lovely animal, and lately we have been able to cuddle up in my cozy sleep place and she stays there most of the night. When I awake at 2 am I bring up Youtube kitty videos on my IPhone and we watch and enjoy together as Belle swats at the screen and purrs. I get a good laugh out of it and it calms me in countless ways allowing me to sleep better when an hour later I finally am able to put the phone down.
But I had been registered with several pet rescue organizations thinking I would like to provide a home to an unwanted dog. Age did not matter until I realized I was missing my Westie that is living with my ex and his dog that have become great buddies. I could not see myself tearing apart that union after I moved into my house and had what I thought would be the perfect place to reclaim my dog. My family members objected because Kozmo and Dakotah (the black lab) are such good playmates now and separating them is not nor ever will be an option.
|That's my Westie, Kozmo, and sidekick, Dakotah. Buddies forever.|
After being diagnosed with Sarcoidosis (a pulmonary breathing illness) and a 4 day hospital stint my doctor told me that I had to work on a few things. He advised that my BP was high and I needed to exercise. I said I was going to get into Yoga but he advised that I needed to raise my heart rate..I needed to get moving. Sarcoidosis is treatable but not by, oddly enough, taking it easy. I have a few pounds to lose and a heart to get healthy which should send Sarcoidosis into remission..but I had to start now and with vigor.
I thought of joining a gym..but who was going to insure that I actually go? How many times have you bought membership in a gym and just not gone? I have done it twice and it doesn't feel good to fail. But with no one prodding me to go, not even a less than perfect physical exam result...what could I do to make certain I would be more active? I gave this a lot of thought and the answer was already there right in front of me. I should consider getting a dog, not for just a pet but for a walking and activity companion.
A dog makes you get up and take it for a walk. They force you to be active and there is no way I can say NO to an animal relying on me to make certain that they get fresh air and be taken out on a leash for a brisk walk when I may feel like just sitting. This was it...I need to get a dog and for more reasons than the ones I originally had pondered. I would look in a shelter and find one, somewhere. I thought of saving a dog from a shelter.
Looking for a shelter dog is not as easy as it seems. I had criteria about size, temperament and breed. But after seven months there are such rare occasions that the dog I would want to have are available. Sure there are lots of Pit Bull breeds that need homes but I would rather not entertain that venue..I want a dog that is kid friendly and I have knowledge of their medical issues and all the rest. So after losing the last available Westie that was available through a pet rescue I opened my mind up to a private rehoming through an ad on Craigslist.
Destiny was an 11 1/2 year old Westie whose family was moving to place where dogs were not allowed. The owner had offered all of her playthings, leftover food, collar, leash and all of that for a rehoming fee of $100. My kids, well, they were all up in arms when I mentioned that this is the dog I may be adopting. Mom, they said, you know this is an old dog...she may have all kinds of issues, expensive medical problems...what are you thinking?! Now, I know they are well intentioned, but so am I. I wanted to see this little girl in my house and hopefully, even an old dog would acclimate to my home with no problems.
My eldest said don't do it Mom. I will help you find a dog that you can afford that you can love and it will be a puppy that you will train and will know your house from its earliest age. That is the way to do this.
Two weeks later I had found a woman on FB who had a litter of English Laboradors to adopt. There was one female yellow Lab and long story short...I now have her. She was born on November 23rd and I have her today, January 8th.
I decided to name her Millie..short for Millicent. She looks like a Millie. And she is beautiful!
|A pudgy little puppy 7 weeks|
Getting settled on my comfy couch
|Taking a much needed snooze after the long trip to my home|
|Get a look at these large paws|
|Now that's love! And I love that puppy breath!|
Millie has big paws and is really a stocky short little thing. I was going to buy her a small cage to get her though the next few weeks but she has already outgrown that. She has a large stocky neck and big paws. I can tell she is warming up to me. Her first night at my house in her cage was a trial for her but only for a short time. I put her in the cage with a nice soft pillow and a pee pad just in case..and a few toys. In the night when I awoke at 3 am I took her out and she peed. I could see she already voided #2 on the pad, cleaned that up and then spent a little time holding her and putting some love on her and then gingerly laid her back in her big cage on her big pillow. That puppy breath will make up for having to get up in the night every time. This baby already has my heart in a big big way.
So the next few weeks and months I will be potty training her (dead of winter so quite a challenge). Add that to the fact that I work out of the house M - F 9 hours a day...and you've got the biggest and maybe toughest job. But I could not see myself ruling out this plan to bring Millie into my life just because of a few minor inconveniences. I know I will live the best life filled with love and satisfaction of making this dog my sidekick and walker. This is going to be a big dog though and I will be doing a lot more than just walking. The maintenance involved would keep me active. The companionship outside the house would be good for my total well being. With Millie in my home just this one overnight I am so excited about all the good having her around will do for me.
Pets are a big responsibility but they do make a house a home. Filling up your place with non living things that you love to have around is one thing. However, having a living breathing living thing around that relies on you is quite another. It is the most unselfish thing a person can do to be in the position to provide another with a happy safe atmosphere and the love and companionship that all living things crave. And people need to get over the changes they will need to make in their homes if they really want any kind of pet. I have, for instance, a dark brown couch, and I know this dog will shed because I had a yellow lab before. I will have to not be so uptight about accidents and hair balls and getting up in the middle of the night for a few months to get the PT done. I will have to overlook the half eaten dog food bowls and watch closely so that Millie doesn't run off. I will have to escape proof my back yard by plugging up any gaps in the fencing and make sure it is tall enough to impede her jumping over it because dogs will do that. I have a mole problem and I will have to be diligent about Millie not making a meal out of all of them as she grazes out there when summer comes. There will be dirty dog paws and run in's with skunks probably...oh well. I accept it all. It all comes with the territory and you cannot have a dog without some or all of these things being brought into the picture. These are the things that will make your house a home.
Share your pet pics, your thoughts, tell me all about how you finally gave in to add a fur baby to your home. I want to know everything. We can learn from one another about the best tips for PT, care and maintenance of your pet and tips on making it all work.
Thanks for reading!