There are seven fundamental types of catastrophes. Beauty is not one of them.
Our “dog” discussion started the day we drove by the house on the corner showcasing Labrador pups on the lawn. The sign in front read “Lab Pups for Sale“, and a crowd was gathering. So we stopped and walked over to see several pups playing in a pen, drinking water, stumbling over each other, a few slept. Some were Chocolate, others Yellow. The breeder answered questions and we listened, even asked a few of our own. They were purebred, six weeks old, had their first set of shots & registration papers. Each one was adorable, so full of energy and puppy jumps. We looked, petted, laughed at their shenanigans and walked away feeling warm and fuzzy. We weren’t sure. We weren’t certain.
A few weeks passed, a few more drives by the house, a few more discussions about whether we could accommodate a dog. We both worked full-time. We’d have to train a pup. There’d be messes made, maybe things torn which was more my concern than his. There were things to consider. Dogs are a major responsibility. We weren’t sure. We weren’t certain.
The following week, we had another discussion which led to calling the breeder after noticing the sign on the lawn had disappeared. Were they all gone? Had we procrastinated too long and lost out? Only a phone call would confirm it. So we called, and surprisingly he had one puppy left – a girl. No longer at the house on the corner, he’d moved 45 minutes away. We said we’d come. But we weren’t sure. We weren’t certain.
As we drove up the driveway, he walked out his front door & out shot a blur of furry energy. She ran right past him, anxious to meet new people! She pounced clumsily across the lawn, all energy, and sloppy excitement at 8 weeks old. The Mister met her half-way & greeted her playfully. But she looked bigger to me, perhaps too big, not as tiny as I expected. I watched them run and play, feeling more unsure, more uncertain.
She made her way over to my feet, nipping and yelping, jumping and fumbling. I watched her puppy dance and thought, “she’s going to need a lot of work“. The Mister was smiling and laughing at my hesitation, made some joke about her being a pup & this is what they do. He was feeling more sure, more certain and started discussing the purchase details with her breeder.
I held her in the backseat as we drove home, she pounced all over me, jumping from my lap to the window to see what she could see. We decided to name her Bella. She cried during her first bath. Never sat still for long. Hated being in her crate at night. Stairs were new to her, as she was too tiny to walk them so she’d bark and cry in protest. She nearly killed me on the ice during our first winter walk together. She destroyed my favorite pair of shoes when left alone for the first time. She slowly chewed up a wood panel in the kitchen, her way of showing us how much she hated her kitchen gate. Our first year as puppy parents was full of challenging moments for me, but her poppa was busy training & what a job he did!
It wasn’t long before she listened, sat, waited, watched for cues and engaged very well with other dogs, people and her favorite – kiddos. Watching her interact with others brought to mind an old Oprah episode, where Nate Berkus needed help with his out of control dogs. He said he was chastised by a neighbor who insisted he find a way to socialize his pets. Not Bella, she’s the queen of socializing! Everyone knows her, neighbors even suggested the Mister start his own training course for dogs. She’s fine without a leash (although for safety, I prefer it), can be let out to play with friends only to return shortly, unassisted. She won’t cross the street, not even to get her favorite ball that rolls into it often. Instead, she waits, watches, looks for help, but she won’t dare cross. The Mister does a cool trick where they approach a street corner and she waits, he’s walked two blocks away and she waited, until he gives the signal then off she goes!
Her poppa is her favorite person in the whole world.
He takes her on the longest walks everyday. She visits with neighbors, loves to swim and cries when she sees her second favorite person in the world, 5-year old Allie, outside playing without her. Oh, how she’ll pout!
She looks to me for feedings, cuddletime, tick removals, and to keep her well-groomed. Also, to sneak her a treat or two more than she’s due. I love when she places her head against my leg letting me know she’s in need of cuddling, and fortunately, she does that often. She hates when the landscapers work in the yard (the noises they make), thunderstorms, highway traffic, balloons and vacuums. She adores our families and their pets, Layla, Venus & Scooby. She’s Cancer born so she can be moody, but she’s a big ole’ blonde pile of love and we adore her to pieces! I know this post is long, and many of you have not read this far, but that’s okay. I’m celebrating my baby today!! 🙂
Far too often, I read pet tributes on blogs, Facebook and such, to beloved companions that have passed away. It truly breaks my heart, makes me nervous and sad. I can’t imagine and I don’t want to. Bella is here now, healthy and lively. We are blessed and for her, we are SO grateful!
As I reflect on these last six years and into her big brown eyes, I can’t believe I was ever unsure, uncertain.
Happy 6th B-day Bellababy!!