If you’re shaking your head and using the Lord’s name in vain, know that I was doing the same thing less than one week ago.
After Wilson died, our adult children asked if we were going to get another dog. Gary said yes at the very moment I snapped no. Gary looked hurt and the kids got quiet and I felt mean and controlling.
I softened my declaration by saying, “We won’t go looking for a dog, but if one comes into our lives we’ll keep it.” This was stated as a far off, someday, maybe type of possibility (as in hopefully never).
Harrison and Laine, along with Harrison’s girlfriend Kasi, visited for the Labor Day weekend. These constitute Paul Bunyan Days in Fort Bragg. Saturday morning, Harrison and Kasi said they were going downtown and Laine left to visit a friend.
We had plans to meet friends for a late lunch at Dolphin Isle Marina. My afternoon family agenda included the Ugly Dog Contest and the Volunteer Fire Department Water Fights. I was excited to engage in activities that we hadn’t shared since their childhood.
At one o’clock I sent text messages. Harrison and Kasi were running late. Laine was running late. I was running bitter. I decided not to wait for them and drove to Dolphin Isle. I was surprised when they arrived at the same time.
Laine returned home with me while Harrison and Kasi went on a mission to buy fish straight off a commercial fishing boat. I reminded them of the three o’clock Ugly Dog Contest. They said they’d be on time.
Shortly after three, Laine said, “Harrison and Kasi are here. Let’s go outside.”
Harrison walked through the front gate alone. I asked, “Where’s Kasi?”
Kasi was led through the gate by an Arctic white puppy with a brown patch of fur circling one eye. Harrison, Laine and Kasi sported impish smiles.
No! No! Oh God No! I forced a chuckle. “Take it back.”
Their smiles faded.
“Is it a girl?”
“Yes,” they said in unison.
“Okay, then her name is Lucy,” I said. “We need to get her a crate and some food.”
Our thoughtful kids had already gotten everything she needed.
Our thoughtful kids did what they felt was best to help their parents recover from the loss of Wilson.
They had spent hours at the Mendocino Coast Humane Society “testing” every puppy to choose the perfect fit for us.
The remainder of the afternoon and evening was spent loving on Lucy and helping her adjust to her surroundings. That night, I set up an air mattress next to her crate.
My fantasy Lucy was supposed to be a poodle. Or a Yorkie. Or a Yorkie-poodle. Not a Weimaraner mix, a breed that I couldn’t even spell. I lay awake until the wee hours of Sunday morning reading online about Weimaraners, about how they need lots of exercise and how they can grow to the size of a dozen Yorkies executing a pyramid stunt.
Over the course of the night, I tossed and turned while Lucy grew to 75 lbs.
At 6:00am, Lucy whimpered. I opened the crate door and she crawled onto my lap. I marveled that the 75-lb. dog of my nightmares was so small, so cuddly, and such a sweet, affectionate baby.
Sunday was spent with a mass of humans taking care of her.
On Monday after the parade, the kids left Gary and me with sole custody of our new puppy. I stood on the porch, waved goodbye and verged on hyperventilation. Our “pack” was leaving. I wanted to go to the park with a handful of cash and sit at the picnic bench until a dealer came by to offer me narcotics.
We had not had a puppy in many years. We had not finished mourning the loss of our buddy Wilson. We suddenly had to gear up to nurture a vibrant new life.
While Lucy napped, I sat on the sofa and closed my eyes. In an effort to get my breathing and heart rate under control, the word “flow” came to mind.
The currents of life are ever changing—dang it anyway. I can struggle against this fact or surrender to it. I can accept this gift from my loving children and be grateful that they think their dad and I are up to the challenge of raising a dog that will eventually become a great companion.
I choose to honor my children and Lucy. I choose to slip into this changing current and flow.
A beautiful story. I’m so happy for you and Lucy is adorable.
Thank you Robin.
If this were Facebook, I would click LIKE!
Good Luck! I know raising Lucy will go well..
Your kids are awesome! Lucy is perfect.
They ARE awesome, Meg–just as yours will be when they grow up.
I’m not sure that anyone told you this, but dogs adopted from the humane society have 2 free training classes (every Saturday, 1-2 p.m. @ humane society w/Darius). We also adopted our forever friend from MCHS & the training classes, fellow dogs & their humans, are great! 🙂
Thank you Jen. I’m trying to find some puppy classes in the meantime.
once Lucy graduates from “Puppy Kindergarten”, I’m sure she’d do just fine in Darius Saturday class, which is only 1 hr (there are several puppies who attend, some of whom were adopted from MCHS). And btw, all of Lucy’s littermates have been adopted 🙂
Thank you for having faith that both Lucy and I will graduate from Puppy Kindergarten. I’m feeling it, too!
And we will definitely continue on with training.
I’m so happy to hear that all of her littermates have been adopted!
We ALL love Lucy! What a beautiful blog, Miss Kate! Just think of all the exciting adventures ahead and lots and lots of blog stories…enjoy Miss Lucy!
The first thing that comes to mind, Marcia, is that you and I must dress and photograph her for each holiday.
Your Love Lucy blog feels like a warm hug, Miss Kate. Big hugs, Charlie
Thank you Charlie. I felt the same way writing it. Absolute terror turned into a comforting hug.
What a match!!!!! Lucy is super adorable with that the black patched eye…….What a thoughtful gesture on the part of Laine, Harrison an Kasi……….You and Lucy will become a landmark in Fort Bragg’s history. So happy for you.
She’s a love. Truly.
Once she has all of her shots, we’re hitting the streets!
Although you can’t say she’s a “Pookie” or a “Porkie”, she’s beautiful and looks like a perfect fit. We can’t wait to read all about your adventures together!
She is a doll!
I’ll keep an eye out for you & Lucy on my walks. 🙂
We’re going to start some short walks this weekend. I hope we run into you.
Your kids are the best. I am excited to meet her! PS. The salt totally worked on my sidewalk garden!
My kids are pretty darned awesome. You’re welcome any time to come meet her (call first to make sure neither she nor us are sleeping!).
YAY for the Salt Witches of East Fir Street!
AWW! Made my heart swell like a good story ought to. Good luck with all that energy. Barb
What a Sweetie Pie! Your post made me tear up – it is hard to lose a family member and make the room in your heart for another one:) Good Luck with Puppy Training and cannot wait to hear about Lucy’s Great Adventures! Happy Weekend:)
Thank you for your kind comments. What a strange transition this has been. I’m certain there will be plenty of Lucy’s Great Adventures!
Awww… What a wonderful post. Congrats on your new kid. I LOVE ‘wiemers’. So beautiful… And Lucy’s markings are perfect! I wanna meet her SOON. You need to bring her by North Star soon to meet the boys! Call me first and I’ll come down to meet you two.
Sounds like a deal!