As long as you have a dog

Julie and Elle in our Nissan Frontier, summer of 2017 as we headed west. Destination: USCA Nationals in Dubuque, IA then Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, and Colorado.
Bella and Julie at our local dog park.

Life is good as long as you have a dog.

A pup brings a furry friend for virtually every moment of her life. She lives to be near you (albeit closer to her next meal, of course). I get that.

Their brown or darker eyes tell the stories of every moment you have spent together, then remember only the ones in which the day was grand. Because to them, they all are grand!

I’ve heard it said that the problem with having a dog is that they don’t live long enough. Oh so true I have come to understand this to be.

Before you know it she limps or lists through her day, still smiling deeply into your eyes as if everything is still going to be o.k. If only, my pet.

Elle dragged through her last moments of life, trying to tell me that she loved me more as I stroked her thick fuzzy coat. Are you sure?

I still miss her you know. She was my first dog and fulfillment of a lifelong desire to have a companion like her. Oh the places we have gone together!

My husband and I had our special ways of relating to our Elle; she responded in kind. I loved that.

Sitting on the floor in front of the sink each night, she knew to lie beside me for her goodnight snuggles, belly rubs, and treat. Yes, I do remember.

My worst memory was our last: her bony butt walking away like a lamb to the slaughter at Animal Control, the day that was to be her last. No fanfare there at the loading dock with a vet tech there more to do her duty than comfort our weeping hearts for our Elle, our Currrrrr.

We cried sitting there in the parking area, for as long as we needed. She was gone. There was just so much pain in saying goodbye after 13 years of living together, us three.

You loved us well and were such a good puppers, our friend. You gave the best kind of love: selfless and sweet. How could we go on without you? You were so more than just a dog.

Time went on and the hole in our hearts got less sore. We discovered that we just needed one more like you, oh canine gift from above, to fill our empty nest with more love.

It took a failed adoption (aka foster), checking dozens of pet rescues, the viewing of hundreds of profiles, and two near-misses to find the next member of our family. Her name is Isabella, whom we shall now call Bella, and she is beautiful.

A month has gone by and we are slowly becoming a new pack as puppy power gives way to awesome wonder. Who is this nearly 2 year old beast who runs like the wind and leaps like a deer?

I am looking forward to our adventures to come, even if it be just to the local dog park in our changing times where travel isn’t quite the same anymore.

Each day brings a new surprise with you tender beast: so strong, so fast, so smart, so loyal as we have discovered in such a short time together.

Bella Bean you rock! It’s time to go!

That’s all she needs to know . . . as we three are off and running once again!

JJ

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