I know, I know – I’ve been extremely slack on this. Well, that’s all about to change…..
National dog day, one of my favorite days – August 27th – It usually means that I get to “like” everyone’s super cute social media pictures of their dog.
This year however, it brought us the “unofficial” email announcing that we were selected as new parents to this guy.
Meet Bruno. He’s a four year old Bernese Mountain dog currently fostered the next province over from me.
He was surrendered to BFW (Bernese Friends Worldwide) because his family recognized that they no longer had time for him. Sadly, a story we hear all too often. However, I’m thankful his family recognized this, and saw his potential to have a fantastic future with another family that had the time to give.
What a ragamuffin he was in his “before” pictures. After countless grooming hours he became the beautiful Berner he was meant to be. His painful mats were finally cut away, he received a bill of good health from the vet – and finally he was up for adoption.
His adoption photo got around on facebook (YAY Social Media), and I had about 5 different people send me his bio. (I meant LOOK at that face)
The process was more intensive then I thought it would be. Being on the receiving end of this was much more emotional than I thought it to be. An emotional rollercoaster that lasted a week! It brought up so many memories and learnings from Newton. As they asked our past dog ownership history, I used the only examples I knew.
The committee questioned me on everything from training methodologies to my opinions on vaccinations, emergency situations and dog food preferences. It was evident, they want the dog not to go to the best home on paper – but the best fit for the dog in question.
As intensive as it was, the process went fairly quickly (After two interviews, a Skype house visit and references checking out), and we found out on August 27th that we were the chosen as Bruno’s new forever home.
I haven’t met Bruno’s foster parents yet, but I have to give a HUGE shout out to them. I’ve asked about a million questions already, and they have patiently answered enthusiastically. Selflessly, they’ve given Bruno a home, albeit temporary, loved him and cared for him and facilitated the process that allowed us to find him. A process that we are very grateful for. WTG Foster parents – you rock!
There’s a odd sense of guilt associated with the process of bringing another dog into your house. I was prepared for that, especially today of all days. Timing is a weird little duck. Today August 29th, It would have been Newton’s 4th birthday, we signed the papers to adopt another 4 year old Bernese Mountain Dog.
Dates are always weird for me – Certain ones stick out. Today, in another lifetime, I would be shopping for Newton’s 4th birthday present(s). Instead I’m in the store choosing all of his favorite things for another. (Thanks Newton for showing me how valuable a stuffed Kong could be!).
However, with time comes clarity. For me, that meant getting to a place where I could celebrate his life and be grateful for the time Newt-dawg was with us.
The totally over the top factor for us is that we’re giving a new home to rescue pup. It makes both me and my Mr. get a little misty eyed when we chat about it over wine. In our own way, paying back to what helped us through a very tough time. As ridiculously excited as I’m getting, I’m attuned to what lay ahead.
Stay tuned for more on our next chapter…. Starting tomorrow!
It’s Autumn in Nova Scotia. It’s my secret favorite season. Summer is wonderful, we have the beach, lots of sun etc. Not to sound cliché, but there’s something about crisp falling leaves, pumpkin scents galore and comfy sweaters. We are house shopping, and I must admit I’m a sucker for a wood fireplace. In my head I see warm cozy evenings, hot chocolate and a dog wrapped around my feet. Ok, so it’s totally cliché – please don’t judge
Best daydream ever.
I have fond memories of Autumns with Newton. He loved when we piled the leaves high under the backyard Maple trees, morphing into the “Hulk” before our eyes and charging through our neat piles. He could do this for hours. So many laughs.
We found our new house, we have an accepted offer. It has giant tree in the backyard full of leaves, a fireplace in the living room and yes – a farm down the road that sells pumpkins. Amazeballs.
While I’m excited to enter the next phase, it saddens me to think of how much Newt would have loved this place. A huge hayfield full of long grass, a great backyard with much needed shade for his black fur coat he wore year round.
This is a wonderful place to make new memories with new two and four footed friends, without forgetting the old.
I’m sorry for the DELAY! Ask all my loved ones, I’m notoriously late for everything in life. I think I even disclose this on my bio, ironically written after my first few posts went up 😉
So much has happened in the last two months that I almost am overwhelmed with where to start. We finished our basement renovations, Went on our trip to Italy, My sister got married, We sold our house, I started a new job in a new Province and now am currently house-hunting. I’m feeling a bit like this guy….
I can’t talk about them all today (even though we all know I’m long-winded enough to do so), so I’m going to focus on one in particular that I’m still coming to terms with….
I had a tremendously difficult time with this. It’s just a house, but great life moments made it our home. Memories of Newton topped my “Why I’m thankful we lived here” list I made, during my last weekend in there. Leaving, irrevocably made me confront some painful memories. The house has not changed, but we’ve had to. Each corner, nook and tiny cranny holds for me – special moments suspended in time.
Memories remind us of what we’ve lost.
Memories remind us of what we had.
These two opposing forces led me on a rollercoaster of emotions last week.
It made me deal with something I haven’t been prepared to do – start to let go. I tricked myself into believing it was something I had been doing all along. I hadn’t.
The time a person needs to take, cannot ever be measured in chronological time. Losing a loved one on any level is a deeply personal thing. You start to move on, you’ll start to make new memories. It takes time.
A friend told me she dreamt of Newton waiting for us at our next home. I know where he’ll always be – A monumental part of our past – with us wherever we go.
Yes we left the house that we raised Newton in, but we did not leave the memories.
Inside my thoughts. Forever imprinted.The moment I saw his face before he ran two blocks through wet pavement costing me a few hundred dollars in breakfast sandwiches and coffee for the construction crew, the hundreds of hugs given and recieved, the reminders of our fur-kids playing tag. Too many to list and count.
Memories remind us of what we’ve lost.
Memories remind us of what we can have again.
Great memories give us hope, inspiration and love. They guide us.
I walked around the house and said my goodbyes on my last day. As I reflect now, I realize (as difficult as it is to admit), what I was really saying:
“Thank you Newton – for all the truly great memories. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing”.
Well big news in our household. Since we lost our wonderful pal Newton, it’s helped put things into perspective.
Such as, I’ve tied myself to a job that has an 8 hour round trip drive from the people I love most in the world. Why is this?
Another life lesson taken from my pal – surround yourself by those you love most in the world.
So I took the bull by the balls horns and applied for an internal position a 30 min drive away from all friends/family. The last month has been quite the process, applying, going through 3 rounds of interviews, plus a presentation. Oh, and don’t forget we’re still renovating from the FLOOD. Whoa
So I’ve decided to put a 45 day to-do list together for my life (I love lists!):
– Finish renovations
(Here’s how it’s looking so far! Bonus if you can see Stewart’s photobomb)
– Sell house
– Buy new house
– Train for new job
– Go on Honeymoon
– Get ready for maid of honor duties in sister’s wedding
Is this worth it? Hell YES! I’m getting pumped for the move, but am getting a little anxious with my “to-do” list.
Just wanted to give you a heads up that I may be a little distant from my blog for a bit. Love ya’ll, but as you can see I have my hands full. Can’t wait to share all the changes once we get settled! Here’s to hoping there will be puppy news to share on the next feed.
Let me start by apologizing that I’ve been a little lot lax in my writing over the past two – three weeks. I hit a speed bump in my healing process.
It hit me like a ton of bricks one day. I was walking home from work (something I hadn’t done in some time), and realized that the last time I walked this path was with Newton.
I couldn’t help myself, I found the nearest bench and had a “moment”. As much as I wish, it was not the kind where your makeup stays immaculate and your polish still shines. It was the kind of moment that makes you want to curl up in your favorite jammies and hide from the world with the curtains drawn – yep it was an ugly cry.
I felt like I had lost my best friend all over again. Experiencing all these “firsts” without him is heartbreaking. All these moments can be heartwrenching. Almost like constant reminders telling you what you no longer have.
I’m writing you this because some of you are going through what I am as well. After taking some time to think about it, it’s unfortunately part of the process of moving through the guilt, never forgetting – but functioning and enjoying the life we are fortunate to have. I realize I’ve made an effort to stay positive and upbeat – offer solutions to your own healing processes. Sometimes, however, you just need to take a moment, feel the pain and then try and patch yourself back together and carry on. Remind yourself only of the wonderful times spent together.
There is a feeling of guilt that I believe is natural – moving on without your companion. This is where my “Newton principles” kick in and remind me of what life is all about – Love, peace and joy. Stop and be thankful for what we have, enjoy the little things in life.
I’ve surrendered to the process of moving forward, understanding that there will be moments like this – lots in fact. It feels at times like it is a step backward, but grief does not have a time limit. My words of advice – it’s ok to get lost in the moment, just don’t lose yourself in the process.
Give all your pets an extra snuggle from me today!
Ok so maybe not chickens – but how about puppies?? I took my sister in law with me yesterday to walk some wonderful dogs at the SPCA. I was reminded that Spring also means an influx of puppies to the shelter. Once we were finished walking our big guys, we treated ourselves with a walk through the puppy room and saw these little angels.
As most of you know, Puppies need to be socialized. It’s so important for them to experience a variety of people early on. I’ve even heard a raw statistic that a puppy between 3 and 6 months should meet 100 people, and have a positive experience with every single one. This will help them be less fearful or nervous later on in life. A balanced dog, can be a wonderful thing. So why not start with them when they are at the SPCA.
“As the weeks go by, exposure to a variety of experiences is crucial to his becoming a well-rounded adult. Studies have shown that a puppy’s experiences in the first three months of life strongly influence what kind of companion he will grow to be and how he will react to the world. ” – AKC
Early socialization is a vital piece of a puppies’ life. I took full advantage yesterday. We played and took these little angels for a walk, hoping to encounter many people along the way. Of course, then we treated ourselves to some snuggles and play time in the front yard.
These little guys are Shepherd/Border Collie mixes. Huge paws and beautiful brown eyes. My heart melts everytime I see them. Need I remind you that “Puppy Therapy” is the very best kind there is?
You’ve all been patiently waiting to hear who my newest boarder is. So without further ado, meet Richard (aka – Great News: Part 2) !
Richard is Newton’s brother, former play buddy and identical personality twin. Newton was boarded at his house when we traveled. When his owner asked me to board him for a week or two, I tried to hold back tears. I couldn’t.
They were tears of happiness.
If I’m being honest – our house feels like a home again with a Bernese visitor in it. I love all of my boarders, but this one is obviously a bit more emotional for me.
“There’s something about being greeted at the door by a giant black and white panda bear, full of fur and drool, that warms my heart.”
I see Richard, and am reminded of Newton – This time in a positive light. Great memories pour in as I enjoy my time with him. I am reminded of why I fell in love with Newton in the first place, and also the breed. Those big goofy eyes, giant paws and furry faces exude love. What better therapy is there then that?
You should my other two little fur kids faces!. It was like Christmas morning when Richard breezed through the house. Frankie and Stewart were greeted with “cat baths” from him, which Stewart begrudgingly accepted and Frankie loved (and now receives a few times a day). Now Frank “the Tank” has turned into Richard’s shadow, which I find amazingly adorable.
I honestly wasn’t sure how this was going to go, but happy we were open to the opportunity. I’ve found comfort and joy in being around other dogs (fostering, boarding and training can be healthy and healing – when you’re ready!). It makes me aware that a new addition would not take the place of Newton in our hearts, as we have room for more. I wasn’t convinced of that a week ago.
I continue to miss Newton every single day, which I don’t expect to change. Grief, after all, does not have an expiration date.
My advice if you’re feeling down? Find a cool pup that enjoys a snuggle or two.
A huge thanks to Richards parents for entrusting us for the next little while with this wonderful fur kid, stay tuned for more pics and posts to come 🙂