I should warn you in advance that if you’re not a dog person, skip over this entry because it is basically 99% animal related.
I am pleased to announce that after much consideration and searching, I found my (almost) perfect four-legged companion. As of Thursday, I have adopted a beautiful pup that I have re-named Josie from Big Fluffy Dog Rescue. (True life- her name was Prada before…ehhhh). She is a three year old Welsh Corgi/German Shepherd mix. A true mutt with the best features of both breeds (but I’m her mommy so I’m biased).
Josie spent the better part of her live in Tennessee tied to a tree by a heartless, neglectful owner. Eventually he stopped feeding her. She was a growing puppy and as she grew her collar became badly embedded into her neck. Luckily she was rescued by Big Fluffy, given stellar vet rehab care, and sent to the east coast for foster care. Now she’s mine to love and spoil!!!
Making the decision to take on such a dependent living being should not be taken lightly, and I didn’t. I went back and forth, obsessed about making the right choice, but in the end I could not imagine myself not adopting this particular little/big girl. When I first met her in her foster home she initially barked when I walked in the door as if to say: “HEY! I don’t know you! What are you doing here?!” the barking quickly turned into a big grin as I sat down the kitchen floor of her foster home. She trotted over to me and licked my face all over. My heart melted immediately.
There was a lot to consider here and I didn’t take her home that night (even though the ID in me really wanted to). Good thing Cory was there to help me show some restraint. As I spoke with non-dog owners and dog owners alike to seek clarity- I took in horror stories about houses being destroyed, separation anxiety, and $16,000 dollar vet bills. In contrast I also saw how people lit up when they spoke about their furry companions and shared how they couldn’t imagine life without them. One woman I know at the hospital was reduced to tears when she reflected on her experience with her Boxer. She has gone through some tough times and she confessed that it was her dog’s unconditional love that helped her through. Ultimately I knew I had to listen to my own intuition. That being said I have no regrets.
Despite the excessive shedding, Josie is a dream. She is constantly smiling and wagging her tail. She took no time at all to warm up to me and showers me in kisses and affection. She is housebroken, barks minimally, knows a few commands, and listens fairly well. She doesn’t jump on the couch or sleep in my bed, nor does she try to. She doesn’t beg when I am preparing or eating my meals in front of her. With some training, I am sure that she will be even more amazing. We need to work on leash skills and learn a few more commands.
I am just so in love. Braggy mommy picture time.
So since this is a cancer blog after all, some of you may be wondering:
“why did you take on such a major, long-term responsibility being that you’re sick and in treatment?”
I asked myself the same question continually. When I considered NOT adopting her for that reason, it cut me to the core. The mantra of Stupid Cancer is to Get Busy Living and I have been determined to do just that. When I was on the clinical trial I was merely existing and truly felt so broken. I wasn’t really living. Now that I am under a more tolerable regimen and feeling mostly-normal enough to lead a “normal” life, I am back in headspace that allows me to believe that I WILL get better. In that spirit, I was able to look in the mirror and say: “I will be strong and healthy enough to care for another living being for the next 12ish years”.
Looking that far down your life’s timeline is a little scary especially when the past few years have been so varied and in some cases tumultuous. Now that I pulled the trigger and adopted I’m not thinking about the “what if’s?”. As my mom so wisely reminded me, you cannot predict the future, and you just can’t be that calculated. You roll with the punches and ebb and flow of life.
In the past couple days of caring for Josie, you would have to pry the grin off my face with a pair of plyers. She has brought immense joy into my heart, even when we’re circling the neighborhood in the wee hours of night waiting to go poops. She actually has encouraged me to take care of myself better because I have no choice but to give her the best care. All in all Josie and I are so fortunate to have found each other. Going to work all day on Monday is going to be difficult. Stay at home mom’s- I get it now.
Thank-you to all that guided me as I grappled with this decision, Desiree from Big Fluffy for her kindness and patience, Kayla for being the best foster mom to my baby, and Auntie Sarah for all of Josie’s great new gifts!
Continued love and gratitude from Jess & Josie.