Meet Vida. I am very late in this introduction—Vida is already 5 1/2 months old. She’s been home a matter of months but it seems she’s always been here. I had the best intention of documenting life with this puppy step by step from day one. My oldest daughter leaves for college in 5…4…3… any minute now. Is the timing of this puppy a coincidence? The fact that Vida arrived as my oldest daughter is leaving for college wasn’t intentional, but probably subconscious. I don’t cope with change well to begin with so I can’t explain the rationale for creating more change and adding a dash of chaos by bringing an 8-week- old puppy into the mix. I joked with friends and family about getting a puppy as I prepared for my daughter leaving for college. Those who knew me laughed to humor me—but their eyes let me know before I did that I wasn’t really joking. Self-fulfilling prophecy? Manifestation? I’m going with the planets aligning to make sure Vida came home to me at this time.
Vida, in her short time with us, has won the household over. She’s a puzzle piece we didn’t know we were missing until she snapped in place. Her dog brothers, Boom and Pancho, adore her. I had anxious faith that they would all get along in time and had mentally set aside weeks if not months for the transformation to take place. Neither of my boys enjoy other dogs with the exception of each other. They are older and set in their ways. Boom is a certifiable reactive anxious mess; Pancho just doesn’t have the time or interest in doing things differently. It took only a few days for Vida to settle in. They both welcomed Vida in a “where have you been all my life?” way. The transformation Vida has had on Boom in particular is astounding. He is calmer overall, and plays with her so gently. Vida gets along with the cats and doesn’t try to eat the chickens.
Why did it take me this long to introduce this beautiful creature? Because I completely forgot how hard … mmm, impossible… it is to do anything extra when living with a new puppy. By extra, I mean above basic survival necessities. I talk about new puppies with clients—regularly. Multiple times a day I say “you must have faith” and “keep going” and “I promise it won’t always be this way”. My favorite part of puppy class is when I welcome the class to “puppy support group”. It never fails to get a few laughs and sighs of relief. It’s funny because it’s true. Emerging from the part of the forest where I couldn’t see the trees, I have a newfound appreciation for how hard it can be to keep that faith.