Letter to a Puppy
You do not know it yet - you, the grey and white potato, snuggled into the comfort of the whelping box, surrounded by your littermates. But you are about to take on a big journey north, across the border. It will be long, scary, boring at times.
We are waiting for you.
We pulled out the bowls, the beds, the baby gates. Again.
There used to be dogs. Two of them. Perfect, beautiful, sweet Noona. And Neo. All strength, all chutzpah. The one that pushed my limits and shattered my confidence that I could train a dog properly.
I wanted to strangle him. So did Noona. She may have tried a few times, but I totally get that.
Then he matured into this dog that filled our existence, took over all the space when Noona died and yanked us out of our grief. He was the rock I reached for when I was feeling down. The one I got to trust around reactive dogs. My working partner.
Then he died. And we looked for him, and for her again, everywhere in the house. Emptiness.
We moved out.
We were done with dogs. Too much heartache, and too much work.
And yet, here you are.
You come from a long line of dogs bred with love and a passion for a breed I would never trade for any other. The fact that I chose your mother can’t hide the fact that deep down, I am still longing for Neo. She looks like him so, so much.
But you’ll come home with us, and we’ll begin to write a different story. One where we’ll have to remember what having a puppy is like. The laughs, the exhaustion, the frustration, the hard work, and years down the road, the feeling of accomplishment.
Maybe sometimes, through your eyes, that mischievous look, I’ll catch a glimpse of Neo; and it will feel, for an instant, like running into an old friend.
But this story will be yours and I make the most important promise of all - that I will not compare you to Noona or to him. Your life, your standards. We’ll face a different music and dance.
We are coming.
Photo credit: Joyce DeLay, Kaviak Malamutes.