Early Monday morning I sat on Karen Thompson’s porch in Kent, Virginia and watched as my new puppy, Fate, ran in circles around the table, then down the stairs and around the carport, then back up the stairs and around the table again. After doing this a few times she plunked down next to me and chewed a rawhide.
This is it, I said to her. This is what we’re going to do in my studio. You’ll do your thing, chew on a toy or sleep, and I’ll do my work.
I could hardly believe this was my dog. I never imagined I’d have such a puppy. I was always drawn to the animal no one else wanted. The runt of the litter, the baby squirrel that fell out of the nest, or the dying cat that no one else could take care of. But here was this well bred, smart, healthy, really great looking puppy. Seeing her made me realize that I didn’t think I was worthy of having such a dog. The old ghosts tried to convince me that I didn’t deserve her that I wouldn’t be able train her properly. That I mess up this dog who started out with so much potential. For me, this was nothing like getting an older dog, with an unknown history, that I could use as an excuse for my not being able to train her well. This was the kind of responsibility I had avoided my whole life.
I was feeling this so much that when we first got to Karen’s the day before, I all but ignored Fate. Jon cuddled her and when she came to me I pretended she wasn’t there. So the next morning Jon suggested I go out by myself and spend some time with her. And that’s when I realized how scared I’d been and that I’d closed myself up to Fate. I had put a big barrier around me so all that cuteness couldn’t get in. But when we sat on the porch I felt the barrier dissolving and my heart getting soft.
This is an old, deep issue with me. One of the reason’s I never had children. I thought I was done with it. I had moved past it with Chloe. Now I found that it was back, but it didn’t have the same grip on me. Because of the work I had done with Chloe, this was easier and quicker. Once I could see what was happening, I was able to do what I needed to do. Which was trust myself and believe that I was capable and worthy of taking care of this puppy and allowing her to become the great dog she has the potential to be. And allow myself to love her.
And of course, I have help. Really great help in Jon. And I trust him. More than I’ve ever trusted anyone in my life. Enough so that I know, if we were both younger, I would want to have a child with him. And that’s about love and trust.
So now I’m feeling really good about Fate. And I’m loving and enjoying her. And I’m not scared anymore. I know between us, Jon and I can do a pretty good job raising a puppy. And I trust that any mistakes we make will not be the kind that do any truly harmful damage to her. And that we can give this great puppy the loving home she deserves.
15 thoughts on “Getting a Puppy”
I am so glad you got her Maria…and that you realized the old tapes were playing in your head and you banished them! Why do we (me too)think we are unworthy of the good fortune, life or ppl that are in our lives at certain times? I find this is especially true with creative ppl..anyway, have fun with Fate (appropriate name)! And be gentle with yourself-
You SO deserve this puppy. And she’s blessed to have you. I’m really looking forward to puppy “tails”. Peace.
I waited until I was 45 before I got my first dog, because I was just paralyzed with fear of the responsibility. But that 12-week old puppy toddled out of his carrier and into my lap and that, my friend, was that. I think my proudest moment came a couple of months later when I was sitting in the house with a bunch of family members and he came barreling in from outside and jumped straight onto my lap. “Well, I guess we know whose dog he is,” my sister said. Yes, I thought, yes we do.
I’m so excited for you! My only tip is, just like with babies, nap when the puppy naps. I couldn’t believe how exhausting the first few weeks were.
Maria, such a open from the heart and soul blog about your insecurities, fears, etc. I related and loved how you worked through it and came out on the other side with love, hope and confidence…..sweet! Fate is so lucky to have you and Jon!…oh, and Red.
Congratulations. In my experience, resilience wins every time. That coupled with your courage to see yourself (as you have so wonderfully shared with your readers) and yours & Jon’s integrity (and grit), will make a lovely and very dynamic home for Fate and for all your ‘family’. Thank you for sharing your journey. Create on! (with your art, writing, Fate, Chloe….your life)!!!!
You will do wonderfully and we will all share in the story and joy of Fate.
She is just adorable, good luck with Fate and enjoy.
MAria..I hate when those old feelings try to rear their ugly heads…I am so glad you have this puppy..I’m sure you will do a great job with her!Enjoy the journey!!!
So, so happy for you and for Fate. Your comments about not being worthy go straight into my body and bang around in a way that gives me a very uncomfortable feeling of deja vu. I always struggles with not believing I was worthy of what everyone else took for granted – I still struggle with it at 60. But your putting a voice to it, and moving past it, helps me, and I think you.
This is such a generous gift–to share your dog life with us. I and my husband are too old to deal with a dog again and stay with our memories from over the years, in particular our last two: Nina, a golden retriever, and Tambo a chow cross. Now we have 3 cats, all originally feral.
I want to draw your attention to a rather special book: Brian Sewell’s The White Umbrella. The first two chapters can be read on line on the Amazon Books site. It is a story pf a man and the donkey he rescues–a lovely read and all the way through I thought of Jon and Simon. So if Jon has a birthday or a special celebration coming up, this would be perfect as a present.
Best wishes, Erika W.
I’m so happy for you, there’s nothing like a puppy in your life! I love his little ears, that’s what got to me when my dog was a puppy (he’s half border collie so same cute ears). You’ll probably have the best summer of your life between Fate and Chloe, enjoy the heck out of it!
I love the posts and pictures of Fate that you and Jon are sharing. She’s a very busy girl! And I can totally relate to the feelings you share above, thanks.
Love, love, love – what you wrote, your honesty, your willingness to be vulnerable to all of us who will read this, your humanity, your spirit. But most of all, I love what this little bundle of energy is opening up in you.
Maria, thank you for sharing your wonderful, eloquent and honest thoughts with us, Fate is one lucky little dog.
Oh Maria!! I know that you are called to be an artist, creativity shouts and pours out of you, but I think you are just as called to give voice to the traumatic fears so many of us have suffered, and prove that any of us can follow you out to the other side. Thank you, Annie