On April 15th 2011 something happened that made the world a better place.
Lily, the Bichon, (AKA The Love Of My Life), was born.
I would not meet her for another 18 months, but when I did it changed everything.
I decided early in life that I would never be a mother. It scared me. I assumed I’d be crap at it. I didn’t want the responsibility.
I regret this decision now, but for several reasons I feel that chance has passed for me… a topic for another day maybe.
Approaching my 40th birthday, I began to long for a dog, (must’ve been the old biological clock right?). I spent many hours online looking at dogs for adoption or sale.
One Sunday morning I saw a picture of a little Bichon Frise for sale, and for some reason, I simply could not stop returning to her ad over and over again. No other dog could compare to her. Her name was Coco, she was 18 months old and it said her family were regretfully searching for a new home for her.
I showed the OH and he said he would make the call. I paced… and paced… and paced…
Suddenly overwhelmed with self doubt I asked him not to call. I couldn’t do it. I’d be a crap doggy-mom, it was too much. Then I started to cry.
The OH knew I did really want this little dog and talked me around, made the call and it was arranged that we would meet Coco the next day and see if we were a match. I then waited through the longest 24 hours of my life.
The morning came and we drove about an hour away to meet Coco. As we parked outside the house, panic took hold and I entered my very unattractive high anxiety state where I make utterly no sense and become completely negative and irrational. I was convinced the entire endeavour was a huge mistake and begged the OH to just drive away. He tried to reason with me and eventually lost his temper and told me firmly this was my last chance to have this dog…
We rang the doorbell and a remarkably thin, glamorous, blonde woman opened the door, and in her arms was my new love… Coco.
(I had an incredibly long history of how she settled in, how our suspicions about her suffering neglect and abuse in that first home grew to a certainty, and about how she became Lily, the happy, settled, pampered pooch she is today, but that is not the point of this post…)
The point of this post is this:
The OH did not just give me the gift of a dog for my 40th birthday. He gave me my best friend, my little confidant, my clown, my comforter.
He gave me the most precious gift of all… I discovered I am a natural mother; I have so much more love inside me than I ever thought possible. He also gave me a sense of confidence that yes, I could not only keep a creature alive, but I could nurture her and help her overcome past trauma to thrive into becoming the wonderful little dog she is today.
He gave me the gift of self belief. Of feeling capable.
Lily’s birthday fell on Friday when the OH was at work, yesterday she spent the day at the groomers, so that is why we are celebrating her fifth birthday today, with a roast chicken breast, complete with candles and singing.
I frequently moan about my many failings and things I despise about myself but this I know… Lily loves me and I would do anything, anything to keep her safe and happy.
Turns out I am a good doggy-mom!
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