Walking up the steps I could hear the tiny yelps of excitement coming from the other side of the door. Oh God, I’m thinking to myself, am I really ready for this all over again? Sound familiar…have you ever made a choice and then wondered if you really thought it through? What to do now is the question?
Three months ago I had the opportunity to make the decision if I really wanted a pet and everything that went with it. All my friends had a pet of some kind and I always had in the back of my mind how great it must be to have that kind of love, unconditionally.
Looking back now over the chain of events that have taken place, I’m having to consider again if I’m really up for the commitment. Having to be fully available for someone that totally depends on you, is a serious decision to make. I don’t know if you can really tell whether or not you’re ready until you try. ( It’s quite complicated and intense) I’m going to have to talk to my friend Cathy again, seriously about all the small details that you sometimes miss. Most importantly, I’m going to have to face some serious issues within myself.
Opening the front door, love is in the air, literally, everywhere!
"Come on girls, let mommy in the door and let me put the bags down, then I will pick you up”, I said as I laugh at my two new puppies.
“Whew, what is that smell? I see that you didn’t quite make it to the paper.” Looking around I see three different places where mistakes have been made. “Ok, ok, I say while they are jumping all over me. I see that I’m going to have to make a decision that I didn’t want to have to make.”
“Whether or not to have to crate you, has been something I’ve been considering girls“, I say with a sad face.
It seems that may have to be the conclusion to this process or pay to change all the carpet. I think the crate will be cheaper. Now the question is, can I stand the lock- up process. I don’t know about that! Who knew there would be so many tough decisions pulling on your heart strings in order to have pet ownership. This is the part my friends didn’t share and I didn’t ask. Never take anything for granted I now say! Locking anything up just because of the hard part of creating control, is a hard issue for me. However, it’s that or disaster in the area of preserving property. Well, it looks like there is more in this process towards peeling back my own onion than I realized. Can I put these babies through this sadness because order is important to me at this time in my life. I don’t think order is on the mind of these little ones at this time of their lives, as it shouldn’t be! This is not the time of their lives that they should be still and behave. They should be having fun…like all little children. Why as humans do we want to take all the fun out of youthfulness and then we wake up one day to say … where did it all go? The girls are looking up at me with their little sad faces as if they understand my grief and it feels like they are taking it on because now they look sad with their little ears down and their heads drooped down. Oh God, this is breaking my heart!
The knock on the door is right on time when I open it to see my friend Cathy!
“Girl, I am glad to see you!” I shout with joy and sadness. Hugging her, tears well up in my eyes and she looks at me with a puzzled look.
“Hey girl, what is it,” she asked with a concerned tone.
With tears in my eyes, I look at her and say, “I don’t think I can do it!”
Cathy has been here for me for the past 12 weeks of pet ownership. I should say while I have been test driving because I haven’t fully taken ownership yet and it’s not fair to the puppies I realize. It almost feels like a new relationship after you have been alone for a while and you are not quite sure what you’re willing to give up, sacrifice or share. I feel like such a failure because I don’t see myself in any of my views of my friends as pet parents. Trying to explain my feelings to Cathy only makes me feel worse about myself as I try to regain my composure.
“Oh, come on girl, she says as she pulls me close to give me a big hug. You are a great mother. This is a big job and it may not be for you at this time. It’s ok,” she reassures me.
“But it’s not ok, Cathy,” I scream. I’ve gotten these babies and now I wonder what was on my mind? I just can’t stand the idea of them staying in a crate to keep from messing up material things! They’re just like children,” I say with a feeling of desperation.
“Yes they are and just like we have to think long and hard before having children, it’s the same for pets.”
“Yeah, the difference is that if you screw up and get pregnant after the fact you suck it up to carelessness and the children just live with your choices,” I say.
I know I’ve got all kinds of strong opinions about that behavior! “Cathy I don’t know what to do but I do know that I am willing to sacrifice whatever insecurities I have for their well being because they deserve lots of love, unconditionally,” I say sadly. That is what they give us, all the time, regardless. I don’t think I have that at this stage of my life.
“That’s ok Stephanie and you don’t have to feel sorry for that. Now, what options do you have,” she asked?
“Well, the lady that sold them to me said that she already had someone for one of them and my baby girl is the one she wanted from the beginning, so, I can still be in her life. The other lady will take my phone number and I can still be in both of their lives by pet sitting.”
“Well then, that’s a great option! Cathy says.
Yeah but how do I make the failure feeling go away? “By realizing that it is not a failure!”, she says. “Think about it, when the lady needed someone to take the puppies out of a dire situation, you were there. You took not one but two and then you took them to your vet and got them good and healthy by getting all their shots, deworming and supplies for their wellness. I remember you went to the whole food store to get only the best organic foods and flea repellent stuff (all natural from India).. You basically saved their lives. (Yeah, it kind of reminds me of some of my past relationships…get them all better for someone else…hmmm) You even gave them your home to recoup their energies by loving them and spending 12 weeks of uninterrupted time to help them get off to a great start in their lives. So, maybe you played your part in their lives because a lot of people would not do that and then pass their love ones on to someone else just to love. You helped provide a strong foundation for them to build on. My goodness, you even put then on your nutritional supplement drink after their shots to make sure their little bodies could handle it without complications. Now that’s mama love! They are going to be Super Dogs because of your love and care in their little lives. Now, let someone else build on what you have laid as their cornerstone source! You are giving someone a wonderful gift in these puppies and you can still see them grow…sounds like a grandma to me! What more could you ask for? Just keep being you and don’t apologize! Remember what you told me last year when I was at the crossroads in my relationship? Sometimes, we are only there for a season and we have to realize that, “Love Is…Letting Go!”
“You know what Cathy? I knew there had to be something bigger in this for me to learn because it was bringing up so much stuff emotionally for me. You have been a true friend for helping me to see that in parenting there can be all kinds of gifts that we refuse to see because of we're always trying to measure up to someone else’s standards. You know, I realize now that God gives us just what we need when we are ready to see it.”
“What do you mean Stephanie?”
“Well, I got these puppies right around the holiday season and that is when I always feel the worst about my parenting skills emotionally as a parent. I’m always telling myself that I was never enough for my children or that I wasn’t like someone else but I now realize through this experience that we are just what the other person needs to become who they came to be by the Master Plan! I have always known that everything has a season just like parenting and that in every season something different is required for progress in the process of development. My parenting has always been about empowering others to be self sufficient and to recognize your purpose. I am at the stage of my life now whereby I will be coming in and out of others lives to serve that purpose on a larger scale. That is why I am moving toward starting a woman’s group this year called Women of Wisdom, to “.empower others.” I am reminded again that “Love Is…Letting Go”!
“There is so much more to this story Cathy, than just puppy love…Think about it!’