Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Life Begins Outside Your Comfort Zone

I have a confession to make.  In the past, I used to secretly judge people who immediately adopted a new dog once their old dog passed away.  You don't have to tell me how horrible that is.  I'm a Taurus, a double Taurus actually.  Intense loyalty is just part of my makeup.  Trust me, it gets on my nerves.  In my volunteer work with dog rescue, I'd write a condolence note and then get an email the next day that the family was looking for a new dog.  HOW, I'd wonder.  I just didn't get it.  

On March 31st, we lost our Kenzie.  I was crushed, as you'd imagine.  I wondered how long it would take for me to be ready to open my heart to a new dog.  All I knew is it would be a long time.  Yeah, fast forward to the end of May.  I was at a meeting with the Golden Rescue and someone asked if I'd consider fostering a dog.  Around eight dogs had come in to the club in the previous week and we didn't have enough foster homes for all of them.  I felt my heart clinch but immediately said no.  No way, I'm not ready.  I just lost my Kenzie.  No way.  

This ate away at me for about a week.  We had a good, loving dog home and it was empty of dogs. Why couldn't we help out?  It slowly occurred to me that helping another dog might just be the way to honor Hubbell & Kenzie and bring peace to my heart.  Someone else had opened their heart and home to help my pups before they found their way to us.  I should help a dog find their forever home.  It seemed right.

When I called the Intake Coordinator, she asked if I had any preference as to the type of Golden.  I didn't hesitate....Big, Red, Boy.  Easy.  She called me back the next day and asked if we'd take in a young, small, blond girl.  Her previous owners had neglected her by leaving her in a crate ALL. THE. TIME (the "dad" just happened to be a professional football player).  Of course, I said, of course....when do we pick her up?  

You know the ending.  A week later I called to say, "This pup isn't going anywhere."!  Honestly, I was the last to be convinced.  You can see from these photos that our girls didn't need ANY convincing.  For me, it felt disloyal.  But I can see now how wrong I was. Opening your heart to a new dog doesn't erase the pain you feel in mourning your previous pups.  Not at all.  She doesn't take away from how much I loved Hubbell & Kenzie.  When I feel down because I miss them, I hug her tightly and I always feel better. The truth is that, if I'd waited to be ready, I would have never been ready.  

When I told a friend about our new family member, she said to me, "Good! That dog will heal your heart."  How right she was!  "That dog" is named Millie and she is definitely doing some heart healing.  I stepped outside my comfort zone and a new life/new love began.  I am so thankful.

I think Kenzie & Hubbell would be very proud of us.


  1. What a wonderful post, Audrey! I love your honesty and I love the ending :)
    I can totally understand that you judged those people for opening their home so fast again. I have learned the lesson, too, though - that we can't really ever judge anybody unless we are in the same situation. Only then we can truly understand :)
    And it makes me so happy, that this sweet dog snuck its why into your heart to help it heal. Our heart is big enough to love them all and none of them will get any less because of it, the more we give the more love we can feel :)
    Have a wonderful and very happy new year with your amazing family!
    Lots of hugs,

    1. Thanks, Beate! It's so good to hear from you! Hope all is well with you and Keith!!! Please send him my regards... XOXO!

    2. Aww, thank you Audrey! It's so good to hear from you, too! And Keith sends his regards back to you :)
      XOXO Have a wonderful day!

  2. Sweet Audrey. This post almost made me cry! Doug was the same way. He lost his Australian Shepherd (Misty) in 2006 and Carrie and I started asking for a new family dog. No. Way. He wasn't ready. I think for him it was the fact that he was so heartbroken he couldn't bear to think of going through that again. But that's the price we pay for loving and being loved, you know? In the end it hurts like hell but we wouldn't have traded that time together for the world. Doug didn't cave until 2013 when we adopted Lucky, and what a furry little blessing he has been!

    I LOVE the photos of Millie with your girls. They speak volumes! SOOOO happy for you and your family to have this new pup in your lives. You did the right thing, my friend. No doubt about it! xoxox

  3. You're back, Audrey! You don't know how many times I've visited your blog during the past year and wished you were posting! I know this about the human heart, it has an infinite ability to harbor love. It expands, and new love never takes away from old. Yes, Hubbell and Kenzie would be proud of you! Your girls grow more lovely every day! XOXOX!

  4. All caught up! What a delightful read! btw, I forgot to mention in Sophie's birthday interview post how much I love the Magic Treehouse series. That is so third grade! LOL Have a good evening my friend!

  5. Oh Audrey, what an incredible post!! Your new dog is GORGEOUS!! Millie, that is a great name, and I can just hear all the nicknames..."come on, Millie bo billie...come here, Millie boo boo...".Sorry, I know how my Dad talks to his pets!!
    Your dogs in dog heaven are happy for Millie, I just KNOW it!! xx

    1. Kay, her full name is actually Millicent (one of my favorite names of all time) but we call her Millie for short. We chose that name because her parents were Molly and Billie.....tada, Millie. Isn't that cool? I love it!


Related Posts with Thumbnails