|Yogi Bear and me|
One thing I learned in 2020 is to be patient, flexible, and above all, trust my intuition.
Of the many challenges I faced last year, the worst one was suddenly losing my dog, Bodhi Bear, to stomach cancer in early December 2020. Saying goodbye to my best friend and constant companion's physical presence shattered my heart into a million pieces.
Being a great friend and dog, Bodhi Bear made sure I got through my move from California to Connecticut before showing signs of his grave illness. For so many reasons, I'll forever be grateful to Bodhi for all that he gave me in his short seven and a half years with me.
|Bodhi Bear and me|
I decided years ago that I never wanted to walk alone and needed a Keeshond by my side to feel whole. So when I let Bodhi go because he was too ill to eat, I knew in my heart that I would have to find another dog.
Right after Bodhi transitioned, I immediately began searching for my Keeshond puppy and quickly located one. However, in hindsight, I realized that I was not emotionally ready to raise a puppy.
At the same time, I asked my two twenty-year-old cats, Mona and Elvis, how they felt about a puppy. Elvis said he was on board with raising a puppy as long as the puppy didn't chase him. Elvis has always liked dogs and was good friends with Kobe Bear and Bodhi Bear.
On the other hand, Mona has never been a fan of dogs. Mona tolerated Bodhi, but he would literally piss her off at times as he made Mona feel unsafe. Finally, Mona made it clear that she's perfectly content living without a dog, especially a puppy.
After Bodhi passed, I noticed a considerable change in my cats. Mona, who is deaf, was consistently using her cat box and confidently galloping around the house in a way I hadn't seen in years. Elvis was also feeling more at ease. Both cats were more playful and relaxed. Plus, the three of us had plenty of bonding time without Bodhi.
As we waited for the puppy to arrive, my fuzzy nephew, Fozzie Bear, came for a visit. Fozzie's presence stressed and upset Mona more than I realized. She communicated physically in her body language and telepathically that she was not happy with Fozzie's presence. After Fozzie chased Elvis, Mona reiterated her intense dislike by peeing in my bed.
Mona's peeing was a wake-up call. I realized I needed to listen to her with an open heart and let go of my desire to get a puppy for the time being. When I truly heard and understood my cats' concerns, I realized it was not the right time to bring a puppy into our family.
While it was hard letting the puppy go, I was okay with waiting for Mona and Elvis's sake. It's the least I can do since she and Elvis have been my loyal family members and cherished companions for 20 years. And the last thing I want to do is piss Mona off again!
|My fuzzy nephew, Fozzie Bear|
During the cold, blustery, snowy months of my first New England winter in 30 years, I was grateful I didn't have to housebreak a puppy. Instead, I'm glad I listened to Mona and Elvis, who were right to make me wait.
Around March 1st, I intuitively got the message that it was time to start looking for my puppy again. Synchronistically, I also felt Mona and Elvis were in a good place to receive a dog into our family.
At about the same time, I told my sister that I felt my puppy had been born, and I would start looking for him. I did find a boy Keeshond, but I didn't feel a heart connection with him.
As I continued to look, I kept reminding myself that I needed to trust my intuition to find my perfect bundle of puff.
As I searched, I reached out to my dear friend, Donna, a Keeshonden breeder. She introduced me to the Keeshond breed almost thirty years ago. I rescued my first two, Keeshonden, KC, and Kobe Bear, from Donna. It's because of Donna, that I fell in love with this special dog breed.
So naturally, I reached out to Donna when I received the inner "call" to start looking for my new fuzzy friend.
Shortly after I contacted Donna, she sent me an email saying that a 3-year-old male Keeshond show dog, Corey, was looking for a home. She urged me to reach out to his breeder to find out more. I had to sit with the idea of bringing an unsocialized, unneutered, untrained show dog into my family for a while before I called the breeder.
I decided to take the same advice I give my clients, which is, "you never know." Sometimes you have to go left to get it right. So I called the breeder, even though I knew in my heart that the dog wouldn't be a good fit for my family.
About 20 minutes into the conversation, the breeder let me know that she recently had a litter of puppies.
I immediately said, "What I really want is a boy puppy. I have many plans for my new friend as he has big paws to fill."
The breeder listened but didn't discuss the puppies any further since the call was about Corey. After our conversation, I knew Corey was not my dog.
Afterward, I couldn't help but wonder about the litter of puppies.
So I reached out to Donna and asked her if she knew about the litter of puppies. Donna said yes. Unbeknownst to me, Donna proceeded to tell the breeder, whom she knew well, that I would make a wonderful Keesie mom and she would be lucky to give me a puppy.
I responded, "Decide what?"
Donna replied, "Check your email."
In my inbox was an email from the breeder offering me a boy puppy from the litter! I couldn't have asked for more! Serendipitously, the breeder has three cats who helped raise the puppies.
Over the next few weeks, I watched "Yellow" grow up virtually through Facebook posts, photos, videos, and even a few Zoom sessions. The more time I spent with him, the more I knew he's my puppy. "Yellow" is good-natured, sweet, and very smart.
|Mona preparing for the puppy's arrival|
I flew to Detroit to pick up Yogi Bear on May 4th. Yogi Bear was a rock star on the flight home.
So far, the cats are peacefully co-existing with Yogi Bear. Yogi is everything I could ever want in a puppy and more.
My heart is full of joy having Yogi Bear in my life. And so far, Mona and Elvis are peacefully co-existing with Yogi Bear. In time, I know they will embrace him.