Sometimes things present themselves right when you need them. Whether you know you need them or not.
Grief over the loss of a pet is a real thing – the loss of a friend, a family member and a constant companion like no other, all rolled into one. And, though I still think of Hank (and miss him) every. single. day, I feel like I’ve made it through the muckiest part (though I am not naive to the dreaded milestones coming up).
A couple of months after Hank died, I asked my friend Heather if Joey and I could hang out with her Boston terrier Annabelle while she was out for the night. I brought Annabelle home with me and Joey and I were quickly reminded how awesome and comforting it was to have the presence (and sounds!) of a Boston terrier in our house.
That was the first time that we thought it might even be possible to entertain the idea of having another dog some day.
Only a week or so after we hung out with Annabelle, we were presented with a surprise on our doorstep. Tracy, who was Hank’s breeder from nine years earlier, brought “Pickles” (Bert’s name at the time), a fourteen week old, adorable chocolate brindle Boston pup, to our door and there was absolutely no turning back.
Pickles (who happened to be Annabelle’s brother/ nephew in some sort of intricate dog-family tree) was a bit of an accident. And, before she figured out exactly what his future was, Tracy held on to Pickles for a bit while she was experiencing her own grief. When she heard of Hank’s passing, Tracy kept the idea of Joey and I adopting Pickles in her back pocket and waited until the timing seemed right for all of us.
When we took a “test drive” weekend with him the day after we met him, there was no denying that the timing was right for us. There was no way we would be giving “Bert Pickles” (his new name;) back.
He is every bit a puppy, and we were reminded of Hank’s puppy days very quickly. He has a puppy’s love, a puppy’s energy and a puppy’s desire to get into just about everything. He’s adorable, needy, hilarious and sweet. And, with no concept of personal space whatsoever, he snuggles like no other.
I believe that, in this case, the universe was looking out for me. During one of the hardest times of my life, this little bundle of happiness and silliness (and farts... lots and lots of farts) was waiting to bring the joy back into my life and I didn’t even know it.
Though I get frustrated by him regularly, and sometimes wonder what the heck we were thinking (particularly when I’m cleaning another pee accident off the floor), there is no way that I could imagine the last six months without him.
Bert has been a healer his whole life. And he works hard every day – without even realizing it. He makes me laugh when all I want to do is cry. He forces me to pause when I sometimes get lost in the cycle of my thoughts. And he brings me so much unconditional love.
Right when I need it. 🖤
As a mental health advocate, this blog is dedicated mostly to my experiences living with depression and anxiety.