There are sometimes moments in life when you must accept an unpleasant reality yet remain open to new possibilities coming into your world.
2022 was a difficult year for me and that is why I have not been blogging for months. My beautiful dog was diagnosed with lung cancer in April which was inoperable. I did not want him to suffer any painful treatments just to satisfy my need to hold on to him at all costs. Our Vet gave him medication so that he had a good quality of life during the time he had left. We said our goodbyes in late November outside in the Vet’s garden. A hard decision but the kindest. I miss him so much.
I find all my dogs have brought me so much joy and have always been important to my creative flow and well being. In return I have tried to give them a happy life, full of love and fun experiences. I did not plan to get another dog quickly, but I knew I needed another one in my life. My sister’s sweet girl, was missing and mourning her friend. It was awful to see her moping around and not wanting to romp about without her playmate.
I expected to find another Fox Terrier puppy around the middle of 2023 but the universe had other plans. While making enquiries with various breeders to see when they were planning their next litters, I discovered there was an 8 month old male puppy available. I took one look at his photo and was smitten. Although it was a few weeks since I lost my beloved dog I knew that I wanted to give this little one a new home.
Just before the holiday season we picked the puppy up during a violent thunderstorm on the other side of Melbourne. He definitely blew in and our life was instantly changed. We put him in a crate and he barked non stop all the way home. Good to know he has strong lungs. He was a bit scared and shaky when I removed him for the crate and needed a cuddle and reassurance but settled quickly and was soon running around our back garden.
Ellie’s girl was not impressed and was very stand offish, especially after losing her best friend. It took over two weeks for her to accept him into the family. Now they are playing and enjoying walks together which is beautiful to see. They love to sit side by side and watch TV.
We have had to make some adjustments to our lives now that we have a puppy running around. One quickly forgets the kinds of mischief they get up to after years of having sensible older dogs. Just as well we fenced off the vegetable garden as he’s tasting every plant in sight. We had to raise the height of a part of the fence because he tried to jump a lower section into one of the vegetable pots and his leg got stuck. The sound of a puppy screaming is not something you ever want to hear. Luckily he was unhurt but it gave us a fright and we fixed the fence immediately.
The ornamental potted plants have not fared well. He loves to dance around flinging and extracting the precious young plants from the plastic pots and strewing them across the lawn or dumping a root ball on the couch. We have tried to put the smaller pots out of his reach but you never know what he will do next. Despite this we are laughing all the time, especially when he became obsessed with his reflection and discovered washing machine viewing.
The puppy needs a lot of games and walks to prevent any destruction caused by boredom. For the first weeks we were exhausted trying to adjust to all his quirks and apply all the necessary training lessons. He is nearly house trained and accidents are getting fewer and far between.
Having a puppy definitely gets you outdoors more, for both walks in the park hanging out in the garden. Before he arrived we installed a new pop-up gazebo so we could have shade and shelter on our terrace for the summer months. A great place for a small dog paddling pool. It has been wonderful for sitting outside with friends and family and was a great way to introduce people to a new pup without the risk of accidents and food going everywhere. It also makes a great external art studio when it is sunny. Luckily it is in a sheltered position near the house and is waterproof, as we have had a couple of storms with gale force winds. We will take it down in March at the beginning of Autumn .
It is both exciting and challenging to bring a new dog into your home and it is important to let them be a unique individual, while helping them to fit in with your way of life. For the moment we have blocked off the stairs to our art studio as we can’t trust him in that space. He’s going through the chewing phase and there are too many power cords and art materials to tempt him up there. When he is more trustworthy he will be able to roam free and be with me in the studio, just like his predecessor.
I will never forget my lovely dog, who came to me at only 8 weeks and was with me for over 10 years. We shared many happy times and he was an important member of the family. It was heartbreaking to lose him in such a cruel way. But no-one should feel sad forever and my new boy is full of joy and energy, where everything is a new experience. This is contagious and makes me feel creative again.
It is good to remember the past while continuing to move forward into a future full of creativity and exciting possibilities.
In remembrance of my dear dog friend, here’s a live version of Led Zeppelin’s Friends performed in Japan. It is a reminder that we should support our friends through the good times and bad.