It had been a long time since either Justin or myself had an 9 week old puppy. In many ways it comes back to you fast. Like oh yeah I remember less sleep, potty training, chewing everything, insane levels of cuteness. Clover reminded me a lot of Sophie as a puppy. Seeing her be fearless and sassy and loving... made my heart soar. It was so pure. Clover just stomped around ready to take on the world and I loved her for it. It made me proud of her. Made me want to see every little girl and woman feel like that. I’m really glad I met Clover when I did. I didn’t know it, but I needed to see her be fearless and happy.
2020 has been... something. For all of us. I have found myself wanting to scream out at the universe “what are you trying to teach me?!” at least once a month. Today feels like the culmination of lessons. Almost like I can begin to see, juuust start to understand what I’m supposed to be learning.
My grandma died. The last of my grandparents. When I found out this morning it was just this big heavy weight. I miss my dad. I want to be with him. I don’t like seeing his sad face through a screen when he’s on the other side of the country. I know grief, I’ve met and sat with her before. But this time she was telling me something different. Telling me that I’m lucky. Telling me that time is short. And steering me towards the good bright lights in my life.
We had the floors in our kitchen and bathroom removed yesterday because we found asbestos. No problem, load up the dogs and take a social distancing trip to the coast. Had the best mini adventure with the dogs and Justin. Feel lucky to have a home to come back to. Got back to discover the pipe under our toilet had a 6 inch crack in it. No problem, order pizza for dinner and schedule the plumber for Wednesday (our wedding anniversary). Get out the camping toilet and pretend we are camping for the next two days.
You see. I’m lucky. I’m privileged. We live in a tiny fixer upper filled with dogs. My parents, my spouse, my sister, my cousins are all healthy. Justin and I can both work from home.
As I sit here typing this, slightly worried if it is an overshare- I look around and see these dogs. I’d be a hot dumpster fire without these dogs. Loving them. Being responsible for their happiness keeps me grounded and constantly slaps me in the face with perspective. And right now in the middle of this I need that. Desperately.
I need this perspective because I feel like I’m dropping the ball with work. Missing details, constantly behind where I want to be. Like I’m not accomplishing any of the goals I set for my business. Like I’m failing Jack’s legacy. It’s hard to let go of what you had planned. But as I start to focus on what is possible. As I start to put my energy into what can be created, instead of what was lost. Things are shifting.
Even in grief, it is hard to wallow or feel bad for yourself when you’re around these dogs. I walked through a big pit of sadness for two weeks in April. But these fosters brought me out. It is so much easier to love them. It is so much easier to let the process of loving them lift you up. Make you a better person.
After saying that I feel a need to make sure, that in no way am I implying that people around animals aren't allowed to feel crappy. People are allowed to and need to wallow and hurt sometimes. I also think it is important to recognize that professionals who care for other people and animals experience compassion fatigue. Especially now, as we all are carrying more stress and uncertainty during this pandemic.
Kindness seems to be the key to all of this. An over used but powerful sentiment. Please be kind. Kind to yourself and kind to the world around you. We have to take care of ourselves so we can be kind. Kindness doesn’t mean letting people walk over your healthy boundaries. Kindness doesn’t mean putting yourself last. Kindness just means using compassion whenever you can. Kindness means using empathy to imagine where someone is coming from. Kindness is remembering you have no idea what someone is brining into a situation. Kindness is slowing down just a tiny bit in order to make considerate decisions.
Clover stomping around the backyard.
So I donno y’all. As I word vomit onto this page. I just keep seeing Clover. I see her stomping around the backyard. Fearless and confident. And I’m going to try and hold onto that. Try and hold onto the fact that - helping makes me happy. That fostering makes me grateful. That my rescue dogs always remind me of the good and light in my life. I’m going to do my very best to be kind and to bring kindness into these dogs lives. So that maybe one Clover at a time, another dog goes out into with world fearless and loving.
As a celebration of Sarge, our second foster and the one who made us fall in love with the fostering process : Order your Illustrated Pet GIF in the month of May and 100% of profits are going to Pacific Northwest Cattle Dog Rescue and The Underground Dog’s Project POOP! The two rescues that got our previous foster Sarge to us from TX 🐶✨My goal is to raise $450 by creating 15 wiggly pet portraits. We can do this!