It was almost midnight, the house and the neighborhood were dark and quiet, and everybody was asleep, beside us. I held him in my arms, he sighed and put his head on my shoulder. When I turned to look at him, he lifted his head, and when we looked into each other’s eyes, I knew a part of my heart belonged now to him.
Earlier that night I had seen his scars. I had noticed them before, but never thoroughly investigated them, after all, we were still in the getting-to-know-each-other-phase. That night I took my time and he let me look at his blemishes and when I touched them gently, he didn’t pull away. A larger scar on his leg, an inch long, looked like he had been tied up at his hind leg, and when he tried to escape the rope or chain must have caused the injuries. The other one on top of his left foot, a bit smaller, funny looking, like a zig-zag mark. When he showed me his tummy, I found more, small cut-like markings, all healed by now -at least on the outside.
It angered me, and once again I wished to have the ability to go back in time and be able to SEE the moment when it had happened. Our new puppy had gotten scars at such a young age. Maybe it’s good that I don’t know what happened or who had done it, my imagination might be friendlier than reality.
When he looked at me that night, like I was the most special person on this planet, when he snuggled up to me, like trusting me was the most normal thing in this world, I knew another love affair had just begun.
I wasn’t ready, my heart still aches for the one we just lost, but time has begun to turn our sorrows into smiles. Oh, the memories we have and cherish.
I don’t think we are in control of our hearts anyway. The universe or life makes these decisions for us. Love always finds us, as long as we keep our hearts open and are forgiving of the past.
I will love him unconditionally, even in moments like yesterday, when he decided to help me fill up the flowerbed with the potting soil that I had planned to use later on for my inside plants. It’s up to me/us to teach him, and we will do so. He will never be tied up, but he will spend time in time-out. Our two playpens -a small one for the inside and the large one for the outside- will guarantee the survival of the area rugs, and will prevent more potting soil incidents from happening.
He will dig holes and trim bushes, he will test us and complain, he will make us laugh hard and he will make us curse like sailors. He will train us at the same time we teach him, and he too will find the invisible booklet, the instructions on how to deal with the humans in our home, a manual that seems to be handed down from dog generation to dog generation.
His new sister, our older dog Patches, already loves him. They play hard and sleep together afterward.
To ‘create’ the perfect dog takes around two years, then overnight they are mature companions, who will spend another 10+ years on our side to be remembered forever.
Yes, I have fallen in love with our new puppy ‘Vader’. That moment, when I pet him gently, when I told him what a beautiful boy he was and when I carried him to his crate and laid him down, that’s the moment I knew that I had been taken -again.