good doggie

We lost our wonderful pet, Sadie, a few months ago. It was a tragic event for all of us, of course, and the pain I felt was so raw and real. It literally took my breath away. She faded quickly from a cancerous lump, and even after surgery to remove it, she still couldn’t beat it. Watching her last few days, her struggle to move and breathe, broke my heart.

It’s very true, when you lose a dog, you lose a family member.

As part of the grieving process, I immediately went to look for another dog. I’m not sure why this was, maybe I was looking to replace the hole in my heart as quickly as possible. It’s a little funny how you can learn and get to know different rescues and animals available for adoption with just a few websites: and were my personal favorites.

I did stop looking when I realized I was in no way ready for a new dog.

But then the quarantine occurred. And my husband went on a stretch of trips and trainings that left me home alone for an extended period of time. I missed having the other creature in the house, looking over us. I missed the companionship a dog provides. I missed the quick clean-up of food drops from my messy eater kids. Dogs bring joy into every house and I needed that vacancy filled.

A good part of this social distancing age is everyone wants a dog now. The rescue operations around me are very competitive. After spending hours researching and selecting dogs that look perfect for our family, I kept finding out they were no longer available. Suddenly, getting a rescue is like a job application- I needed personal references and our previous dog’s medical records.

Another, selfish, part of me wondered about Golden Retrievers. Even though I believe in “adopt don’t shop”. My family has always had Golden’s, and I know they are amazing family dogs. So, I also started looking into buying a new puppy.

This proved just as difficult. Finding a reputable breeder is confusing online, and golden puppies are scooped up quickly. It almost became a game. My husband, who had the refrain “I DO NOT SUPPORT THIS”, got into it as well. Sending me links, leads, and letting me know he was just as obsessed as I was.

Then, yesterday morning, as I was sipping coffee and going over my Sunday papers (I get physical papers delivered every weekend) I saw an ad in the local classifieds. For Golden puppies. I called. Yesterday we drove to meet the litter of 6-week-old puppies. I fell in love with this sweet girl…

And the rest is history. We are bringing her home in two weeks.

I’m honestly conflicted about buying a puppy, but we were able to meet the parents of her, see that they are well kept, and it’s not a puppy mill or anything like that. My oldest hurt the most when we lost our dog, and one of the first questions he had for me was how long we could expect her to live. When I’d show him available dogs for adoption he’d do quick mental math on the life expectancy- “Mom, she’d only be alive for another 4 years, that’s too quick”. I like knowing, as long as we take good care of her, we can have as part of our family for another 10 years. I think he likes that too.

Now, instead of looking at doggy profile pics and crossing fingers, I have hours to fill by looking up puppy training philosophies and making sure our home is puppy ready. Apparently a new puppy is just as difficult as a newborn human. I’m anxious about raising a dog the right way. But I know this puppy will bring joy, light, and fun into our home.

In two weeks Captain Princess Summer Rose (there’s a story behind that name lol), or Summer, will integrate into our household and I simply can’t wait.

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