“Have you ever just stopped to look at her, and your heart overfills with joy?” I asked my husband the other night.
Her bright, innocent eyes; her playful, yet endearing attitude; her overpowering love and cuddles – it all makes me stop dead in my tracks and adore her.
One may think that I’m talking about a child, and in a way I am. She’s my furry child – the one and only, Dalí.
There have been a million different times in a million different ways that my life has changed in a moment. Dalí has by far been the most positive one in recent years.
On a cold December night, my husband and I walked into the vet’s office where Dalí was being boarded by her foster parents. She came running up to us, her big floppy ears in tow and gave us a big, warm (smelly) kiss. When the volunteer from the adoption agency left the room for us to bond with Dalí and talk about adopting her, I leaned over to my husband and said “I love her.” We signed the papers and were on our way to being new parents. Seeing as neither of us ever owned a dog, we didn’t know what to expect.
Never owned a dog, you say? Ruh roh!
You can say that again. We were estranged to the notion of how to take care of this adorable creature. How often do you take her out to potty? How often do you feed her? Does she sleep with us or stay in the crate? Where is the user manual? Ahhhhhhhhhhh!
It’s OK, Mom! I’ll just sleep while you figure it out!
It’s a good thing we didn’t care about our carpets because there were plenty of accidents to begin with. Oh wait, we did care about our brand-new carpets because we had just bought this house a few months prior? Well, that’s the beauty of love. You stop caring about the materialistic garbage in the world, and you focus on what moves the meter of your heart from empty to full.
Even our 9-year-old cat Scotch instantly fell in love with Dalí. Most people we know forget that we have a cat because she goes into super-stealth mode and never comes out of hiding. I’ll never forget how shocked I was to see Scotch greet Dalí with such curiosity, being like such a normal cat. They have become best pals and sometimes I find them lounging together.
It’s been almost a year that we’ve had Dalí, and since then I’ve grown tremendously – something I never thought would be possible with the help of a pet. As I mentioned earlier, it didn’t start out as all rainbows and sunshine. We were off to a rocky start, so we sent the trainer Mailey at the Atlanta Humane Society a cry-for-help email, pleading her for advice on what to do about the accidents and the pulling on the leash. The pee stains kept appearing and my arm was almost out of socket from the leash-tugging. We were desperate. Mailey was a godsend, and I’m not embellishing here, folks. She not only helped us communicate with Dalí, but she also brought us together as a family. She taught me some life lessons too. With tears in her eyes on the last day of obedience class, she told us to be more like our dogs. Be in the present moment. Love unconditionally. Show kindness toward others. Mailey’s words of wisdom ring in my ears while I try to mirror Dalí’s zen-like behavior.
Within the last year, we’ve had a lot of tribulations in our life, but Dalí has always brought out the best in us. Finding love in an instant moment is a purely magical thing. And, c’mon, who can’t smile when they see ears like these?