Confession : At times I have doubted my decision to bring Shiloh into our lives.
Here’s the thing about doubt: it’s allowed. It would be so much simpler if these kind of things were black or white. Night and day. Right or wrong. But 99.99% of the time they are on a continuum i.e. shades of grey. And it’s okay to feel things that are at odds – sorrow and relief/ wonder and fear/ regret and excitement, weight and light.
I’m not sure how (previously) I have skipped the weight of responsibility that owning a dog brings. What was that? – Youth? Confidence? Lack of vision? Whatever it was then, I feel the full weight of it now. And at times I think back a little longingly at the simplicity of just wo cats; no early morning loo runs, keeping gates or doors closed, juggling animal meal times, the duties of clearing the lawn and the rescuing of every item known to man! (We are making progress though on the rescuing – seems Shiloh will sit and allow me to remove the bottle of nail varnish/ pen/ mobile phone/ TV remote etc if I move very slowly, using a stern voice and asking him to ‘wait’. He gets rewarded after this for relinquishing his prize. He is always so proud of his excavations or elevations (i.e. floor to sofa to coffee table!!) and it is SO hard to be strict.
Shiloh knows when he has been told off even when you haven’t told him off and it’s quite hard on the heartstrings watching him quietly walk away and lie in the corner after a disapproving tone has been used.
Of course this sensitivity will hold him in good stead in the Therapy Room and I have no doubt about his rapport building qualities.
So we grow.
Shiloh goes from 3kgs to 11.7 – YES – 11.7 kgs at 5 months (we are beginning to doubt that part of his job description : medium labradoodle). He is allowed out into the big bad world (all vaccinations done) so can do wildly exciting things like go to the dog park/ visit Granny/ have Sunday morning coffee and cheese scone at a dog friendly cafe/ get cuddles at the local hardware store from little girls/ walk the neighborhood like it’s wonderland and go shell collecting at the beach (he already know me so well; he knows I love shells and on our very first beach walk he brought me a very beautiful one which he spat out into my hand with a little drool and sand:)
Shiloh offers the kind of love only a puppy can give ; unconditional, vulnerable cuddle filled love. And he’s a chocolate, fluffy, edible rascal. I love him so.
Sometimes we lie on the warm grass and smell the daisies.
We grow. We. Grow.