Patch came into our lives on the 1st of April 2013. At almost 18 months, Patch is a beautiful puppy we found at one of our local dog homes. With little known about her past, except that she was an Irish stray who had had the very basic of training we endeavoured on our journey together... her forever home and our new life.
Some of you may remember me talking about our problems conceiving children and our subsequent miscarriage after gruelling treatments and the state that it left us in emotionally and for me physically. We had always planned a 'Plan B'… a place we wanted to get to if things didn’t work out, but had not got it into action. I guess the process of fertility treatments and grief can keep you bound up in a tight ball of emotion and incessant waiting… hoping. Plan B for us was adopting a dog and then enquiring about adopting children (something still on the cards)… we didn’t want to walk that path until we were sure there were no other options. As lovely as hope is, sometimes it can turn into obsession that keeps you tethered to the spot and this was the problem with waiting for that ‘no other option’ moment.
As I say Patch has been with us for almost 2 months now and I honestly have to say it was the best decision we made. Plan B doesn’t feel final at all… we still have other options open to us, but at least we aren’t stood still waiting anymore. That in its self is like a weight lifted, I can tell you. Patch arriving into our lives has been much more than an opportunity to move on; she is loving, caring and eager to learn. We couldn’t have asked for more.
Take this bank holiday weekend for example; Saturday we went food shopping… she waited in the car nicely with Darrin and went for their usual long walk. We went to meet family and spend the afternoon… she behaved wonderfully and got on with my sister’s dog famously (I think there is a love affair brewing there!) She even behaved with the cats! She’s not great at car travel, but did very well to keep things together, despite coming home in the dark with us…. Something she has not done before… well not with us anyway.
Sunday we went to Exmoor, where I visited a new farm. While I picked up a couple of test fleeces for dyeing, she behaved beautifully for Darrin and greeted me with just enough tail wags for me to feel missed (bless). We then took her up onto Exmoor itself and she had a great time. On the way back although she got a little travel sick, she was still good enough to wait patiently under our dining table at a local pub. We were thrilled that our first meal together as a family of three went so perfectly… I feel confident that she will be great at my shows after some more training.
Yesterday was a more subdued affair. The weather was not with us… but we still walked and walked. She even behaved beautifully off of the lead (something I have been training her for).
Now I know not to count my chickens. There will be moments when she does misbehave, naturally… but all of the signs are there that she will be a great little dog when we have improved our skills… I’m not forgetting that I need to train myself to be a great dog owner too!
So you see Patch has really started to settled in and what’s more so have we. For the first time I did a show without a panic attack, which is unheard of. For the first time I went most of the month without obsessing about trying to get pregnant and watching all of those body twitches. I even felt better in myself (and did I mention I’ve lost weight too?!). I think Darrin also feels a lot better.
So whilst I cringe at the sight of Patch’s fur after rolling in poop on our afternoon walk today, I know that I already love her unconditionally and that she has brought so much happiness to our lives. I can’t tell you how good that feels.
I hope that if you ever find yourself in a similar position to us, that you find your Plan B and go with it. It doesn’t mean Plan A ever has to be scrapped completely, life has a funny way of throwing the unexpected at you… but it does mean you can start living again... obsessional hope can be so destructive (that’s not to be confused with good old, standard hope… we all need that). We get so little and precious time on this planet that we should do everything we can to not miss a minute.
With lots of love and wishes of happiness,