Saturday, October 17, 2009

one door closes...another opens

I have been in an emotional crisis since my last post which was long ago. My old dog died and I have a new puppy. But it's taken a lot of hard work and tears to get to this point, where I can sit down and write without drowning the keyboard with tears.

A couple of weeks after that post, and a month after my 50th birthday, on August 5, my dear dog, Frankie, died. It wasn't a shock, he was 17 1/2 years old. It was sudden however, he was simply eating his breakfast and went to stand up, then collapsed and died instantly. I was in the same room making a coffee, it must have been a heart attack or aneurysm. Thank heavens it was painless and instant for him. I am devastated, always will be. He was a huge part of my life. I joined an online support group (lightningstrike pet loss), which is fantastic.

I'm not at all religious or spiritual, but I know my dear Frankie is with me in spirit now and forever. He's guiding and protecting me all the time, I just know it, and I know it especially since he left his dear old body here on earth. There you go, call me spooky.

Anyway, I knew straight away that I would love to have another dog in my life. Not as a replacement, but as an addition. I thought I would need a long break after being Frankie's carer 24/7, which meant round the clock vet nursing, medications, carrying him up and down the endless stairs in our house (45 stairs, count 'em, I've never needed to go to a gym LOL).

But no, I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm sure that I would bond instantly with a funnel-web spider if it needed looking after.

No one could ever replace Frankie. Nor would I want them too. And I know that Frankie wants me to share the love of animals, especially dogs, that I am blessed with.

So we got another West Highland White Terrier! I love the breed, and Hamish is quite different in personality - very self-assured and fearless, and very obedient (whereas dear Frankie was nervy and never obedient! LOL). Hamish is chilled, very laid-back, which suits me fine at this stage of my life. I think pets come into your life at just the right moment for whatever it is we need to learn from them.

Frankie taught me everything I know about love. I was just married (he was born while we were on honeymoon), and Frankie was 2 when my daughter was born. He protected me through thick and thin, through a nervous breakdown and hospitalisation, through therapy and recovery, and managing my everyday life living with severe depression. For some reason I tend to attract people who take advantage of my kindness, and Frankie helped me to be more selective about who I spend my time with.

During my time with Frankie, I learned how to: run a house, be a partner, be a mum, say NO (well I'm still practising that one), handle kids, and above all how to love my daughter and husband. Add to that learning to handle horses, dogs, possums, cats, reptiles, birds (yes, even birds, and I used to have a major phobia of birds), and the wonderful confidence I've gained from spending time with animals of all species, even spiders and snakes.

Who knows what I will learn from little Hamish. Already he's teaching me to be more laid-back and confident. And he's only nine weeks old LOL.

So, here we go again, another chapter in life's big adventure. I am carving a headstone for Frankie's grave, have to find some nice stone for that. And Hamish is keeping me busy, he is an absolute sweetheart.

He "chose" us, if that makes any sense. As soon as he met us, he just decided that he was part of the family and that was that!