In August, I became a doggie-mommy again. I adopted another Golden-retriever mix, who has many Aspen-like similarities. We named her Dixie, as she was found on a Tennessee highway. Actually, I tend to call her Dixie-Doodle a lot…..to represent her Southern heritage and her new Yankee Doodle home.
I announced in July that I would be adopting her. There was no forethought, no discussions. I didn’t ask permission. It felt like the right thing to do and I was doing it.
Not a single person asked me WHY I was adopting a new dog.
I’ll assume it was one of two logically-concluded reasons–(1) she looks so much like Aspy, that OBVIOUSLY Anita had FINALLY found an Aspen-replacement, and/or (2), anita is such an animal lover, that she must have felt the need to give another dog a good home. On some level, both may be true. I joke around that one day I might become a crazy dog lady.
I adopted Dixie because I was tired of feeling alone.
When Aspen came into our lives in 1997, hubby and I had moved to S Cali a few months before. He was over his head in an exciting new job, and I was sitting home alone in a new state, a new community, without a job, just started a new school, with no friends or family around…..and I felt very alone. Granted, hubby had promised that we would get a dog in our new home (a very exciting prospect for me, as I LOVE dogs and was never allowed to have one). But I had never truly appreciated the saying “man’s best friend” until Aspy came into our lives. She became my best friend during a time that I needed one. Aspy helped me get over a bad “break-up” with a very good friend; she kept me company when hubby worked late or traveled; and she comforted me when I’d come home from a long day of classes, when I was tired and tired of feeling like an outsider. Aspen always had a smile for me. And I can’t forget to mention that she was a great snacking partner–she and I both put on a few pounds snacking on potato chips while studying for finals and the bar exam.
Over the past 3 years, I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal shit. Losing Aspen in 2011 was hard. The following year, lots of emotionally challenging things happened–my human BFF died (see previous post), family issues took a huge emotional toll on me (esp. Since I was still reeling from BFF’s death). Did some therapy, lots of soul searching. Couldn’t climb out of my funk. Then my kids started getting older (natural progression of life, I know)….and they started to need me less….or more accurately, they have started to do their own thing. Hubby’s been wrapped up in a new job and basketball.
I began to feel very alone in the world again.
Then one day, in July 2014, a friend posted on FB, a picture of a young, blonde female Golden Retriever mix up for adoption through a rescue organization in Tennessee. She had Aspy’s eyes and small ears.
I looked at her picture and all I could think of was……friend.
So with a little bit of rebellion and spunk, I put in an application to adopt her. I didn’t consult or talk over the decision with anybody. I just did it. To assert MY independence and free will, I guess.
Dixie has been with us since August. I have been able to focus more, and to see the other “side of the coin,” if you will. I am calmer, and slightly more at peace. I love having that smiley happy face look up at me and say “hey there”. Someone who loves me despite my faults, fears, anxieties, and funky moods. No expectations or demands, other than a belly rub and a pat on the head (and a walk would be very nice, too).
So, that’s my new Dixie-doo, my new friend and companion. Very glad we have saved each other.