Meet Nikita, the newest addition to the family. She’s a rescue dog, part Vischla, part Pitt, and part mystery. She was adopted by my daughter and her husband at 8 weeks, about the time of this photo. Nikita is now 8 months old and considerably larger than this picture, but she’s still true to her cute puppy nature.
Every Friday, I drive into the city (San Francisco) and collect Nikita, a bag of her goodies (food, toys, leashes, etc.) and we trundle off to the other side of the bay to spend a day playing together. I don’t know who looks forward to our outings more, she or I.
I spent 15 years raising dogs and being owned by my pets, but that chapter concluded over 10 years ago. When the last pet died, I swore I’d completed my duty to ever own another one. So now I just “rent” my grandpuppy. Isn’t that what grandparents get to do? Not having any human grandchildren (yet), I’m getting in practice for that possibility down the road, should I be so lucky.
Meanwhile, my weekly outings with Nikita have brought me back full circle to the olden days, when my 4 dogs were central players in my life. I’m reminded of how our pets just love us unconditionally, no matter what. I’m reminded of how their curiosity never seems to wane, that just around the corner is something new to sniff, and a whole new adventure awaits.
Pets can bring us joy and they can break our hearts. Just like people. We endow them with human traits and they come to know how to get what they want from us. It’s a mutual admiration/inspiration/and sometime, frustration society.
Having to put 3 of my 4 dogs to sleep at the end of their lives was such a bitter sweet experience, I didn’t think I could ever open my heart to love another animal that way again. And then along came Nikita and all bets were off. Animals can soften a crusty, old heart in ways few humans can. Or so it seems.
And so Nikita is teaching this old dog a few new tricks. I’m even learning to let go of the leash and trust that love could come around again and she is living proof. Who knows? Maybe she’s helping me to open up a new chapter I thought I’d closed forever. Now THAT would be transformative!
We never know in what form our teachers or our lessons come. Our job is to stay open and willing and not be attached to how it looks. And so it goes.….….