Monday, June 27, 2011

Falling in love

" Falling in love with someone isn't always going to be easy... Anger... tears... laughter.. It's when you want to be together despite it all. That's when you truly love another. I'm sure of it."  ~ Helen Rowland

I'm in the midst of falling in love. The moment I saw the photo of my beloved, having never met, I knew it was meant to be. My heart beat a little faster. My eyes misted up with tears. My soul cried out "This is the one!". It was an extraordinary experience. I knew that we were meant to be together, regardless of how difficult the path might be. I was willing to take on any difficulties so that the object of my affection and I could share as many years as possible together. It's a wonderful feeling. I feel more alive. The air smells sweeter. Food tastes more delicious. My senses are more heightened.  And, I'm utterly and completely exhausted.

Why? If I'm in love, for what reason could I possibly be this tired? Because my new love is young Shiloh Shepherd dog. I first saw her picture on the Shepherd Rescue organization's rescue page. I am on every possible animal rescue list. I am generous to a fault when it comes to the welfare of animals who are in desperate need of help. My mother has rescued countless dogs over the years. We even rescued some horses in dire straights. If I could adopt every one who needed a home, I'm afraid we'd be out of a place to live. So, I've learned to be sympathetic, to work hard to help animals who are at great risk, but understanding that I can't save them all. Yet, when I saw Dakota's face, I knew she was 'the one'. It was a spiritual experience. Dakota's eyes literally told me that we were meant to be a family. After applying for adoption, and being selected, we had to figure out how best to get this Virginia native up to Maine. This ended up involving a bleary eyed trip to New Jersey and back.

Getting new a dog, even a young one as Dakota, who has already had one home isn't like bringing home a  puppy, who has just left her Mama. A dog who has had a home before knows her routine, she knows her 'pack' and she knows her life where she has lived all of her life. Uprooting her, even for the best of intentions, is a tough business.  There is a commitment and determination to love someone who isn't quite sure of her new life yet. There is a balance of affection, exercise, routine and gentle discipline so that she knows her new life. It's not a path to be undertaken by someone who just thinks having a new dog would be fun. There is a lot of work to be done.

And yet, it's unbelievably wonderful. I have fallen completely in love with this beautiful girl. I know that she is still getting to know me. I understand that she's spent the first year of her life with someone else. I am teaching her not to bark at new people in the house. I'm helping her to get to know our daily schedule. I'm giving her as much snuggling as I can, while still instructing her that my word is the law. I'm playing with her. I'm brushing her. I'm feeding her, letting her get on my bed, walking her, laughing at her goofy antics and generally getting to know her. Most of all, I'm letting her fall in love with me. That's as much a part of falling in love...since true love is never one sided.

I'm still awfully tired. But, it's a good tired.