After a stressful week, I can think of nothing better to cheer us all up than dogs.
This month is a special one for my little wolf pack because we’re celebrating a few important anniversaries all within the same week. If by chance you don’t already know, The Borts lovingly refers to both Bertie and Bart.
This week Bertie will be turning 2 years old! She was about 3 months old when I first met her, although I didn’t take her home until a few weeks after that. She has grown into the greatest being I’ve ever known.
She is the perfect blend of kindness, love, playfulness, skepticism, and intelligence.
She was rescued with 3 siblings in South Texas. Soon after, they all got sick with Parvo.
She struggled the most to survive, but her foster family took incredible care to get her healthy. When I met her, only one puppy was still there with her. Josie. She looked a lot like how Bertie looks today - just bigger, with darker fur. They were an adorable pair.
Here are photos from the second time I went to play with them. I knew I would take Bertie home, but she was going to have surgery and then recover with Josie.
Right away she experienced many things for the first time, with a relentless curiosity. Truth told, I hardly remember her being small enough to fit in that bucket for her first bath. She weighed less than Stitch! I doubted the vet who said she'd be 60 lbs.
Bart is just over a year old, but this week marks 6 months since he first came into our lives. I was in Chicago when I found out about him. He was being surrendered by his owner to a local shelter that my mom has worked with for years. She sent me photos of him and I initially thought they were of Bertie. Eventually I realized I was not looking at my dog. My mom explained the situation and I knew immediately I must meet him. My travel plans changed, I made it back to Texas, and here we are!
He is not the dog I had in mind when I imagined getting a buddy for Bertie. But he is the perfect match.
They balance each other out.
Complementary while simultaneously opposing.
Bart unequivocally frustrates me more often than Bertie. But this is a reflection of me, not him. Bertie is older, has had more time with me to learn how I’d appreciate her behaving, and with each passing day becomes closer to sainthood in my eyes. Bart on the other hand, is still young, new to my rules, and is certainly the outlet for my irritation. After just 6 months, we are both changing for the better. Generally speaking, we are both better behaved and more patient. But we've both still got a ways to go.
So how has it been to go from one dog to two? To sum it up: It’s been wonderful.
Two dogs has meant more than twice the amount of love and playfulness. But it hasn’t required twice the amount of work. Sure, there’s double the amount of food and poop, but there’s still the same number of meal times and walks outside. Whether you have one dog or many, there is work that comes with it. But the joy of sharing your life with animals is without a doubt worth it.
They teach us to be present. To not worry about the uncertainty ahead. To just enjoy.
Eating. Sleeping. Playing. Cuddling.
I hope in the coming weeks we can find a way to be more like them.