Hello friend. I hope this letter finds you well and taking care of yourself. Today I want to share one of my life's very special joys with you. Her name is Bonnie.
I adopted her in November. She was rescued in the Austin area. Her history, and so her age, is unknown. Her vet team guessed she is around 10 years old. I found her by searching specifically for a senior dog.
Many of you know that I used to have a sweet cat companion named Austin. She was also adopted as a senior, from the same shelter, Austin Pets Alive. Senior pets are such special animals and to me it’s one of the greatest privileges to give them the love and safety they deserve in the final years of their life.
When Austin passed, very abruptly, I was heartbroken. She and I had shared my studio apartment for only a year and a half. But she filled that space. I couldn’t imagine living there alone. I wouldn’t imagine living there with another animal. Thankfully I had support from my therapist. In just a little time, she helped me realize that I could see myself with another animal. And that the pain of loss is nothing in comparison to the love and joy of sharing my life with a precious being. I decided to adopt a baby Bertie.
Bertie is a very playful and social dog and I knew from early on that she would be happy to have a buddy. So, just over a year after taking Bertie home, I brought Bart home to join. It had been just over a year since then, when I began to feel a longing for a senior dog. It was deep. It was a real knowing that this year in particular had given me so many opportunities for growth and change. I felt a trust in myself that I was ready for this. That Bart and Bertie were ready, too. I began to look at several shelters and rescues in the area.
I knew that I would need to find someone who would fit into our pack. I made some inquiries, but none of them came to anything. When I found Bonnie, I was told I didn’t qualify to take her home since I was too far from Austin. I left it alone for a week, but then I felt compelled to understand why. After some clarification that she would need medical treatment, APA decided I could apply to adopt her. When I spoke with the foster mom, that deep longing and knowing turned into overflowing joy.
When I met Bonnie, I was amazed at her friendliness and vibrance. She seemed happy to meet me, happy to go for a walk, happy to lay in the grass and chew toys. But some doubt popped up. Now in person, I saw the mass that would be removed after I adopted her, as well as other signs of aging and neglect. I wondered if I could take care of her, at the level she needed. The doubt was short lived. One of the lessons this year taught me is not to identify with every feeling. I could see the fear, where it came from, and trust that not only could I do this, but that I would do it joyfully. Just a few days later, I brought her home.
I expected there to be some difficulties and adjustments. But the entire process, from her first jumping into my car to her introduction to the other pups, felt easy. She was like a missing puzzle piece that effortlessly fit in and made the image complete and even more beautiful. We've had two months together and it feels completely natural and wonderful to see her giant adorable face every day.
Bonnie is sweet and gentle, enjoying naps and cuddles all day. Bart and Bertie love her. However old she may be, she’s been able to keep up with them and their antics. I’ve brought her on two camping trips already, seriously exceeding my expectations.
As I write this, all three pups are sleeping. Bonnie’s snoring is soothing my soul and filling my heart with love. Today I’m so grateful to share this love with you. If ever I thought that love was of a finite supply, I know now that my heart is like a well that fills as fast as I can pull water from it.