Day One: Lady
April 2011, I wrote the following in my monthly online newsletter, Taking Flight.
My dog Willa is a “Rescue.” And though she’s lived a life I know nothing of — fear and deprivation, running wild — we are kindred souls. We both need a safe place when storms rage, but relish our freedom to explore.
I see my soul reflected in her brown eyes. Does she see hers reflected in my blue ones?
She backs away from strangers. I affect an open, gregarious persona though, like Willa, I would rather retreat to my safe shell.
When I met her five years ago, the people at Greater Dayton Lab Rescue said she “chose” me. She leaned in my direction, as if asking me to look her way. I did. I was hooked!
I was her savior. I took her away from the source of her physical fears. But I can’t erase the psychological cause of her scars. I can only give her love.
We have reversed roles. Now she is my savior. From her I get unconditional love. I feed her body. She feeds my soul.
Today is May 6, 2012. A month ago, April 6, we put our beloved “mostly” Lab Willa down. An incurable tumor of the liver ate away at her body and sapped her energy, though we treated her for it. Finally that and the Lab curse, hip dysplasia, overcame her. It was time to let her go. The hardest thing I ever had to do.
I managed a month, crying every time I went walking without her. With niggling fear and tentative anticipation, once again I looked at the online list of Lab rescues with Greater Dayton Lab Rescue. There I found one-year-old black Lab Sara. She looked and sounded perfect — given that we’d have to change my name or hers. She got the nod.
We met today. I call her Lady. I have her for a one-week trial. We have spent the evening bonding. She lay at my feet while I sat here at the computer and looked at email, finding it hard to concentrate because she was so sweet and quiet I kept having to look at her. I’m in love again.
On our first walk this evening she began to meet the neighborhood who knew Willa. They welcomed her with love and affection and comments as to how pretty she is.
She is now nestled in her cage. I spoke the word “kennel” and miraculously, she went in and lay down. I almost cried.
Day one with Lady is almost over. I’ll post again as we learn to walk, live and love together. Oh yes, my husband — known to Willa and now Lady as “The Big Guy” — too is in love!