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Everywhere I look, memories of the first days and weeks with my sweet-as-pie, oh-so-sensitive lovebug Gavin. I can now laugh at the ridiculousness of the two of us getting to know each other, the watching and listening dance that transpires when we bring someone new into our lives and hearts. 

When I brought Gavin home, I thought, “ok, now what do we do?”  So, I cut up some treats and got out some of Finn’s old toys, thinking I’d see if he wanted to play and reward him for any relaxed behavior around potentially high-value items. Gavin got so excited and jumped so hard toward the toy that his giant head hit my nose, and blood squirted everywhere.

As I cleaned myself up, I realized that I didn’t know him nor what he was capable of any more than he knew if he could trust me, that he was safe. Building a relationship with any sentient being takes time and lots of loving thoughtfulness about their needs.

Every dog I meet volunteering reminds me that my heart’s not yet ready, and I must listen to what feels right. Too often, we ignore our body’s signals, which depletes us, leaving us less than capable of handling life’s little curveballs.

I woke up Tuesday wiped. Even after several cups of coffee, I was trudging through my at-home morning routine. Before our equipment started going haywire, needing repairing and leaving us apprehensive every time we turned it on, I had to fix some of the tiles at the shop. Like any repair, it brought up other minor improvements that I needed to tend to.

And Miranda was deciding whether to leave us officially. The thought of me being in the kitchen all day again while all my other responsibilities piled up was tiring, and I dreaded hearing the news.

Her last day was yesterday, and I honor that she listened and heeded her needs. So, while I look to find someone to help us in the kitchen and continue healing my heart to love again, I continue laughing about all the fumbles and misses Gavin and I made together. Our first walk was so comical as he jumped 30 feet in the air repeatedly because he was so excited to say hi to the AEP guy who told me he knew a great trainer if I needed one. I chuckled as I told him I was a trainer. It was our first walk. Then, Gavin and I got in the car to get him fitted for a harness.

May your day and weekend be filled with listening to you and your loved ones, furry and non.

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