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Not Getting What We Want

Not Getting What We Want

Not Getting What We Want

When I rescued Gavin, I had two requirements. I wanted my new dog to be two years of age or older, partially because I knew older dogs are more challenging to adopt than puppies. And, at the time, I lived in a vintage rehab building with six flights of stairs, so I hoped bladder size would help make potty training reasonably easy for both of us, barring any medical issues. 

My second want was a dog who loved walking because my walks with Finn were my exercise, bonding time with him, and time to clear the cobwebs in my head. That requisite also felt like a win-win to me, as I know plenty of people who don’t want a dog who needs extensive exercise.

I knew within hours of Gavin coming home after he accidentally bloodied my nose when I attempted to play with him that he was a baby (my veterinarian confirmed once she met him). And, I learned that our first walk together, when the volunteer brought him to meet me, was a fluke. He was only excited to traipse through the neighborhood because I was a person, and I was new. Gavin’s never liked walking just for the sake of walking. 

However, now that I’ve shared my life with the unique creature that has been my Gavin for eight-plus years, I’m thankful he wasn’t what I wanted. Despite all of his medical conditions and history, I hope (and implore the universe) to keep him with me, happy and healthy, for many years to come.

And, well, I’m starting to learn when he takes what seems like forever to pick his ball back up again to continue our walk that there’s no such thing as too kind, too patient, or too compassionate. Plus, the routine we’ve figured out together has become the highlight of my day.

There’s not much that brings me more peace than sitting on the ground during his needed decompression time. I’m either laughing at him while he rolls around on his back and grumbles or shaking my head as he wiggles then slither slides on the ground, showing any passerby he’d love the chance to say hello. Sometimes he leans into me, and I rub his chest before he looks up at me with his glitter gaze. Or, if it’s noisy and I want to keep him relaxed, we play pattern or nose games, which differs from a shared walk but is still a lovely way to stay connected with my dog. 

I wouldn’t have any of these joys if I got the dog I set out to adopt. And, as I’m also learning how to permit myself to relax, just for the sake of relaxing, Gavin’s there anytime I’m down for a snuggle and rest. May we all find joy today in what we have, exactly as it is.

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