What a first quarter.
I lost Brody in January. I am still mourning him, deeply. He unequivocally answered the question of whether or not you can have more than one heart dog in your life. The answer is yes.
My husband (and my son) asked me, shortly after Brody died, if we would be getting another dog. It seemed a silly question to ask me of all people, sitting there with my puffy eyes holding my chest like pressing it would somehow staunch the bleeding. Of course we would.
Two weeks later, a labradoodle entered our lives, all teeth and fuzz and adrenaline. I was opposed to the idea since I’ve been around enough of them to know that they’re a unique form of crazy all their own. I was doing my usual thing eyeing rescue websites and talking to friends with Goldens, but his heart was set and we came to the agreement that he could bring home a doodle if I could, when the time was right, get another Golden. It’s probably better to wait for that a little more anyway, as my heart is still healing.
To date, he has been out of my line of sight exactly four minutes, and in that four minutes he’s managed to find every hidden sock, shoe, and pair of underwear that I didn’t know were remotely accessible. He brings the cat toys, which she regards with disdain. As she regards the offering he sneaks behind her back to eat her treats. He is devious. He already learned the food puzzle that neither Brody nor Kekoa could ever manage in their full bloom adulthood. Yes, he is in training so we can direct his obvious intellect for good rather than evil.
I was right about doodles. They’re exhausting, like all puppies are exhausting, but it’s like a level 11 as opposed to a 9.5. For the first two weeks I reminded myself that transition periods are hard and my deep and abiding remorse would subside. I pull yet another wad of paper from his mouth –transition periods are hard; dislodge my foot from his jaws- transition periods are hard; listen to him howl as we work through separation anxiety- transition periods are hard.
Here he is on the way home from the veterinary dentist. Every toy he has is veterinary dentist approved for puppy teeth; no antlers or hooves or anything of the sort. In protest, he chewed on the coffee table (I guess? there is literally nothing else in the house he is near that is hard) and broke a tooth. A deciduous canine with a long, long root rooted so firmly in the jaw that the choices were let him live with it for a couple more months (ouch) or go to the specialist. As specialists do, Dr. Brigden got that thing out in record time, root intact, and Dakota still wagging his tail on his way out. To review: not old enough to neuter, not even old enough for rabies, already at specialist. But because I am smart and I know doodles, I had already purchased pet insurance. Maneuver, counter maneuver.
He is hard to photograph. His head and his butt look the same: floof.
Dakota is adorable. He is sweet. The family loves him. I do too.