Recently, two wonderful canine companions have entered my life and filled my heart with joy and tenderness. I had not had a dog since my family’s collie passed on when I was nineteen. After that, other priorities took over and I never found the room or the desire to have dogs in my life. But now, I don’t know how I ever lived without them.
It’s not the first time that my life circumstances have flip-flopped one hundred and eighty degrees. In fact, as I pondered this, I realized that this has been a common theme. And sometimes a very amusing one as well, since we like to think that our current circumstances are lasting. Nowadays, I’ve learned to think in never- say-never terms.
When I called my son and told him that I’d suddenly acquired a new puppy, he was quite surprised. Aside from having the sense that I might want a pet, I had not made any serious inquiries into buying a dog nor shared these thoughts with my grown children. But then, one day, during a trip to the mall, my boyfriend and I happened to go into a pet shop. There, lo and behold, was a puppy.
Well, there were quite a few puppies, actually, but to me, there was only one. Our eyes met instantly. Mesmerized, I pointed to her and said dreamily, “Can I see that puppy?” Once in my arms, I knew that I could not leave her there. So, my son – my oldest — who also came into my life as a surprise gift, was appropriately taken aback when I shared the big news with him, and he said, in his characteristically serious manner, “Mom, did you consider all the ramifications of having a dog?”
I thought about this briefly, then, amused, explained to him that I had probably thought more about owning a dog than I had to having children, and that having children had been the most splendiferous, joyful and fortuitous thing that had ever happened in all my life. He became quiet and softened.
The reality is this: sometimes we can think through a course before taking it, other times, it comes to us in a burst of serendipity. There is no why, no should; there is only that which is. Sometimes, we instantly know the course to take, whether it is one that we have contemplated consciously or one that is offered to us in a moment’s notice. It does not give more validity to one or the other.
I am reminded of a conversation that I had with the talented acupuncturist, Dave Ostrowski. I kept asking him “why” questions about Chinese medicine, and finally, he looked at me quite pointedly and said, “There is no âwhy’ in Chinese medicine.”
This took me a while to accept, which, apparently, is the whole concept. For someone who has always been interested in the why’s of life and relationships, it’s not easy for me to refrain from asking this question, but when I thought about it, there is often no why to find. Furthermore, “why” doesn’t seem to make any difference. Again, I believe that it’s a matter of what is.
So, life with Ginger began. And, then, shortly after, I fell in love again. This time with a rescued puppy from over the internet who captured my heart through a short video clip.
Nowadays, I walk through the aisles of the pet supply store proudly. I ooh and ahh over adorable doggie sweaters and scan the labels of pet food before buying it. My life has had to change to accommodate these two little lives, but my life is so much richer because of them. Now, it’s difficult for me to imagine that I did not have this kind of unconditional love for so many years. It’s also opened doors into parts of me that I had closed. For this, I’m thankful. I’m remembering more and growing because of it. I think that when we are open to new experiences and change, we steer a course towards wondrous new adventures in growing, reinventing, healing, learning, becoming, being.
All life seems to hinge upon the concept: adapt or die. There is a phrase: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. To that, I answer, what doesn’t make us stronger kills us. We become stronger when we open ourselves to possibilities. “I can learn. I can adapt. I can change. I can grow. I can heal.” Opening to change is allowing ourselves access to rejuvenation. Renew. Rebuild. Rebound.