This is our puppy Kala. She's a little 20 pound husky that came home from the Humane Society at 6 weeks old.
She is my companion right now while Craig is away, and (most nights) she makes me feel more secure being at home alone. Other nights, her noises and pacing around wake me up thinking someone's in the house about to kill me. The first night or two after Craig leaves always fall toward the latter, but slowly my mind becomes used to her sounds and the lack of him, and I begin to get some better sleep. I've become prone to some sleepwalking and strange dreams during the periods that he is gone, so sometimes it's me scaring myself.
She is always there to greet me (unless she's sleeping on the couch after her exhausting day) when I come in the door, and if I'm doing stuff around the house, she's always by my side.
She's not always a bag of fun though. If I'm doing stuff around the house, she's always by my side. And she's developed a habit of peeing on my floors because I'm not paying enough attention to her, or I've gone out to work instead of spending the night in with her, or because she forgets she's inside and thinks she's out on the lawn. I really don't know why she does it, but it's stinking annoying.
But I really shouldn't call her a puppy, because in reality she will be 16 years old come January. Craig brought her home when he was 9 years old, and he's now 25, and their bond runs DEEP. She has cataracts in her eyes, and her hearing is significantly decreased (the vet thinks it's almost completely, but we think her hearing is a bit more 'selective'), and she's got small (and a few big) tumours all over her body (non-cancerous, for now). She gets tired on long walks and has been known to limp for a few days if a certain husband runs 20 feet down a hill and back with her because her joints are just as old as she is. We go to the vet fairly regularly to make sure she isn't in any pain, and we know one days we'll get a report we don't want to hear.
Craig and I both know that she won't be around much longer and we'd like to make her last few months (years?) as enjoyable as possible. We took her camping with us at Cyprus Lake National Park in Tobermory last year, and Craig carried her down into the Grotto with us. We're making good memories with her, and that's important to him. He knows that she may die when he is over in Afghanistan, and has decided that he doesn't want to be told if she has passed away, at least until he gets back. I've joked around about putting her in a freezer and posing her outside as the seasons change so he doesn't get suspicious, but it truly is a big concern for us.
She was going for a treat I was holding above my head.
So on this Tuesday evening I'm choosing to unwrap and appreciate the time I get to spend with her each night. Even as I'm scrubbing pee and puke stains out of the carpet. Even when I wake up 4 times in the night because she's creaking around on the floor in the living room.
Rick Warren said it best in an interview:
"I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for."