We have always wanted a dog. But we wanted to do it right. Me and Nick both worked full time and it wouldn’t have been fair to introduce a dog into our family when we weren’t around to care for it properly.
In February 2016, I fell pregnant with Evalyn and that’s when we formulated our plan. We would get a dog when I was on maternity leave (I know, I know – a newborn and a puppy is the definition of hectic, but I was feeling optimistically up to the challenge). Where our plan went from there, we would just figure it out along the way . . .
When we lost Evalyn in November, our plan drastically went out of the window. I struggled to take care of myself let alone an animal and to be completely honest, I never gave the ‘pug idea’ another thought. It was Nick who brought it up again at the beginning of the year.
“Do you still want to get a dog?” he asked me one evening.
“I hadn’t given it much thought,” I told him truthfully. “Do you? I mean, we’re not really in the right ‘frame of mind’ at the moment, are we?”
“Maybe you’re right,” he said, “But I do still want one. Ieuan still wants one and I think it would be good for him to have something to care for. And, I think it would be good for you too. You don’t leave the house often and a dog would change that. It would give you something to focus on.”
I couldn’t really argue with him. I didn’t have any plans to return to work anytime soon and I couldn’t go on moping around the house every day (as much as I probably would’ve liked to).
I agreed to go and look at a puppy we found online the following week. But when we got there, it just didn’t feel right. The puppy was incredibly cute and playful, but I felt nothing but empty inside. In that moment, a small part of me told myself, I don’t want a dog. I want Evalyn. A puppy won’t replace my child. A puppy won’t make me happy.
And so, we left empty handed.
For some reason, I spent the next month thinking about that puppy and questioning my decision. Ieuan spent the next month repeatedly telling me that he really wanted a dog and Nick spent the month telling me that yes, one day it might happen, but there was no rush.
I’m not sure exactly when it was I changed my mind. I think I just realised that a puppy wasn’t a substitute for our daughter. A puppy was a family addition we had spoken about long before she was inside of my tummy. Even long before we decided to try for her. Like Evalyn, this was something we had always hoped to have in our lives.
Round two. Nick took to the internet and found another respectable breeder who had four little puppies for sale.
“I’m not making any promises,” I told Nick on the drive over to see them, “If we get there and I don’t get excited again, then we won’t get one. It just wouldn’t be right.”
But I knew which puppy I wanted to bring home within five minutes of arriving. I sat down on the floor next to the basket filled with four sleepy pugs, and one looked up at me. He fought through his tiredness and padded over to us, climbing onto our laps and looking up at us with his big, brown eyes. Ieuan was at school, but I could already picture his excited little face when we surprised him. And I felt like Evalyn was there with us saying, That’s the one!
Two weeks later we finally got to surprise Ieuan and Yogi the pug became a much longed for member of our family. Ok, so he drives me up the wall! He’s constantly on the move, he’s never happy unless he’s getting all the attention and I can’t walk across the living room without him trying to attach himself to my foot . . . . But I’m glad we got him.
He came into our lives when we were feeling sad, and he’s brought a little bit of happiness back into our days. Ieuan’s in love with him. Last week I overheard him say, Drop the ball, Yogi. Listen to your big brother! And my heart melted instantly. Nick’s hoping that, in time, he can go with him into his office and be a well behaved ‘office dog’ one or two days a week (when he learns not to bite through computer cables, that is)!
As for me? Well, Yogi’s become a bit of a dependable companion during my days. He’s brought some routine back into my life and on my ‘dark’ days, he is a reason for me to get out of the house, even when I don’t want to. He’s definitely put a little bit of purpose back into my life and I like to think that in his lifetime, Yogi may hopefully see our family grow again. He will see Ieuan grow up, change school, have girlfriends, start college. He will watch our family story unfold throughout the years and he will be there in the background of all of our memories still yet to be made.
Yogi . . . .
Welcome to our crazy family.