If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen the little munchkin in the photo above.
Her name is Willow and she is an American Black Lab mix that we rescued in July 2019. We love her more than life itself now ( even though she drives us up the wall sometimes) but it hasn’t always been that way.
Let me set the scene.
Picture us ( me and my husband) just back from a six month trip around the world – we were like two kids, no worries, no responsibilities, no mortgage- all the things from our one bedroom apartment just about moved in to our new rented apartment. After six months of full time travel, we were just about adjusting to getting back to full time jobs and not living in a different AirBnb ever three days ( I have never appreciated knowing where the light switch was in the middle of the night on my way to the bathroom more than after our trip!).
A month went by, then two and we had just about settled in. Calgary was just getting out of the deep freeze and into spring and I woke up one morning and had one of those super impulsive moments.
“ We should get a dog”
Aaron rolled his eyes at me, thought for a minute and said, “ Yeah, why not”
This guy has the patience of a SAINT. I kid you not. In moments like these – I know I have to work quickly, just incase common sense takes over or I chicken out. Hahaaa.
We have both always wanted dogs, but growing up in Mumbai, in apartments – that just wasn’t an option. I spoke to a friend that had a dog and she gave it to me straight- all the pros and cons ( all the things I’d need to be willing to give up , all the expenses that might add up etc.) so it wasn’t like we went in blind.
A week later, we had Willow.
The first few days were a mix of nervousness and a huge learning curve. Her foster mum was lovely with giving us all the info and making sure we had all the support we needed. When we adopted her, she moved from a detached home with a yard, and a sibling ( from the same litter) to an apartment and no other dog. So it was a big change for her and lots of new noises . She was also still a puppy- six months.
We were also juggling full time jobs, Aaron a new job, sleepless nights while she adjusted and then we had a series of unfortunate events.
She pulled me really hard on a walk one day and I couldn’t get off the bed because I sprained my lower back ( took me 5 visits to a chiropractor to feel even remotely better)
She got stung by a bee right on her eye( it was terrible, poor thing).
She had severe separation anxiety ( and wouldn’t even be in another room alone without us).
She got a bit sick and our vet bill for just a consultation was about $250.
Our neighbour hated dogs and we got a written warning from our condo about her barking a bit on the patio. They would fine us the next time it happened.
…and she just seemed so so unhappy. Plus that bond you hear about that everyone has instantly with their dog? Yeah, that took a while to come in for us. It felt like she was so unhappy without her foster mum and sibling.
We woke up ( one morning) after yet another sleepless night and in a haze decided maybe it was best if we called the Rescue to see what our options were.
Definitely not our proudest moment- it’s hard to even type this out but it’s what we did.
Anyway, we called them and no one answered so I left a voicemail asking what our options were if we just couldn’t keep her. As soon as I put the phone down, Aaron and me looked at each other and immediately regretted it. We knew we couldn’t give up on her. So ten minutes later I called them and left another voicemail.
“Erm…hey, we’re the people that just left you a voicemail about our dog Willow, yeah- can you just ignore that? We’re super sleep deprived and making poor decisions. ok thanks.bye.”
So that’s the story of how we almost gave up our dog.
Things took a while to change and we slowly settled in with her. I always thought we would have an instant bond, but it actually took a little bit of time to come through- and I’m glad it did because we love her SO SO much now. Sometimes it feels like I can have an entire conversation with her without even saying a word.
Anyway, to keep up with more of our antics with this little munchkin’ follow along on IG.
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