Growing up, my family only ever owned cats. My sisters and I would beg and plead with our parents, but with both of them working full time jobs and our itineraries full of your typical childhood extracurriculars it just wasn’t feasible.
As the years passed, my sisters’ desires for woman’s best friend never ebbed, but one event managed to change all of that for me.
It was the middle of summer-a hot, sunny day-a Sunday. I know that because we always spend Sundays at my Grandma’s home and that’s where it all happened. That fateful day at my favorite childhood haunt was where I was nearly bitten by the meanest, biggest dog my then ten year old brain could conjure up.
After that, I was rightly terrified of any dog that was taller than a Yorkie. I would cower when any of the furry creatures would come near. I was certain they would bite me.
I branded myself a cat lady for life.
That all changed when my older sister brought home our golden, Cooper. At the time he was just a puppy. He could still fit in my lap then. But from the moment I met him he stole my heart. I remember crying over the tiny yellow fluff ball he once was. I couldn’t get enough. My fear of dogs flew right out the window with Cooper.
The next thing I know, my younger sister brought home our Pit bull mix, Ivy. Ivy was initially a bigger challenge for me, because I, like so many other people, had a very deep seeded fear and prejudice of Pit Bulls. It came as a very big surprise to me when I found myself bonding even more strongly with Ivy than I had with Cooper. Before I knew what was happening, I had moved back home from college and made the decision to adopt my own dog and I, much like my sister, had fallen hard and fast for bully breeds.
With one female Pit bull already running amuck in our house, we decided that it would be wisest to adopt a puppy, in hopes that both Ivy and the new dog would get along. After about a month of searching the local shelters, my sister came across a litter of puppies about an hour away from where we live. We made the drive out there and that’s were I found and subsequently fell in love with Bean.
Those first few days with Bean where some of the hardest and most exhausting days of my life. No one had prepared me for the trials of adopting a puppy. I was getting no sleep and she had to be constantly supervised.
I can vividly remember holding her in my arms, sobbing to my mom, telling her I couldn’t do it. She suggested that I returned Bean (then still called Lucy) before I became too attached. I made the call to the shelter, but the next morning called them back first thing. I couldn’t return my tiny puppy- she had already stolen my heart.
Adopting- and keeping- Bean has been the best decision I have made in my life thus far. Bean has taught me more about love, responsibility, and finances than anything or anyone else thus far. She has been there for me through all my trials and tribulations.
When the tears fall, Bean is there to gently lick them away and with a careful nudge of her block head she reminds me to pick myself up. With no words, she can say more than most others can.
At the end of a rough day, there is nothing like a cuddle from my favorite girl to pick me up. But even on the best of days she is always there to be her silly self and remind me of the simple joys in life.
Dogs are not privy to the same ups and downs that we are. They are not forced to deal with the same responsibilities and so they are allowed the privilege to enjoy the moments in life that we often forget to enjoy. Bean is the small, yet very significant presence in my life that forces me to sit back and remember to enjoy those moments.
If it wasn’t for her, I would never remember to lie back and enjoy the soft, warm feeling of the blades of grass beneath my fingers as I rub her belly on a warm spring day and I would take for granted every moment I get to spend with her and all the others that I love, because Bean’s short life reminds me to take time within the hustle and bustle of life and cherish the moments I spend curled on the couch with her, or eating dinner with my parents, her nose nudging my fingers, forever begging for a treat, expecting more love and happiness out of this life and reminding me that I should too.
What was adopting a dog like for you? Leave a comment below!