One year ago today my boyfriend and I brought home the world's cutest puppy. He was only 9 weeks old at the time, petrified of everything (and I do mean everything) and unable to manage a moment alone without falling apart. It took a long time to get him house trained, comfortable on his own outside of the pen or able to comply with simple commands like sit or down. And it tested the will of both of us to deal with the far greater than we could have realized responsibility of raising a puppy. (For the record, it's really not all that different than having a baby. It's just that growing up goes a lot quicker, thank god.)
It's so easy to get caught up in the daily technicalities. Getting him out for a walk before work when you're running around like a headless chicken in the morning. Being frustrated that he's still so anxious around other dogs. Trying to get him to stop barking his head off when you come home from a long, trying day of work... The annoyances, the details, the facts of everyday reality. Like everything, you can get caught up in it and lose track of the bigger picture.
But the bigger picture is this: he is, when it comes down to it, a miracle. The fact that this creature exists- that he's just walking around the house, looking up at you with those amazingly round puppy dog eyes that show such overwhelming love, jumping at your heels so that you'll play a game a fetch with him, sitting in his best 'good boy' pose in expectation of a treat, snuggling in your lap like a fluffy teddy bear, all of it- is a miracle. The world's cutest, most devastatingly adorable dog is right there, waiting for me to get home from work and take him for a walk.
I try not to lose track of that, and I've written here about how he helps me in that endeavor. Reminding me to slow down, take a few moments to just realize what a beautiful day it is outside as we walk around the block. To fully enjoy a game of fetch with a puppy who wants nothing more in the world than to play with you. To just look at that face and melt the way that you can't help but melt at the sight of such a face. To be present that way that one can only be in the company of a puppy. I like to think I take that seriously enough to be always grateful for him, everyday.
But on this anniversary of bringing him home for the first time I can't help but pay special attention to that and to fully acknowledge, with all the weight that acknowledgement bears, that I am so blessed to have him in my life.