An Unexpected Outcome

It’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood, I am so lucky to live in a large property where I don’t need to go very far to get in touch with Nature and not feel so confined. We are still in quarantine but I have a yard, a garden and lots of things to keep me from going stir crazy.

While I was walking around, I mused about an lovely, long, newsy email I received from one of my co-sisters-in-law. She asked me if we still had the 4 dogs we had when she visited us six years ago. I cannot believe our emails have been so infrequent that she is not aware that we are down to 1 pet at this time, our beautiful Lila, subject of many of my recent blog entries.

The email made me nostalgic and reminded me of Sol, the runt of a litter of 6 puppies born on our property almost 19 years ago on our daughter’s 6th birthday.

Sol’s mother, Lucky, was a “construction” dog who arrived when our house was being built, got pregnant and never left until she died. Although she was ignored by her mother most of the time, her human mother treasured her and made sure she gave her all the love and affection she could. 

I admit Sol’s nervous personality did not make me warm up to her. I didn’t feel too bad because my daughter’s generous affection made up for everything. The feeling was mutual, Sol was comfortable being picked up only by my daughter and slept in her room until she took off for college.

When our daughter left for college, she asked me to pay attention to Sol. Surely my daughter knew I would never neglect any of my responsibilities when it came to our pets. I realized later that she was asking me to open my heart and share some of the genuine love and affection I had no problem bestowing on our other three dogs!

One day, I had to take Sol to the veterinarian to have her teeth cleaned. She was about 10 years old by then so the doctor suggested we use anesthesia. I had to sign the authorization form acknowledging that I was aware of all the risks. The lump in my throat was unexpected. I realized suddenly that in the six months since my daughter’s departure to college, Sol had become my little darling. I had trouble accepting that something might happen to her while under anesthesia but I knew she desperately needed the cleaning. In the end, everything turned out well.

The lesson I took away that day is about acceptance and love. Sol didn’t get much of that in her early years except from our daughter. In opening my heart to Sol, I was able to turn her from a nervous, anxious pet to a more confident little rascal who now received some of the love and attention the other three dogs had been getting exclusively. I was very sad when Sol passed away, almost 4 years ago at age 15! I am glad I have all these wonderful memories and a great many pictures.

Picture of Sol my own.

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