Since I wrote about the loss of my miniature Labradoodle, Raegan, I’ve taken a break from this blog. Sitting down to write just hasn’t been on my mind and I never wanted to force it. I had a feeling that the desire to blog again would come back but I needed to let it come back on its own terms.
Saying goodbye to Raegan on November 5, 2014 was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I knew I would have to do it eventually but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon. I thought I was going to have many more than 10 short years with the little girl who easily and quickly became my best friend.
At first, I still felt Raegan with me. Every time I turned around, I expected her to be there. Every morning when I woke up, I expected to see her in her bed. Every time I got into my car, I expected to have her next to me as my co-pilot. However, she wasn’t there. I physically moved on but my heart and soul didn’t.
Even before Rae passed, I made a decision that I would let my heart remain open. It was broken but I kept it open. That’s how I knew that it would be right to get another dog almost immediately. I need a dog in my life. Always. There’s something about the companionship of a dog that is unlike anything else. I sort of broke losing Raegan into two pieces: losing RAEGAN and losing companionship. I knew that I’d never be able to replace Rae (nor would I want to) but I did need a furry friend in my life.
When Raegan died, I think a lot of people wondered what I was going to do. Raegan was such a huge part of my life. How could I possibly get another dog but how could I NOT get another dog? After a few days, some people very gently asked what my plans were. I wanted another puppy but I couldn’t bring myself to do the research. A friend was kind enough to do it for me. She’s a Labradoodle Mom, as well, and I trusted her to know what to look for in a Labradoodle breeder. She sent me a handful of links to responsible breeders that had available puppies or upcoming litters that would be a “match” for me. I did have a few requirements. The puppy should be a miniature female with a fleece coat and calm temperament. I didn’t want another black dog because I thought it would remind me too much of Raegan. I came very close to putting a deposit down on a particular puppy but then I saw a photo of a little puppy named Hayden. Once I saw that photo, I had a strong sense that I’d found my puppy. Hayden shortly became my Skylie Ryce and the rest is history. Skylie has now been with me for just over 4 months. NOTE: For more about how Skylie got her name, click here.
I’m going to write a little bit about Skylie in a moment but I first want to touch on the beginning of my relationship with Sky. Honestly, it wasn’t easy. I was so hurt, tired and in mourning when she arrived. I never doubted that I was doing the right thing but I think I underestimated how painful the process would be. I just had to keep reminding myself that my happiness about Skylie had nothing to do with my sadness about Raegan and vice versa. They were completely separate dogs and completely separate emotions. It was OK to be happy with Skylie and it was OK to be sad about Raegan at the very same time. Both emotions had a place in my life.
I get to know more about Skylie each day. She’s funny, silly and goofy. She loves to toss her toys around and then look up at me, as if she’s wondering if I’m watching her act like a comedienne. She’s mega-cute and reminds me of a stuffed teddy bear. Her poofy hair is adorably out of control and I call her my Marshmallow Fluff! I’m also learning about myself. When people suggest that I cut Skylie’s hair, I turn into Momma Bear. NOTE: NEVER suggest that I cut Skylie’s hair or even ask when her next haircut is. I love the fluff. So there!
Just like Raegan, Skylie is as sweet as pie. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She loves nothing more than my undivided attention. OK, she loves running in the snow more than anything but my undivided attention is a close second to playing outside right after a snowstorm.
Skylie is a people-pleaser but she does have a mind of her own. She’s still young so we’re doing a lot of work on impulse control and paying attention. With the right motivation, though, Skylie loves to follow through on commands and tasks. We’re working very hard at obedience school and have received a “thumbs up” from her teacher two weeks in a row!
Over the past few weeks, the thought of blogging has popped into my head a few times. I can’t remember why but the thoughts signaled to me that I’m ready to write again. Since everyone loves puppy photos, I’m going to share some highlights from Skylie’s first 6 months in my next post. Stay tuned. My blog is back…