I wonder how many of you have had the joy of loving a dog?
I remember the day I found Dutchess when I followed a sign on a country road. It said purebred chocolate labs. I stopped, and one puppy was still for sale. I wasn’t looking, and I hadn’t discussed it much with anyone. There was just something that felt right. I bought Dutchess that day, and I never regretted it.
Dutch brought me joy for almost 11 years. She was close at my side when my brother died and when my Dad died. She knew how to be with me in so many different spaces. She loved a day at home, a day at the office, a party, a quiet day, a day with others, or a day together.
One thing that Dutch opened up in my world was an easy connection to my neighbors. It was always so sweet when Natalie and Meghan would meet me in the schoolyard to play fetch with Dutchess. Dutch loved to hang out with Dan, Julie, Natalie, and Meghan. The bottom row middle picture is Dutch with two of her favorite people.
So when we had to say goodbye to Dutch, my neighbors came over. We remembered, and we cried, and we laughed at all of her quirky ways. She just had a way about her that would forever leave our hearts tender.
I waited almost a full year, and I got to thinking. If I were going to get a puppy, maybe my neighbors would want to “share” her with me. Dan and Julie and I talked, and I decided to put my money down on a black lab. It was comforting to know I had the support to get through the beautiful but sometimes tiring and long puppy years. I was relieved to see that I could travel and enjoy life in my 50’s and my puppy would have another family and home to call her own. We agreed that Wilhelmina Hope would go to work with me every day, spend 4 to 9 across the street and then return to me to sleep. We share her every other weekend and so far, it has been an amazing partnership in puppy enjoyment.
Today is Willa’s day to head across the street for the weekend. I am getting more used to her being in my space and I love how snuggly and curious she is. I had a twinge of sadness that she was not my weekend and then I saw this! All I can say again is I have no regrets.
As this Friday comes to a close and Willa is winding down and likely snoring across the street, because she always snores, I can honestly say, I believe I have the best arrangement ever with the most incredible neighbors around.