I finally have my longed-for third baby.
Sure, she is of the four-legged variety, instead of the two.
But as I sat in the water at the beach yesterday watching her chase canine companions, I realised just how joyful she makes me feel.
Sunday was the first time we had taken The Princess to the beach.
Being a beach family, we have been itching to introduce her to one of our favourite past times. However she does not yet respond to “come” when off lead, and there are just so many distractions at dog beach. So we had hesitated making the trip to the sand and sea.
Yesterday however Melbourne baked under yet another 35+ day, and after a particularly successful morning at puppy school (finally, top of the class) we decided we had no choice but for a whole of family visit to the beach.
What followed was two hours of what I can only describe as pure delight.
I still cannot fathom how entertaining, and calming, I found it to watch The Princess’s first beach visit.
As expected, she was at first hesitant about entering the water. In fact, she down right refused and cried when we tried to encourage her in.
But soon her herding instincts buried her fear, as she hurtled through the waves to chase the other dogs and tried to bring them into line.
Quickly befriending a mutt called Mitzie, the Princess then raced and chased and swum non-stop.
At one stage watching Mitzie and The Princess run around literally in circles, I felt as if my head was spinning. But I could not smiling either.
And I wondered – how did we ever think, even for a brief minute, that we could live without another dog in our lives?
After Joely passed away, so peacefully in the end and with a great big sigh of relief, we took a long time to feel ready for a new dog.
There were times when The Husband and I thought about how much easier life would be without a new dog. Holidays, even weekends away, would not require the additional expense or worry about what to do with the dog.
Without a dog, the backyard could remain The Husband’s domain. No twice weekly ‘pooh patrol’ required, or frantic dash outside when the kid’s friends come around, amid shouts of – “Careful on your way to the trampoline, you never know what you might step in”.
And no needing to work an extra day just to pay for the vet bills.
But the kids were desperate for another dog, especially a puppy, having never known Joely as a youngster.
And every time we would arrive home, even from a quick trip to secure the daily coffee fix, there would an empty feeling as no little black nose was pressed against the fence, tail wagging in excitement to see us.
So we agreed after our return from our christmas holidays, we would start the hunt for the newest member of our family.
After countless hours of trawling the internet, filling out four page applications in desperate attempts to adopt a rescue dog, I finally decided to go with what the heart wanted all along, and searched for a mature border collie puppy.
My first call hit jackpot – No, the 10 month girl advertised was no longer available, but was I interested in a six month old? Indeed we were, and from the first minute she raced up to greet The Husband when we went to visit her, she was coming home with us.
Barely a month later, it is hard to remember when she wasn’t with us. Even harder to remember how we survived for six months without the pure unadulterated love a dog provides.
Yes she is hard work. There is hair everywhere she is allowed to go, I have to find time in an already stretched schedule to walk her, and I have to stand guard over my washing on the line (she is particularly fond of beach towels).
But watching her race through the waves yesterday, I marvelled at how such an innocent activity could bring me so much peace and happiness.
Welcome to our family Miss Lillie, and thank you to the universe for sending her our way.
Cheers till next time,