I’d like to introduce you to Bruno, my new, naughty, adorable, three-month-old puppy. The poor little mite was found on the streets of Krakow shortly after Christmas and taken to the Dog Rescue Shelter, where I duly rescued him. And now, thanks to the exhausting but oh so rewarding addition to our depleted household (following the departure of cat, hubby, another cat, and mongrel), my life is feeling fuller again. Ah, what a difference a dog makes! Particularly a needy puppy, just waiting to be loved and reared by no one but YOU!
Oh, the joys of a puppy! Yes, what a difference such a small, seemingly inconsequential thing can make to a depleted life. What joy it can bring to a lacerated heart! Those soft squidgy paws, padding and leaping about in all the places they’re not supposed to venture; those soulful eyes, already learning the tricks of the trade in how to totally melt their owner’s gullible heart; that ridiculous little wagging tail that keeps on wagging even when receiving vociferous reprimands (Bruno, not AGAIN!!! Why do you think I leave newspapers on the floor, for heaven’s sake!??!!), all that following you around the house, EVERYWHERE, even into the loo, and … well, I’m sure you get the gist. The word ‘puppy’ is synonymous with exasperation and adoration all meshed into one beautiful, impossible whole.
I suspect that those of you who read my blog post about the sad demise of my last dog, Floppy, might think that I rushed into getting this puppy. At first I worried about that, too. But the loss of my old faithful companion was so huge, creating such an aching cavity in my heart, I just knew that the only way to fill it up once again was to have another dog.
And actually, isn’t that the case with all heartbreak in our lives? Re-fill the awful gap with new love? It certainly has been in my experience. When I had a miscarriage, many, many years ago, my half-witted GP advised me to wait at least another year before getting pregnant again. (Aforementioned GP was obviously a male doctor.) What? I thought to myself, already getting older and wiser by the minute, though still in the land of my tender twenties, Why should I wait a whole bloody YEAR? So, being a very sensible young thing, I totally ignored the idiotic male advice and promptly got myself pregnant again. Right away. Which was the best thing out for me.
And several years later, when Hubby No 1 and I split up, causing huge wallops of grief, I was advised by well-meaning family and friends that I needed time before moving on. But I intuitively knew that the best thing out for me was not Time, but to fall right back in love again – with somebody new. So I fell in love again. Within seven months. With the Philosopher, to be precise, shortly destined to become Hubby No 2. Which was the best thing out for me.
And a couple of decades later, when Hubby No 2 and I split up, all of fifteen months ago, causing yet more of those huge wallops of grief, I was once again reminded that it’ll take time. Well yes, of course that’s true – but it also certainly helps things along when you beat Time to it by falling into the romance and sex loop with someone brand new. Again. So that’s what I did. (Details not yet available. Perhaps in my next novel …) Which was the best thing out for me.
And btw, before you start wondering where the hell this blog post is leading – I mean, it was supposed to be about puppies, right? – hang on in there, and all shall be revealed.
So, when my beloved Floppy the Mad Mongrel died, barely two months ago, at first I felt a touch of guilt when the need started rising within me to fill her place so quickly. I mean, wasn’t that a kind of betrayal?
Of course it wasn’t! As I said, replacing former broken loves had always worked wonders in the past for me – whether for a miscarried child or an aborted husband (or two). So why on earth worry now about replacing my old dog with a new puppy? I had truly loved Floppy, I really had, honest! Just like I had truly loved both my husbands, and had truly longed to love the future child I carried inside my belly for a few short months. Filling their empty space with another dog or husband or baby was not a sin. It was not a betrayal. All the memories are still there, intact – I have my diaries to prove it.
So my point, finally, is this. If I can replace a cherished hubby with a brand new love within a few months, then why can’t I do the same with a cherished dog? And, given that dog years are much shorter than human years, I’m sure that two months since Floppy’s demise is a perfectly acceptable period of time. Her memory is still all over my house and heart and mind. It might fade with the passage of time, but it will never die. Maybe I’ll meet Floppy again someday, in some delightful amalgam of doggy and human heaven, if we’ve both been good enough. But in the meantime, there’s new love and new joy in Bruno, bless his cute little paws.
Hmmm. Now that I come to think of it, if I had to choose between having a new hubby or a new dog in my life, which would it be?
That’s easy. Give me a dog any day!