Last week I experienced a release of emotions that I did not even know existed. It's not that I was unaware of my feelings of sadness and guilt, I simply did not realize how profound these emotions were and how tied up they were with other things that have been bothering me for many years.
When AJ and I picked up Lucy (our dog) 6 1/2 years ago, she was a tiny puppy of 7 weeks. We had just moved into our first house, and I had always wanted a dog. AJ had dogs growing up and was excited to have a puppy once again. We found Lucy through an ad in the paper and drove 2 1/2 hours to get her. She was the cutest little thing ever. Brittany Spaniels are hyper dogs but docile and good family dogs and very smart. They are born and bred to hunt and they are amazing runners. We visit the website brittanyspanielrescue.com a lot; well, not so much anymore, but there was a time when we considered getting Lucy a brother. This was when human babies seemed like they would never enter our lives. Anyway, on brittanyrescue you will find many dogs that need loving homes and 99.9% of their profiles say, 'needs fenced in yard.' They need to run and exercise but tend to run out of their boundaries because they are 'hunting.'
When Lucy comes up to our cottage, she runs outside on her dog run for eight hours straight. She barely stops for food and water (and she loves to eat).When hunters take brittany's out, they take 2. One rests while the other hunts, and then they switch. The reason for this is that these dogs would literally run themselves to death or injury. They do not know how to stop or relax.
Last week we got our new huge yard fenced in. It was a moment we had been waiting for since we purchased the home last July. The cost of the fence forced us to wait until this season. I was so excited for them to come and put up the fence. We kept telling Lu she was in for a big surprise. I knew the fence would allow me peace of mind with Luv Bug as well because we live on a busy road. I just could not wait to see Lu and Luv Bug playing in the yard together.
It has been a long winter of taking Lucy out on her leash to go potty. In fact, she is the reason I hurt my shoulder.
After they finished the fence I waited for AJ to come home so we could let Lu run and run and run. We had never seen her run in a space that big. She had never been able to run to her hearts content (except the four times she got away!).
AJ got home and we all went outside and watched Lucy take off. My little baby finally had her yard. She could finally explore and run and sniff and hunt and be outside with the whole family, our new whole family. I cried and cried as I watched her run around. It was so emotional for me because I realized how badly I had felt for Lucy all these years, how guilty I felt that she didn't have a large space to run in, guilty for not training her better when she was a puppy, sad for myself because I hated always having her tied up. I wanted to spend more time with her outside, where she loves to be. I love that dog more than anything. I'm crying now as I write this because she has gotten me through so many awful days. I was so thrilled to be able to return the favor and give her the gift of free space to RUN. And, run she will- all summer long. She also loves the snow. She is enamored with being outside.
When we brought her in I hugged her so hard and kept saying, you finally got your yard. I mentioned to AJ that it was like filling in the last piece of the puzzle. For so long there were so many things that made us angry about our lives- we couldn't have children, we hated our house, we hated the fact that it cost us so much money to have a family, Lucy had a tiny little yard to play in- we were pissed.
The day Lucy got her yard it became clear that there was nothing left to hate or be mad about. I did not realize what a crucial part Lucy's happiness played in my happiness. She is a huge part of our family and before I could not give her what she needed to be happy.
Everything is here now. Everything is in the palm of our hand. Everything.