Her first week in our little hillside community.
We were not looking for her – but here she is. We were not planning for her – and here she is. I remember (a whole month ago) just finishing cleaning a cabin bathroom floor with a wet wipe and getting up to walk outside. I hear Kim call from outside, “Carrie, have you met Athena?”. I walk slowly around the corner, ready to greet some flower child grandmother, and lo, here comes the most beautiful little black puppy bounding at me. In that exact moment something shifted in me. Yes, yes we all love puppies. Yes, we all want them. The thing is I thought she already had a permanent home and yet I felt this stirring, this connection, this countdown start. You see, a few weeks before someone had offered us a free black lab puppy in passing. When we followed up on it, they decided it was no longer free. We took that as a sign and let the puppy sail off to Kodiak for another home. Were we ‘ready’ for a puppy? No. At least we didn’t think so. Were we open to new adventures that came upon us? We were really trying to be. Now, a few weeks later, here is this Athena, running around our hillside with a big bear bell hanging from her neck.
She first started with two men who were homeless, living behind the local grocery store. Our landlord picked them up and offered them a work trade to live/work on our hill. They took it and brought Athena with them. During the day they worked, so they left her with Ann and Steve, a very sweet older couple from New Hampshire that were also staying on the hill for work trade for a month while traveling. The rest gets a bit confusing and spreads out over the month. Here’s the quick version:
1. The two guys get work on Kodiak, salmon fishing, and decide they can’t take the dog.
2. Ann and Steve are not sure if they are up for it and offer her to the Girls (the property managers, CJ and Kim)
The bear bell. Really better for finding her in the weeds.
The Girls take her for her first bath.
3. The girls ask if she can stay with us while they puppy proof their house, they also change her name to Luna (which I love)
4. Luna sleeps a night with us and does AWESOME. Sleeps in her crate all night and only goes to the bathroom outside!
Luna sleeps over in the yurt.
5. We take Luna to the beach for our friend Jason’s birthday. She does amazing off leash. Jason and Cole also fall in love with her (like we slowly are).
We all love Luna:)
oh my heart - she is special.
She barked at the waves that night.
Awesome off leash hiking buddy. (both of them:)
6. The Girls keep Luna for a night.
7. The next morning they offer her to me, after finding out the place they were moving wouldn’t allow more than 2 pets (they have 2 cats).
8. I call Cole and talk about it with her and ask if they are interested in case Jake says no. They are but also want us to have her. I’m really excited.
9. I go pick up Luna from Ann and Steve (they watch her while we clean)
10. Ann doesn’t know the girls gave her to me, so she confides in me, confessing she wants to keep the puppy, even though it might make the girls sad. I tell her they offered her to me – my only concern was that her and Steve might want her – so I give her back. Ann changes her name to Zippy and buys her a crate for $100 from the girls.
11. I’m sad….but of course life will be easier without a puppy so I rationalize away and try to detach myself.
12. Ann puts the names “Athena”, “Luna” and “Zippy” in a hat and lets the puppy pick. She picks Athena so now it’s back to that.
13. Ann and Steve get ready to continue their travels. A few days before they call me and ask if we are still interested. They don’t think they have enough energy or discipline for Athena.
14. Oh my.
15. Jake is on the fence. I’m sold. We hang out with her on the beach and with Jason and Cole – trying to figure out which of us couples should end up with her. They also aren’t 100% that they can have here where they are moving to in Washington. We change her name back to Luna – it’s so much easier to say (and we like it better). She doesn’t seem to mind as it sounds a lot like Athena.
16. Cole has a good talk with me about fate and the unexpected and reassures me that our life isn’t over if we end up with Luna.
16. Cole and Jason plan to come meet Ann and Steve and take her for the night. But then, schedules clash and it doesn’t work out. Jake in the meantime is slowly changing his mind.
17. The next day Ann and Steve bring her over and say they are officially giving us to her and feel at peace about it. If we choose to give her away again that is up to us. They give us her crate, tons of food, toys, leashes and food bowls. They will not take a cent for this.
18. I tell Ann to please pick out a photo block at least. She chooses one of the harbor to take home with them to New Hampshire. So we got a puppy and all the trimmings in exchange for one photo. Good deal.
19. We keep her for the night and tell Cole and Jason we’ll decide in the next few days.
20. It doesn’t take long. I’m decided. Jake is melting into a puppy loving pile. I know what his answer is when he includes her in our breakfast prayer.
He's so good with her. I think she loves him most:)
21. I keep seeing black labs everywhere I go, on everything, in every yard, everywhere. I’m sitting on the toilet in one of the empty cabins and look up and read the art on the wall. “To find joy, follow your heart”. Jake and I take the plunge.
22. Immediate feeling of peace. The roller coaster is over for now. We skype with my folks and brother and they are swooning. Mom says we should make her middle name “Joy” like mine. Luna adds an immediate spring to our step and a sweet new room to our hearts.
23. We adore her.
24. We took her to the vet and she is HEALTHY. The Dr. even couldn’t get over how good she was. And soft. And sweet. She didn’t even respond to getting her rabies shot.
25. We’re getting to know each other better. She loves chomping on driftwood and seashells, is getting braver around the waves, would play with big dogs all day long if she could, thinks she is a lap dog, will test you and test you and test you again, listens extremely well for her age, is 9-12 weeks old, prefers a tennis ball, LOVES weeds, can’t get enough touches in the morning, is part husky, is already house trained and crate trained, and is just a very very special little girl.
Well, our future plans are still fuzzy. We don’t know what’s next for us yet. All that we know is Luna is part of the plans right now. Either we are her forever owners or we are a conduit for her to get back to Pennsylvania to a wonderful family. Whatever it is, it feels right. Scary, but right. This means we probably won’t get to go to Hawaii this fall. But really, we don’t even care. Weird, right?
After a full out dive into very wet weeds.
We often think of GOING places when we think of new adventures and opening our lives up. But be aware, really, its the unexpected that comes and jumps in, something that you never knew you would need or that you were missing. What comes for you might not be in the form of a free for all tromp around islands. It might come in the shape of a homeless little black lab/husky mix.
Luna is a MAGNET for new friends.
She's keeping us young.
and then there were 3 in the yurt:)