Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ralphy and Me

I grew up with a dog named Tiger.  Yes, I gave her that name!  Turns out I'm allergic to dogs.  I really never thought I'd have another one.

I recall one of my early grief counseling sessions just months after Tony's passing where my counselor suggested I get a pet just so I've have something to hold, to snuggle with, something living and breathing to bring me comfort.  I bluntly cut her off by telling her I was allergic to pet dander.  She instead suggested I start holding babies at church.  Well, those of you who read my post a few months back know that I caught a cold that turned into pneumonia from the one time I did that.

No pets, no babies for me.

Months passed by; I slowly adjusted to living by myself in my condo.  Sure I loved where I lived, but most days I hated coming home to an empty place every day at 5.  It was as if I lived for the 9 to 5 where I could be at work (a place I just love!); it was the 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. that was so hard to face.

So I began to entertain the idea of getting a hypo-allergenic dog.  I had a couple of friends who have yorkies, and after looking at every type of dog I could have, a yorkie was the only breed I wanted.

I was hooked.  But I wasn't convinced.

I pondered and I researched and I asked lots of questions to my dog owner friends.  I even decided on a name...Ralphy.  It comes from my all-time favorite movie, A Christmas Story.

And finally, I jumped right in.  I met my puppy at 4 weeks old; she hales from deep South Georgia.  As I held her in my arms, she peed on me.  I was smitten.

Anticipation grew over the next 3 weeks as I literally had a countdown going at work.  I got everything she could possibly need, all decked out in pink, from a monogrammed bag to loads of toys.  On July 15, mom and I made the drive down South to get her.  She was terrified; in some ways, so was I.  She weighed a whopping 1 pound, 9 ounces.

And I instantly fell in love.  How could something so tiny, so fragile, provide so much joy, so much love?

With a sweet face like this, how could she not?

No amount of peeing the floor, biting my toes, whining and chewing could cause me to love her any less.

She's my puppy, my Ralphy.  And I've asked the Lord to use her in my life to teach me more about Him.

Dearly loved, puppy owner,

1 comment:

  1. He will, Melissa, He will. It's no coincidence that "dog" is "God" spelled backward--I think the connection is the unconditional love that dogs give us during their lifetimes and that God gives us forever!
    Another widow and dog lover,
    Mary Anne