Koa is already nine months old and while we have only had her for seven of those 9 months, time has certainly flown by. Last year at this time, Kaiser and Nala went downhill fast, back to back, and by the Fall of 2018 we were without our doggies. It is incredible how we are all capable of loving, suffering loss, grieving and eventually, however hard as the while process may have been, moving on. I longed for little Koa, and later Gunner, in our lives and I am thankful every day for their love and companionship. So for today, here is a little tribute to my beautiful puppy – Koa the Boa (or so she was dubbed when she got feisty as a 15 lb armful at twelve weeks), born November 5th, 2018.
I didn’t look at my timeline prior to beginning this post but I know it has been quite awhile since I have posted anything. Somehow, even despite my prolonged absence, there continues to be new readers who pop up from time to time. I am thankful to everyone out there who finds interest in what I have to say. Writing gives me peace and although I don’t do it enough, when I do, I remember exactly why I enjoy putting finger to keyboard.
So where to begin. I will start at the present and work backwards because that feels like it makes sense right now. It is Monday, March 25th, at 5pm PST and I am sitting on my couch with The Shining on TV and two beautiful puppies at my feet. They are snoozing before suppertime, with light snoring and their ears flipped inside out, after running around on the patio in the afternoon sun. The windows and sliding glass doors are open, the sun is beginning to descend, and I can hear the water fall from our large, double-sided rock fountain just off the sun room. That fountain is one of the most beautiful blessings in our home, one that we didn’t realize the benefit of until we moved in nearly seven years ago and saw the high volume of bird activity that our water feature attracts. The weather was beautiful today – 75 degrees and sunny with a light breeze. It feels so good to be coming out from the other side of our winter in SoCal, a winter in which we sustained a heavy amount of rain and overcast days. For us Southern Californians, the lack of sun and the cold weather (a bone-chilling 50 degrees on some days) is somber and depressing. So, needless to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed the past two days of sunshine on our warming planet.
I believe I have welcomed Koa in this forum but our newest arrival, Gunner, has yet to be seen. Gunner joined our family about a month ago, after my coworker from a prior assignment called in need of help. Heather and her husband, who are also Rottweiler lovers, got Gunner from a breeder just north of San Diego and they readily welcomed him into their family. Heather’s family consisted of the two of them and their older dog, who they have had for twelve years. When Gunner, the lively three-month old puppy entered the picture, the older dog was not as hospitable as they had hoped. What started as minor nips turned into a couple of progressively more violent and frightening attacks on Gunner, as the older dog did not have patience with his puppy energy. Heather knew she had to do something immediately so she called me, remembering that I had mentioned we planned on getting a male Rottie pup this summer, once Koa was settled, trained and a little older. Although she didn’t want to give up her new little guy, she knew that she had to make a change, in order to keep Gunner safe. It only took Hugo and I about thirty seconds to decide if we would take Gunner – he was adorable and in need of a home so it was an easy decision.
Heather drove to our house the following night, with their SUV arriving in our driveway and her husband popping out from the backseat. Gunner was on his lap, wrapped in a paw print blanket and ready to start the next chapter of his life. We let Koa and Gunner meet, on their leashes and from a distance at first, but that only lasted a few short seconds. As they both tugged to get closer to their new sibling, their noses eventually touched, they gave each other a kiss and they immediately became best friends for life. Since that night they have forged a bond rooted in love and adoration for the happiness they bring each other, Koa giving Gunner a safe place to live and Gunner providing our little girl with the companionship she so craved.
Now, I can’t say that having two puppies, who are mere weeks apart, at the same time is easy. Because it’s not. At all. In fact, just about every other day I have a brief moment where I wonder how I ever got into this chaotic puppy situation in the first place. And then I look into their sweet little eyes, who are already staring back at me with such extreme love its overwhelming, and I answer my own questions. Somehow these two little beautiful souls have perfectly filled the void that Kaiser and Nala left when they passed. That’s not to say that we replaced our dogs or forgot about them in any way. But it really is magical to see and feel the happiness that they have brought to Hugo and I. And interestingly enough, both Koa and Gunner truly embody all of the joyous aspects of our other dogs, without even trying. Koa is channeling my late Nala’s love and calmness and I can feel her energy being carried on through this new young lady. She is so young and full of life and when she stares back into my eyes, it’s as if she is telling me that Nala is safe and happy, wherever she is, and she would want me to be happy. And then there’s Gunner, who is not more than fifteen inches off the ground and already 41 lbs. In fact, I had to weigh him four times the other night, because I couldn’t believe the number that the scale was spitting out. Regardless, our chubby baby brother has found a permanent place in our family and it couldn’t have worked out any more perfectly for everyone.
In between puppy play time, three meals a day for growing bellies, and obedience/socialization class, I have been slowly but surely continuing to inch towards finishing my degree. I can now happily and proudly report that I only have a little over four weeks left until my Bachelor’s degree is finished! With a taxing job that begins shortly after 3am during the week, plus double puppy trouble and the remainder of adult life commitments, needless to say I have been busy. But it will all pay off soon, when I have that piece of paper and upgraded resume to boot!
Finally, the other happy happening to report is the joyful ten years of marriage that Hugo and I recently celebrated. I couldn’t imagine life without him because my life is defined by his friendship and love. When I met him over fifteen years ago, I had no idea what life would have in store for us. We have taught each other and grown together, transforming from kids with throwaway jobs and nothing to lose into adults with careers, a gorgeous home and two little pup kids. My love for Hugo continues to grow, day by day, and it surprises me to see that the trajectory continues up, without an end in sight. He has shown me what a true friend looks like and what a real man is, and because of this I find it difficult to find many people in the world who stand as tall or as strong, in terms of character and dignity, as he does. Hugo, you are the love of my life ♥