Forecast: Sunny

This weekend my wife and my two daughters and I went to get a new puppy. There is a family that works with a rescue agency and this family takes in dogs as a foster family. We went to their house to pick it up and we were greeted by many other dogs. It was clear that this family is also quite giving and loves animals. They devote much of their time, income, efforts and home to the pets.

Our dog appears to be a Yorkie-Bichon mix, although we can’t be exactly sure because she was rescued from a puppy mill in Ohio. She is about 4 or 5 pounds and may get to be about 9 pounds.

If you read some of my other blog posts, you may recall that we had a Yorkie Bichon for about 3 ½ years – Daisy. The name Daisy came about because it was my mother’s favorite flower. My wife and kids went to first visit Daisy in the last week of my mother’s life, while she was in hospice. We picked up Daisy right after my mother passed away (and my father 5 weeks before her). So we were pretty down and out at that time. Daisy came in as a pup and made us laugh, kept us going, and helped us stay “up”. I know that I was pretty depressed during those months and she made me laugh when I really didn’t feel like it. I wrote about her in this post here http://wp.me/p2uckH-2l .

I like to look for lessons in most situations. I think Daisy was sent to make us laugh, to help us to remember to love one another, and to realize that happiness is in the simple, little things. She was also a good example, at only about 2 to 3 pounds, that you can do anything that you want to do if you have the will. For a small dog, she would try to do many things beyond her size, she had a big personality and many people liked her.

So now we have this new dog. Already it is clear that she is different in many ways. That’s definitely OK. She is very loving, though. On the ride home from the adoption, she slept peacefully in my daughters’ laps. She likes to be right there with us. She is a lot quieter, and frankly a lot fatter, in comparison to Daisy. J

It is clear that, possibly due to the puppy mill, she may be a little more fearful of us for a while, and she may or may not be completely healthy due to the conditions at the puppy mill, but that is speculation.

The puppy’s name? My youngest daughter had a classmate who got Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of cancer, last school year. Our school is small and the class is very close. The school and community all worked together for fundraisers and car washes, etc. In some ways, it actually was a nice experience and brought us closer. While she was fighting cancer, my daughter’s classmate picked a symbol of a sunflower…. She picked it because once there was a sunflower growing in the sidewalk in the middle of winter in Pittsburgh one day while she was going to treatment. So she picked it because it was strong, resilient, bright, etc., plus it had no ‘right’ to be growing in the city’s sidewalk. They had t-shirts made for fundraisers, etc. with the sunflower on it. After about 8 months of fighting, she passed away.

So when we decided to get this puppy, we had a list of many names. We asked friends and family to give us input. We could not decide – none really connected with us. Then we picked up the puppy and by the time we hit the end of the road, my daughter said, “I think we should name her “Sunny”, short for Sunflower.” We got the idea earlier because of her friend. My other daughter immediately agreed and so did my wife and I. So now we have a puppy named Sunny.

What lessons will we learn from our experience with Sunny? Well already we’re amazed how friends and family are excited for us and share our new found happiness with the pup. I think there is something in the situation that speaks to all of us regarding the rescue aspect – that we have second chances, new starts, and if we work together, love one another, we can do well together.

Maybe there is something here about helping others or reaching out to others. Maybe we need to take a chance and offer some help, give and we’ll receive much more. Like the children’s book “Have You Filled a Bucket Today” by Carol McCloud, it feels great to fill someone else’s bucket, even if it is a puppy.

Maybe it is a reminder that we can all start over, rescue ourselves, and that today is a new day. It is also a good reminder to focus on the now and live in the present.

I am grateful for the new dog, for my family and all of you reading this. I am also grateful for all those people and experiences in my past.

Here’s to new days together.

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