Three years ago when I woke up, unbeknownst to me, the course of my life would forever be altered. A little puppy was making her grand entrance into the world and I was oblivious.
I have always loved dogs and with almost a year and a half clean, I wanted so badly to have one of my own. I kept telling my boyfriend at the time how much I wanted one, that I was ready to take on the responsibility of a puppy and I needed to heal the hurt from losing our first dog Zero. I was adamant that I wanted another Great Dane. And I was adamant that I wanted a little boy because they love their Mahms so much. For a few weeks, I begged and pleaded about how much I NEEDED a dog to love. And one day, I came home from work to a surprise. As my ex, Brandon, placed this little nugget into my arms, in complete disbelief I said, “What’s this?” He said, “It’s a puppy. She’s a Great Dane.” I laughed and laughed because there was no way this thing was a Great Dane.
As much as I tried to tell him otherwise, Brandon was convinced she was a Dane. He said he found a 10 week old male Great Dane advertised on Craigslist, and when he went to meet the people, they were super sketchy. He immediately realized she was a girl and not a boy but said he didn’t have the heart to leave her because she looked so sad. He said he felt like something was off about the whole situation and he just had to take her home. And thank God he did. I took her to the vet the next day and they confirmed that she was in fact not a Great Dane (duh), she had a terrible bout of worms, had a deep cut on her foot, couldn’t have been more than 4 weeks old, and was taken way too early from her Mom.
But she was mine. And I would love her and I would nurse her back to health. I decided to name her Sally from Nightmare before Christmas. Once she started feeling better, she was a little spitfire. Zoomies everywhere, chewing up everything, darting out the door making me chase her through the apartment complex in my bathrobe. But as much as she was an Angel of Destruction, and still is, she was full of love, and still is. She loved nibbling on everything and everyone. Fingers, toes, blankets, earlobes – super equal opportunity.
Sally loves snuggles.
Bath time was always an adventure.
She ate my $6,000 hearing aids.
In two weeks.
Thank God for a warranty on the first replacement.
Sally loves kisses.
Sally just loves love.
Sally was a lot of work. I tried to take her to puppy training classes but I wasn’t good about keeping up with it. Potty training was a nightmare. She legitimately wanted to eat EVERYTHING. And still does. But as hard as it all may seem sometimes, there have been WAY more good days than bad. She’s gotten me through some of my darkest days clean. Sometimes literally the only thing that keeps me clean is the fact that no one can take care of my babies better than I can. People will say that using is not an option, but that’s not the truth. Using is always an option. It’s just never a good one. And that’s all it takes to snap back to reality. I mean, really. Can you imagine their lives without Peanut Butter Parties?
When Sally was a baby, we started celebrating small victories with little parties. Hats and treats and toys and peanut butter and fun. And over time, it’s turned into something much more than that. It’s turned into celebrating anything and nothing, all at the same time, just because we can. We’re alive. We have a good life. We don’t just have a roof over our heads, but a home that is so full of love, it’s spilling out through the cracks. If that’s not something to celebrate, then I don’t know what is.
This little girl is three today.
This Mahma is happy today.
This family is perfectly imperfect today.
My Unsolicited Advice: Have faith. Even if you can’t see it, God is working on your miracle. You just have to stay in position to have the opportunity to receive it when it comes. And when it comes, you have to be able to recognize it because you never know what that miracle is going to be. Sometimes through all the mess, it’s hard to find the gift. But I promise; it’s there if you look for it.