Puppy Joy

Scooter & Bailey_Pomeranians

Marriage: check. Build our first home: check. Get a dog: CHECK! But as you can see, we came home with two puppies instead of one!

We fell head over heels in love with these two little fur-balls of joy and were beyond ecstatic for our new role as “parents.” We named “Bailey” for his coloring that resembled the yummy Irish liqueur, and “Scooter” got his name because it matched his personality. Our two little boys had no idea of the outpouring of love they were in for…

Our new family

And so we lived and breathed life with our new dogs. “The Fellas” we called them. We watched movies with them—on opposite ends of the couch—one on each of our laps. We took Sunday afternoon naps with them, snuggled up in bed together; their warm tummies breathing in and out with ours. And we taught them tricks and games and held them close in our arms as we danced in our living room during the weekly “Saturday Night at the 70’s” radio show that we blasted through the speakers. The Fellas loved disco.

Neither of us grew up with dogs, but a love of dogs has always been in our hearts. Any dog we meet knows that we are their friend; they sense it instantly.

Bill loved to clown around with the dogs and create their bodies into “props” to make me laugh. His trick of choice was what we called “stackable dogs” where I’d be in the bathroom getting ready in the morning and everything was just a little too quiet to be kosher. So I’d glance over at the doorway, and there they were just inside the doorframe spying on me…stackable dogs—like hotel banquet chairs that stacked perfectly on top of each other for storage—watching me do my makeup (see photo below):

Stackable Dogs
Having these adorable companions in our life added incredible joy! But even with their amazing little spirits around, something wasn’t quite right. We both worked full-time jobs that, with drive-time, required us to be away from the house close to ten hours a day. That certainly wasn’t optimal for house-training puppies.

And then on the weekends we felt like we “should” be with the dogs because we had basically been away the entire week. As a newly married couple, our friends started to wonder what was up, and then so did we. Our lives didn’t feel balanced and it didn’t feel fair to the dogs, either.

The difficult decision

It was very upsetting for us to think about finding new homes for our precious cargo, but it was, as Wilford Brimley would say, “The right thing to do.” I remember the night before Bailey went to his new home–I held him close and cried. He looked up at me with the same look that a concerned best friend would give you. And as my tears fell, he softly and slowly brushed his cold little nose all across my face. In a way, he seemed to be vacuuming up my tears. I’ll never forget that moment.

We ended up finding two wonderful families to take on our little guys, and we have been lucky enough to receive holiday cards and photos from them throughout the years. Thank goodness we tried out dogs instead of kids! Kids aren’t quite as easy to pass along to another family.

We thought that having dogs in our lives was synonymous with following our joy. And it was. But for us, it just needed to look a bit different, and we had to be okay with that. Since we are a couple who loves to be independent and on the go, we realized that dogs don’t necessarily fit in with our chosen lifestyle.

So we make sure to get dogs in our lives in other ways! We are blessed to be godparents to two beautiful and wonderful Shelties, Sophie and Pursey, who go crazy every time they see us, and vice versa. How cool is that?

Making the best of it

At home, we have imaginary dogs that roam our place: “Pancakes,” the Golden Retriever puppy; “Waffles,” the elderly Basset Hound; “Fruit Loops,” the Dalmatian; and “Pedro & Poncho,” twin Chihuahuas that wear mini sombreros and tiny Mexican blankets over their shoulders. They are all low maintenance, great when we go on vacation, and easy to blame if something goes awry.

Life is never short on lessons. And I believe this one is that there is a season in life for everything. Things don’t necessarily have to be black and white, or look exactly like you planned. Someday we’ll have a dog (or two) again, but for now, our imaginary dogs fit the bill pretty well. Most importantly, we will always have the warm, special memories of our short time together with The Fellas.

Bill & Michelle w/ The Pomeranians

Note: Check out this other great dog story about the pure joy that our furry friends bring to the world.

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3 Responses to “Puppy Joy”

  • Bill says:

    Love it! No doubt that for us dogs = joy! And I can still smell that puppy fur, as if it was yesterday. :)

  • Brenda says:

    Great message, Michelle! It continues to amaze me how in-sync your messages are with my life. I have been contemplating this very topic as I am a HUGE doglover and always will be but your message that what that might mean may look a little different really hit home. Thank you as always for sharing what’s on your mind and in my heart!

  • Leslie King says:

    Hi Michelle,

    What a lovely blog! I feel very fortunate to be the Mom of Scooter. (As you know, we now call him ChiChi.) It’s no wonder he is such a sweet boy, having started life with you. We are so looking forward to your visit!

    With love…Leslie

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Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

Start by checking out the "Best Of" page and be sure to consider subscribing above. Thank you and cheers to joy!

Michelle Joy Stimpson
Executive Editor & Writer
Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

The Parent Company

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