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The Bean Sprout

We get many calls from folks who have lost a beloved pet, and their stories always break my heart. Some want a puppy STAT ... the house is too empty, too quiet, they need a distraction from their grief. Some are the polar opposite ... they need time to grieve, and I hear this on the regular: "When he passed I swore I'd never have another pet - my heart can't take another loss like that."

The latter. That was me when we lost Buddy to lymphoma last summer. I still struggle with that loss a year later. Just typing this has the tears rolling. But this is a Happy Post, so let's not go there!

We aren't your typical "pet owners" ... we have lots of dogs and it's never quiet or dull around here. We are with the dogs every waking hour, which was probably my saving grace in the wake of his passing. Always a four legged love nearby.

I thought that would be enough for me. It took a full year to realize it wasn't. Even though we own many dogs, I don't really consider them "mine". We have incredible Guardian Homes - and while I get to see our mommas and daddies regularly, they have their own families. They have the kind of relationship with their people that Buddy had with us. They are a member of a family - exactly what we intended when we developed the Guardianship program.

Just recently I realized how much I miss the daily one-on-one interaction. The constant companionship. A travel partner. A sidekick. So I asked my husband if he felt the same, and if he would be open to having a pet once again. "Been waitin' on you", was his answer.

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked which doodle type I would have for my own, I'd be sitting on a pile of nickels. Truth is, I'm equally crazy about our aussiedoodles, sheepadoodles and goldendoodles .... otherwise we wouldn't be dedicating our lives to our program. And my other truth is, I can never have another goldendoodle for a pet. Poor pup would forever be compared to Buddy. Not fair.

So we started digging into the research to determine what breed our future kid would be. Once that was decided, we set out to find the right breeder, and committed with a deposit.

Y'all, I have a whole new appreciation for GVD's deposit holders. I am always tickled with their enthusiasm during the waiting .... it's part of what makes me know we've secured great homes for our puppies. But look, when we pulled the trigger with that deposit, I went into some kind of Nesting Trance, the likes of which astound me. I had to force myself not to (kindly) badger our breeder, or constantly ask her for an update of any kind. I was so hungry for every detail about our puppy. The wait was torture!

But now she's here and I cannot get enough of her. The breed we selected is Airedale Terrier, and we also chose a female this go 'round. The AKC describes an Airedale as "friendly, clever, courageous". She is all of those things and then some. She is a BabyShark and a power chewer, keeping us on our toes. She is brilliant, scrappy, cute as all get out, with a take no crap attitude. Full of sass. I couldn't love her more.

Twelve years ago, Buddy was named by default. It was always "c'mon lil buddy" during his first couple of weeks at home, and it stuck. We've had her for two weeks now, and the same thing has happened. We both had some favorite names but couldn't agree on any one ... so by default, she is Sister.

I sent some photos of her to a good friend who knew Buddy so very well. When she saw the pic of Sister fearlessly standing in the bow of the boat, she said, "There's Buddy giving his blessing". And we both cried. He was The Bean. She is our little Bean Sprout.

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