After the death of my beloved black lab that I grew up with since the age of five, I was devastated. She was my best friend for 13 years. I knew her since the day she was born. Later that year, we took my uncle's dog for the last year of her life. She was beautiful and super sweet, but I couldn't grow attached. It was just too soon.
I figured maybe I would never love another dog. My lab was too special and too perfect to replace. She was loyal, well behaved, sweet, loving, and beautiful. Her loyalty went above anything I've ever seen. I am still convinced they'll never be another dog quit so loyal. Maybe that's what made moving on to a new dog so hard. What if the new puppy didn't meet expectations?
About a year ago we started talking about getting a puppy. This time, I felt enough time had gone by where I could grow attached to a new friend again. We searched for months and we were so unsure of what we wanted to do. Finally, one day at the pet adoption store, we saw an adorable four pound tan and black puppy. She was so adorable and perfect. My mom put her name down right away to adopt the puppy. When they called us and told us we'd been approved to adopt, we were thrilled. We hadn't even held the puppy yet, but I knew I loved her. It's like when a parent loves their child before he or she is even born. I knew I loved my puppy.
We had to wait two long and grueling weeks to bring her home. In that time, we decided to name her Penny. When we finally brought home our puppy, it was everything I dreamed. She was loyal, beautiful, and loving. Penny was given the middle name "Rose" after her naturally active and playful personality got her into trouble daily.
Penny has been with us for almost eight months now. That little for pound ball of fun is now 50 pounds. The love I have for her is endless. There's nothing quite like holding her like a baby while she licks my face, going on walks through the neighborhood and talking to her like she's human, cuddling on the couch even though my mom will get mad at Penny for sneaking up onto the furniture, having her walk me to the door when I leave for work or school, hearing her bark when I return home, and just having her in the room.
The best part is, Penny didn't replace my old dog. I still love and miss my lab. She was special and nothing will match who she was. But now, nothing will ever match Penny. No dog will ever replace her weirdness, funny noises, sweet cuddles, adorable crooked ears, and playfulness.
I know now that in order to love another dog, I never had to replace my old dog. That's not how the heart works. The heart expands. It grows so much that there's enough love for all the pets you'll ever have. I love my lab and my love my puppy. Together, they've both filled my heart and allowed it to grow three sizes