Since J was so brave in seeing Santa this year, of his own accord and out of the clear sunny blue I might add, I figure Santa is the guy to direct this vaguely tongue-in-cheek letter to. Keep in mind that no family involved with 4 Paws for Ability gets to choose their dog. That’s never how it works. You give them as much license as possible to choose the match and as many details as possible to make the match work.
I know I am writing to you early. It seems to be that kind of year, a year where we are jumping fast at that which can offer us even the slightest glimmer of hope. You’re a guy with eyes everywhere so surely you know all too well the pain J and our family have endured this year. J lost his best friend and trusted helper, something not even his mama can make all better for him. There’s no amount of kisses, hugs and “it’ll be okays” that will make this right…
So I am asking for a little magic.
Here is what we’re hoping for in a dog. I am hoping you can pull strings and find this perfect pup for him.
- Easy going: We live in a busy town on a busy corner with lots of random happenings. Fire engines, police cars, random pedestrians, crazy trucks, random animals… You name it, we have it. It’s not a terrible place to live but it is definitely a shock to the system to a creature that may be more well suited to peace and quiet. His pup needs to roll with the random of our environment like the rest of us do, right down to not getting crazy if they spy the cat upstairs being her weird but sweet self.
- Loving: Oh, the heart his pup should have. They should be doting enough to keep tabs on him yet wise enough to understand that sometimes the best action to take is to simply be. His girl knew this. If he was struggling but wasn’t ready to reach out for her yet, she laid nearby. If he was starting to key up and the people around him hadn’t noticed, the signs were read and she knew where to be to help him undamage his calm. His partner should be nurturing without being overwhelming; loving and wise yet resilient enough to know that sometimes, all they need to do is just be there in his sphere without expectations.
- A little playful/silly: This household is lost without laughter. A little tinge of mischief reminds us on the bad days exactly why we keep moving forward. A slightly silly, impish streak is enough to keep us on our toes and remind us that we have not one, but two silly monkeys in the house, something we miss so much right now. It keeps J delighted to see his antics engaged in and those are moments of great beauty to witness.
- Strong: J is a growing boy, taller every day it feels like. He is so, so gentle and considerate of animals and younger children but he can be a stumbling clod, too. He is going to nudge tails or paws at some point and though it will be rare, he needs a partner who will understand (with our loving help!) that it was an oops and not a regular thing. He needs a strong partner that can handle tethering without being phased, especially since J loves it when his dog walks a little ahead of him and makes tension on the leash. I don’t care for when he does that either pup, so we’ll work on getting him to walk close together just as we did with Brookie.
- Patient: J has a thing, you see. He loves noses, ears and tails. He is not, for anything, rough. It was his gentleness with his girl that blew us away given his clumsy nature with the adults in his world. He does love to touch noses, tails and ears the best though. This requires patience on the dog’s part and hopefully the ability to learn that this is a language J uses for comfort and companionship. There is no yanking, no pulling, no harm… Light touches and pets are his modus operandi.
- A learned avoidance of stuffed animals: Oh, pup. This one will be hard but if you do not know not to touch the stuffies already we are going to work on this together. Stuffies are J’s friends. They mean an intense amount to him, each and every one. He relies on them to get him through the hard times while we await you and still will be protective of them when you get here, so we need to be sure we can succeed in this mission of Leave Stuffies Alone ™.
- No golden retrievers: It doesn’t matter how much goldens have won over the adult’s hearts… J shuts down when faced with one now. They do not respond exactly like Brooklyn because they are not her. For his sake, please, do not bring another pure golden baby into our lives only to see the team fail because it could not even begin to forge a relationship. Give him anything else, any other breed sturdy enough to do the job just please not another golden.
Santa, we just want our hearts to be full again. All of us. We don’t want any more days of only getting glimpses of J lighting up rooms with his smiles, charm and laughter. These are things that used to be the norm and not the exception. Please, he’s been so good and tried so hard, I hope you can help.
With great love,