Tales of Three Tails
Delightful and Poignant Stories of My Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
The Power of a Puppy’s Intuition
“She will change your life,” my best friend said as I contemplated the commitment of becoming a puppy mom.
My friend was smitten with her from the moment he saw her. As the other puppies were barking and playfully tumbling over each other, Lulu seemed already beyond her puppyhood. She was composed, regal, and calm, with an air of playfulness.
After much soul searching, a bit of anxiety, and finally falling in love with the perfectly round spot on the top of her head, (this is referred to in the breed description as a lozenge, but I prefer to think of it as her “third eye”) I also was magnetically drawn to her.
We bundled her up and took her home.
As my friend dropped me off and headed to his apartment, suddenly I felt a tightness in my chest, I could not breathe and I fell onto the mattress on the floor that served as my bed.
What had I done? What was my responsibility for this little being? Oh, I know one may think “It is only a dog,” but I took this commitment seriously. This little soul was now in my care. She was only three and a half pounds. She was all head and paws with this little body in between.
I regretted my decision. My friend had been raised with all types of animals and many, many dogs. My family had one dog, Brandy, who lasted about six months in our family of five children. He was a good dog, but my parents were overwhelmed with kids and a dog just pushed them over the edge. Brandy went to live on a farm (this is what all parents seem to tell their kids).
While I had read at least five books on dogs, three specifically on Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, visited numerous websites, and spoke to various breeders, I suddenly was overwhelmed with ignorance, at least emotional ignorance about how I would handle this puppy, work full time, and pursue a writing career.
Lulu knew better. Dorothy had Toto; Rin Tin Tin and Lassie have enchanted millions with their ability to help people; but my Lulu knew what I needed.
As I sobbed on the bed, a little less than a foot off of the floor, Lulu struggled to climb up onto the mattress. When that did not work she turned around, walked back a few feet and began to sprint for the bed, a running start for her high jump. She crashed into the side of the mattress and through my tears I laughed.
I helped her onto the bed and without hesitation she walked over to my face, and licked my tears away. The old me would never allow a dog to lick my face, but she was not a dog, she was my rescuer.
Each soft lick soothed my fears and my anxiety as if she were saying, “It will be OK, Mommy. Don’t cry.”
That night, our first night, we both slept with ease. She snuggled in a mountain of pillows at the head of my bed, while I was lulled to sleep by the sound of her breath.