The Grant Adventure: March – June

20140612-175446-64486849.jpgChallenges: Walking on the sidewalk, being around men and freaking out at the sight of the Mega Bus.

Accomplishments: Some walking, not crying at the dog park. pooping on walks (in the grass … yay!) and learning the word “sit”.

 

“Shouldn’t have worn these shoes on tonight’s walk” I tell myself as my wet feet squish against my faux leather Target flats, warm rain continues to hit my umbrella as we walk. Tonight, Richmond’s towering grey skyline looks melancholic from my view on Franklin Street. I exclaim with pride when Grant nervously glides across the street.

As we reach the other side of the street, a man walks toward us, Grant freezes with fear (queue the Pound Puppy face), backs himself under a car as my grip on his leash tightens. The man mutters “what in the world?” as he passes us.  It must be such a sight, a overly frightened dog and it’s owner who swiftly scoops him up while juggling her purse and umbrella.

I tote Grant in my arms for about 10 steps until the strange man is clear out of sight and place him back on the wet and warm pavement.  He makes it the rest of the ½ block until we reach the front door to my apartment.

Success.

I smile and tell him “good boy” with giddy (and slightly annoying) enthusiasm.

I’ve never been patient.  I’m the type who required instant gratification (and expressed frustration when it wasn’t reached) but recently, life has tossed me a handful of hurdles that have turned a lot upside down. This includes learning patience.

With my breakup came the separation of our two dogs. This is where I took on full “custody” of Grant, our rescue beagle-dachshund mix who is scared of nearly everything – sudden movements, the bass in a man’s voice, and bridges.

Moving from the quiet suburbs with a large yard to my friend’s house for a couple of months (while I looked for a permanent place) and finally to a downtown apartment has been an adjustment … for the both of us.  The guilt I felt when I couldn’t find an apartment with a yard was overwhelming.  I thought I was ruining Grant’s life.

Mommy guilt, much?

However, in the back of my  mind, I knew we could do this.  It was going to be hard. Really hard.

There was a moment where Grant came loose out of his collar on the street (my heart nearly stopped), lots of times people laugh when I have to carry him on parts of our walks, or when he projectile peed all over me because people were at my house.

Grant has overcome a lot and in a short time for a rescue (that was likely abused prior to his adoption). He’s learned to walk (still working on this), sit, roam carefree at the dog park, even get on and off an elevator (at my work) and I couldn’t be more proud.

The love of an animal is overpowering if you’re in tune to their little (or big) soul.  The connection I feel for my robust 30 pound mutt is indescribable and makes all the sense why I felt like I knew him the moment I saw his sweet face. It’s no coincidence he was put into my life at this precise moment.

There are no coincidences.

Although I drag my feet every morning knowing I have to walk/carry him down the block to use the bathroom or brace myself for his “freak out” moments, I’m happy to do it. I am learning its not all about me in a very routine way.

My life doesn’t revolve around Grant and I’m not a crazy dog lady.  I’m just thankful for the gifts I’m given at right now, Grant is my gift.

Although toting him in my arms along the street (in those moments where he won’t walk) gives me plenty of confused looks and eye rolls, it also gives me a new found humbleness (and pretty decent biceps).

 

 

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