For those of you who have managed to avoid seeing anything I've posted all year, we got a dog. In February we brought home our 8 week old, 4 kilogram, black labrador baby girl.
Like most dog people, I spent years trying to convince my family that getting a dog would be a good idea, but to no avail. That was, until last Christmas, when all the planets aligned and the whole family finally agreed that we wanted a dog and that it could be really good for my anxiety. (As first-time dog owners, for my parents too, we didn't have the knowledge for a rescue.)
|One of the lovely boys (I'm wearing|
the same outfit as collection day, yes)
On Sunday, we journeyed all the way to the south coast. I was shaking, gagging, and utterly terrified, but as soon as we entered the beautiful, cosy suburban home and were greeted by SEVEN 5 week old puppies, I felt a sense of calm I can't describe. We were told there were two still unreserved, both black girls. They were identical in every way, apart from one with little white paws - we knew that one would be ours. It felt like she belonged with us: she was the runt and a little out of it, my soulmate. I let go of the boys from the day before, and I hope they landed somewhere lovely, but this litter stole my heart. We visited them twice more before collecting our new baby on February 18th.
|I wish I had a better picture from|
our journey home, but you try
taking a picture of a very
concerned tiny puppy.
On that journey to collect her I almost threw up in the car, so terrified that I was making a decision I couldn't handle. I shoved my total panic down because this was something I really, really wanted. She screamed the entire way home, between snoozes (a sign of things to come probably), and we named her Mia.
Once home, I couldn't keep my eyes off her, struggling to calm my panic and my excitement all at once - And then she fell asleep in my lap, and all my anxiety faded. I was a mother.
Despite not being friendly to her at all that week, Mia never gave up on me. She'd sit on my feet at the end of the sofa while I shook and cried, and licked my hands when she could reach. As the week wore on, my strength grew back, and my bond with her has been unbreakable ever since.
Her existence in my life has impacted my mental health in such a positive way. I wanted to get better for her, so I did. In March I went on my very first walk with her, out in the woods, and I've been almost every day since. I've been to different places, at different times, with different people, when less than 6 months before I never would have considered it at all.
Since that awful week, she's been my sidekick. My inseparable soulmate. We barely spend any time apart really. For years I've been stranded at home by my anxiety, but with her, that doesn't feel so sad. I haven't felt lonely all year, because I know she's always here, happy to just hang out.
Within a few weeks of having Mia in our home, she developed the name "Mia Moo", and usually goes by Moo now. I honestly couldn't tell you how it started, but it truly is the best fitting name for her. My girl is quite the character.
She spends most of her time on her back, whether it's sleeping or playing, she just doesn't want to stand up, she's a bundle of limbs and strange noises. So many noises. What she does want, is to eat. My god she loves food. So much so that on her very first day we had to stop her eating moss and rocks. We don't stop her anymore, we have to pick our battles. Between mud, sticks, pinecones, carpet and bugs, we don't have much time for anything else - honestly, it's a relief when she's stolen real human food for once. She's a goofy little thing, with no coordination or common sense. She does as she pleases whether its logical, or safe, or not.
She is the sassiest, most determined, independent puppy dog ever. She is also the clingiest, whiniest dog. She wants her own sofa to sleep on and will move if you sit near her when she wants space, but if you leave her alone, she'll cry. If you aren't paying attention to her, she'll cry. If she's hot, cold, tired, hungry, wants to play, wants to sleep, she'll cry. She definitely lives a life of her own, and does what she wants when she wants and will get her own way eventually. It took her 9 months, but she successfully made her way into my bed overnight, despite having her own downstairs.
Mia now weighs 27 kilograms and will be one year old on the 21st of December. I couldn't be without her now, she is the absolute love of my life but she is an absolute menace. Theft is her favourite pass time. We've lost slippers, flip-flops, an entire bench, a rubber duck.. the list goes on... but for some strange reason, we still love her endlessly. (It'll be because she's so damn cute, and she knows it.)
She'll greet us excitedly when we've been gone for minutes. She hates the vacuum cleaner but is so fearless that she thinks she can take it on, every single day. She's a year old and still doesn't understand her own tail. She doesn't understand social cues and tries to play with dogs even when they're clearly mad at her.
Sometimes she wakes up in the night and coughs up wood like a cat coughs up hairballs. Nothing she does ever makes any sense, and I'm utterly obsessed with her.
My Mia Moo is definitely one of a kind, and couldn't be more suited to her odd white paws (and tail, and chest..). I don't think any description could do her justice, you have to see her to believe how totally bizarre and completely lovely she is. I could not be more grateful for her falling into my life.
Happy Birthday, baby Moo.
If you want more Moo pictures, and who doesn't, my snapchat is dedicted to her - beckystorey