I grew up having a dog and I always knew I would have one as an adult. There is just something amazing about having a bond with an animal. It was especially important to me as a child. I am an only child, so I was able to play with and take care of them. It was not quite the same as having a sibling but came close. My dog gave unconditional love, loved to snuggle, and would occasionally play with me.
My experience entering into motherhood was not one I (nor most people) would have anticipated. I was thrown more into a caregiver role than a mom. I tried to keep a balance but it was not always easy. Typically, a baby will give you smiles and start interacting with you in a couple months, but not D. It was rare to see a smile or one that didn’t have an asterisk next to it because I wasn’t sure if it was a seizure or not. When he turned one he was still very similar to a newborn developmentally. He was excellent at snuggling but I was finding it hard to tell he appreciated me. (Although I know he did, I’m his mom.)
Shortly after D turned one, it was time to start seriously looking for a dog. I decided I would try to find a dog via rescue rather than a shop. This dog needed to be small to medium sized and preferably not shed a lot. I found a listing on Petfinder.com for a sweet little puppy and I inquired about her. She was taken, but her sister was still available. She wasn’t as cute, but I’d take her!
A few weeks later I planned to pick her up at a Mobil station as she was coming from Tennessee. Lola Rae is the BEST thing I have ever gotten from a Mobil station. She was so tiny, just under two pounds, now she weighs five pounds. She covered me in kisses and was so excited to see me, like she knew I was her mom.
Lola was very easy to train, took to D right away, and helped me feel little bit more like a mom and a little less of a caregiver. D couldn’t really visibly show love or appreciation, but Lola could. Lola loves to play fetch, snuggle at night, lay in the sunshine, and eat crumbs that my kids drop on the kitchen floor. She has been a little dose of therapy that on some days I just need to get me through.