Thursday, October 29, 2009

Travis--my birthday present


--Travis

--playing with his squeaky toy.

I've been going through one of the hardest periods of my life. Depression, hearbreak, imminent job loss...it's all taken it's toll on me. Of course, all this culminated on my birthday, which was on the 27th. It was easier for me to pretend it was just another day. Another day to survive. At the end of each day, I tell myself, "I made it through another one." And take solace in that. To make matters worse, I got 2, count them, 2, birthday cards making fun of how "old" I was and how that was "scary" and I should "lie". 32 is old? I hadn't really given it a second thought. Oh, my God! I'm old enough to get birthday cards that make fun of my age!
I decided to adopt a dog. I've never had a dog but always wanted one. My ex-husband wouldn't let me. Then, my ex-boyfriend wouldn't let me. When Brent left, I started scouring the shelters. I must have searched 7 different shelters, trying really hard to ignore the strings tugging at my heart. Too old, too small, too big, too young, too hyper, too many behavior problems....I wanted to make sure my first dog was a good fit for me.
Then, I found Travis. A 3-year-old, mid-size (50 lb), black lab mix. He had been picked up as a stray 2 weeks earlier and was lethargic, depressed, and sulking in his doggie bed in the back of the kennel. Emaciated, ravaged by worms and coming down with a cold, needless to say, he wasn't feeling too good. He looked at me with these large, brown eyes from the corner of the kennel. I cooed softly to him. He slowly started thumping his tail. I urged him to come over. Reluctantly he trudged over, head hanging low. I stroked his ears through the bars and he gave me a few soft caresses with his tongue. In the play yard where I could interact with him, he didn't want to play. He peed, wandered around, and then laid down. I was worried. Maybe he was too sick? Maybe too lethargic? I went back to his kennel afterwards. He came over to me right away this time, giving me more licks. I looked into those big, sad brown eyes, and that was it. I had to have him.
I named him Travis. It means to travel, and we're both on a journey together. Specifically, it means "to traverse over a bridge or gateway". Both of us were abandoned and had our hearts broken. Both of us, together, are starting a new life together.
I've only had him a week, and he looks like a different dog. His coat is shiny, and he has put on a little weight. He follows me everywhere. Inside, he lays at my feet. He rides in the backseat of my truck on errands. He never barks or whines. He's housebroken. He heels on the leash like a dream. He listens to my commands: "Sit, stay, down, come, wait, easy." I don't think he knew these commands before. He just wants to please me soooo badly. It's his main goal in life. We've gone running too. Trails, beaches, parks, sidwalks. About 3 miles at a time. We love it.
I don't feel lonely anymore. I have Travis. Who needs a boyfriend?
I have to find a home for Sasha (below). She's been extremely upset since I brought Travis home. He doesn't play nicely with bunnies, and she's confined to a small bedroom and totally freaked. I feel terrible and can't wait to find a better home. The ex was supposed to take her (it was his kid's bunny, afterall) but I guess poor Sasha is collateral damage.

20 comments:

Christine said...

If that cute little guy Travis doesn't help cheer you up, I don't know what will! Hang in there.

Krista said...

What a beautiful dog! You are lucky to have found each other!

Kelli said...

I truly believe pets come into our lives for a reason. So glad you got a shelter dog. I especially adore shelter pets because they understand how fortunate they are! Have you tried contacting schools to find a home for the bunny - know any teachers?

bunnygirl said...

Travis is gorgeous! Sometimes it's easier to give your heart to the one that really needs you.

Poor Sasha, though! It's a shame such a beautiful, friendly bunny can't find the right home.

Tri Dave said...

He is so beautiful! My brother/sister-in-law have a black lab. She is SOOO friendly. You and Travis are so lucky to have each other.

Leah said...

He sounds like the perfect dog for you right now. Enjoy!

Shannon said...

Travis seems like a perfect fit, and I know you will give him a great home. I love reading your blog. You are a great person, and I know you will find someone that cherish you.

LG said...

sounds like a match made in heaven! I love that you did something you have always wanted to do - never let someone hold you back from the things you want in life. there is someone out there who will want those things for you as well, for both of you.

You and Travis are going to be best buds!

Diana said...

Rachel,
May both you and Travis travel down the road you were meant to.
We all have our "issues" and I know that if we all put our problems into a pile, we'd ask for our own problems back. Sure hope things make a turn for you. Everyone, I'm sure has said the basics; "keep your chin up", "hang in there", etc....it gets real hard to do when the waves of life keep bashing us to the left and to the right and then flips us around again and again. Our lives are truly cyclic. Ups and downs and ups and downs over and over. Your "up" time has to be on the horizon!
Have a great day, never take any day, no matter how shitty it is for granted because tomorrow is never guaranteed.

Kim said...

I'm so glad you met Travis! Happy birthday!!

Jessica said...

He's so freakin' cute! It's amazing how cute, non-talkative puppies can make things better! Who needs boyfriends when you have a dog????

Laura said...

Travis is so cute..I got a little teary reading your post. It is great to rescue a pet....

beth said...

so happy you found travis- i can't wait to meet him.
glad you're following your own heart now.

beth said...

so happy you found travis- i can't wait to meet him.
glad you're following your own heart now.

Wes said...

Travis is awesome. You two will treat each other right. It's hard to find silver linings when everything seems to be going against you, but you are one tough chica, who has friends.

Bad Wabbit said...

Hey - Travis is adorable!! A black dog to distract you from the other black dog. I'd love one, you can take him running. I did a marathon last week - Beachy Head, Eastbourne, and we saw many walkers, joggers, as well as runners, and many dog-walkers too!! Although any dog which gets used to the prospect of a 40km walkies is perhaps too fit for me!!! Keep running xx

teacherwoman said...

I am so sorry for your hard times. No one deserves that. And you, my friend, are NOT old! Love the knew pup. He's a handsome fella. You both will be good for eachother! :)

Caroline said...

Travis is so cute, and looks like a great running pal. I can't believe the b-day card jokes. I will be keeping my 40th birthday a secret this year, as I don't want anyone to crush my belief that age is just a number!!

highwaymunky said...

The Dog is gorgeous, good choice. They say to a dogs are (wo)mans best friend. take care

Ordinarylife said...

He is beautiful!!!