How I Got My Dog & Maddie 15 Years Later

How I Got My Dog & Maddie 15 Years Later - SCsScoop.com

My dog Maddie turns 15 today! So, I thought it would be the perfect time to share the story of how I got my dog and how getting Maddie enhanced my life. I am an animal lover by nature, but I have grown up with different pets and never had a connection to a pet like I have with Maddie. I believe some people end up having a pet or two in their lives that they connect with more than others, much like how there are people we just instantly become friends with. Maddie feels like that pet for me. But before I explain, let me rewind and share with you how I got my dog.

How I Got My Dog

For years before I got Maddie, I was begging my Mom and Dad for a dog of my own. My Mom continually had a reason for us to wait. And while her reasons were valid, the dream never left my mind. In fact, we already had a dog in the house. But, my older brother picked out Jo when I was two, and it always felt very much like she was my brother’s dog. At the time I was asking for a dog, I was entering those awkward, early teenage years, and I think I really just wanted something of my own.

Finally, when I was 13, it was time. We had moved into a new house and my Mom said that after a house-warming party, we could look for a dog. On the morning after the party, I distinctly remember coming downstairs with the classified section of the newspaper in hand and several puppy options circled. My Mom (thankfully!) stuck to her word and we hopped in the car to look at the puppies I had found in the paper.

Sadly, the first couple options did not work out. The first place just had a weird vibe and the second place didn’t have any girl dogs. I think I knew in my head exactly what I was looking for and it was upsetting that I was not just finding the dog I had envisioned immediately. That said, if you are looking for a dog, go with your gut. I’m definitely glad I did that day.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings

The afternoon was coming to an end, so we decided to pick one more place to visit. We went to a beautiful farm and walked over to the barn. The owner said they had one more girl Bichon puppy, and he quickly went to get her for us to see. I will never forget him walking out with what looked like a small handful of cotton with a black button-nose and eyes. She was adorable! My Mom and I looked at each other, and we instantly knew – this would be my dog.

How I Got My Dog & How my Dog Enhanced my Life - SCsScoop.com
Here is Maddie a couple of days after I brought her home. She weighed a whopping 3 pounds at nine weeks old.

As we drove home, the puppy laid on my chest as I decided what to name her. I named her Madeline after the character in the well-known children’s book series, and decided to call her Maddie for short. Maddie and I became attached instantly. I took the lead in her care-taking; feeding her, teaching her how to go up stairs and taking her out in the middle of the night when she needed to go to the bathroom.

I like to think that Maddie understood instantly that I was her “mom.” I know this may sound crazy if you don’t have a pet! But, since the day I got her, Maddie has followed me around everywhere. Family and friends have all commented over the years how they can tell she prefers me.

How Getting a Dog Enhanced my Life

Fast forward through high school, college, finding my first real job, living on my own, meeting Will and so much more, Maddie has been by my side through so many ups and downs. Maddie loves being outside, going on walks and being in the presence of people. She is that dog that will follow you around the house, monitoring you, until you sit down. Maddie also loves (even at 15!) doing sprints around the house upon my arrival home.

Now that Maddie is 15, I have lived more of my life with her than without her. Maddie’s sweet and happy disposition continually gets me through rotten days and reminds me that so often the little details I worry about will not matter in the long run. If you have a dog like Maddie, I think you will understand what I am talking about. Dogs love you and greet you with a smile every day, no matter what. If only more humans (including myself!) could express their love so openly and regularly.

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
—Roger Caras

Maddie continues to teach me lessons, make me smile and remind what is important in life every day. As she gets older, I can only hope the years I have left with her will bring her the same level of happiness she’s had so far in her life. Now, if only I could find a way to tell her how grateful I am for all the years I have had with her sweet soul!

I would love to hear your pet stories! Is the story of how I got my dog similar to yours? Have you ever had a special connection to a dog or pet? Do I sound like a crazy dog-mom or can you relate to my thoughts?! Tell me exactly how you feel and what you think in the comments section.

Cheers!

Sarah Camille

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Annual Reflections: Navigating Life’s Challenges and Embracing Celebrations

Quote about change - "The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." - Alan W. Watts

Life continues to be busy for me as I juggle the wedding planning, training for a marathon, work and my blogging hobby. We also just got a kitten from the animal shelter (pictured below)! Her name is Maple and she’s super friendly and getting along quite well with our dog Maddie. Recently, I have been overwhelmed with several time sensitive things on my plate, and have been thinking about how I have been navigating life’s challenges. There has been a lot for me to process in the past year. So, I’d like to take a little time today to share some reflections.

Maple - kitten cuddles

Reflecting on the past seems automatic to me during the Fall. I’m not sure if it has to do with October being my birthday month, the changing weather or the approaching holidays signaling the upcoming year’s end. Whatever it is, I have been doing a lot of reflecting! The past year was characterized by major downs, major ups, a lot of change and a lot of lessons. I would like to open up and share this time in my life with you. I think it is important to not just share all the great things going on in one’s life. So, my hope is that you may relate to some of the highlights, the struggles, the changes or the lessons I have learned. Here we go!

Navigating Life’s Challenges

I am not one to dwell too much on negative things, so I think it’s best to get this part done first. One major challenge I faced earlier this year was watching my fiance Will injure himself doing something he loves — racing his motorcycle. Of course, I did not have the physical pain that Will had to deal with. But, it was very scary and difficult to see someone you love get hurt and not knowing if he was ok. Will broke his collarbone in multiple pieces, which required surgery. I was quickly consumed with trying to help him get better and heal. Will’s recovery has been longer than we expected. I also did not realize just how connected your collarbone is to everything else. It’s been difficult to see him unable to be his active self throughout the past few months.

Now to the other big challenge I faced, which was surfacing this time last year. I was struggling in a unfulfilling job, feeling undervalued at work, applying for new positions and looking for an exit. I was also still holding on to a hope that maybe, just maybe, the internal problems in my work environment would work themselves out.

PIN ME!

Quote about fall and change - The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." SCsScoop.com

I was wrong. Days before Thanksgiving, I was let go from my job of five years. It was a major blow to my confidence. It was hard to turn around from that and tell job seekers why I would be a great employee for them. I was able to get a new job pretty quickly, but unfortunately it did not turn out to be the right fit. In hindsight, I wonder if I would have accepted that job if I was still employed. I’ll never know. What I do know is that I knew I had made the wrong job choice about one month into the new job. Simply put, the work was not exciting and I did not have the ability to do the type of work I thought I would.

During this time, I had a couple breakdowns, which Will graciously helped me recover from. I don’t know how I would have been able to keep going without him. I questioned my career path. I questioned my capabilities. Eventually, I came to the realization that we spend SO MUCH of our waking hours at work, and I (we all!) deserve to be happy during those hours. With support from family and friends (and some validation that I was not crazy), I began looking for new jobs.

Originally, I jumped into a job at the beginning of the year that was not quite the right fit for me. The day-to-day work was not fulfilling and not what I had envisioned doing in my career. I felt crazy at first for feeling this way, and I wondered if I was just being too picky with my career. I gathered the courage to try for something else, and pretty quickly the stars aligned.

Embracing Celebrations

It felt like the universe was affirming my decision to fight for what I wanted in a job. Someone saw the value I could add to their team and appreciated my skills. Now, my new(ish) job gives me the ability to truly showcase my communications skills and be part of a wide range of projects and goals. While it challenges me daily, it also gives me confidence and reaffirms a lot of the things about myself that I questioned at the beginning of the year. I am so grateful that my career challenges turned into something I can now celebrate. They gave me a better perspective on what matters in a job, and how change can be not only normal, but healthy.

Fall Quote - We all change colors and lose our leaves … then, we bloom again." SCsScoop.com

Now, the most defining and exciting day of the past year is an easy one to choose. It was April 2. On that day, Will and I got engaged. It was a perfect surprise and a truly wonderful way to kickoff our shared desire to build a life together. The happiness that I have experienced with Will remains unparalleled. His steadfast support and encouragement, especially through the low parts of my career changes have been invaluable and reassuring. I feel so lucky and often so undeserving of his love.

Throughout this past year, it has been so exciting to dream about our future together and think about what kind of life we want to have in five, ten and twenty years from now. Knowing he will be there with me through all difficult days, the boring days and the happy days to come makes my heart feel so full. There is a lot to plan still in terms of the wedding, but this is truly an exciting time for us. It has been a lot of fun to share it with our family and friends, too. I am just trying to soak it all up!

Hold it!

I have more to say, but will continue my reflections in another post.  In a few days, I will share the changes I have encountered. I’ll also share the lessons I have learned from all the challenges and positive things going on.

Stay tuned and let me know if you have had similar ups and downs in your life. What’s been the most exciting or most difficult part of the past year for you? I would love to hear all about it!

Cheers,

Sarah Camille

P.S. Here are outfit details for my look in this post.

Vest | Cardigan |Plaid Shirt (Similar) | Pants | Booties | Watch 

Navigating Life's Challenges

 

 

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