“In rescuing animals, I lost my mind but found my soul” – www.whateverydogdeserves.com
I have always loved being pampered. Birthdays, holidays, gifts, spa treatments or just because . . . I’m a material girl like any fashion forward diva. I get this from my Mom. One of my favorite things about her was the way she knew how to make you feel special whenever you had a reason to celebrate. For my SWEET 16 she had a giant banner hanging from end to end of our two-car garage wishing me a Happy 16th Birthday. For my 21st birthday she took me to LAS VEGAS to drink and gamble and see the Rockettes. Milestones, birthdays, awards, beginning, endings, you name it we knew how to celebrate.
However, everyone has different ways of showing love. I’m lucky that my fiance, Eric, is also into this gift giving celebrating me thing. Our first Valentine’s Day we did the whole nine yards. There were red roses, chocolates, a gorgeous new pair of gold earrings, followed by a overpriced dinner at a shmancy restaurant in Atlanta. After this, Eric and I decided that going forward rather than buying each other gifts every year we would travel and shoot for shared experiences instead. I know, I’m so evolved right??
For our second Valentine’s Day we booked this super cute cabin via AirBnB in Dahlonega, GA, just an hour and half north of Atlanta. We arrived on a Friday afternoon ready for a quiet, relaxing, and romantic weekend. Just the two of us. The cabin was stunning. It sat on 7 acres of land and was set back from the main house where the owners lived. You could see nothing but woods for miles and the beautiful forested land was sprinkled with creeks and a large main river. After sleeping late ( you know 9am, because I’m 40…) and enjoying the complete silence that you only get when you leave the city, we decided to take a walk and explore the property.
We took in the crisp, cool air and followed the path that ran alongside the river. We walked until it ended and there was a fence blocking us from going any further. To our left, I heard leaves rustle and thought all my worst nightmares about wild animals in nature were about to come true. We were just about to turn around and head back to the cabin when the rustling in the woods got louder and louder. All the sudden, three tiny puppies walk out of the brush and in front of our feet. OMG my heart was bursting. They were so cute and tiny, making little puppy yelps. As we walked away they followed us all the way back to the cabin. I tried to quickly calculate how much dog food would cost for three full sized dogs a month. Not in your budget! My brain yelled back at me. BUT-PUPPY-YELPS.
At this point I had snapped a pic and sent a text to my BFF so she could see our cute new friends. This particular county only has animal control so we needed to find these puppies homes fast or they were headed for the pound. Turns out we didn’t have to look very far because my BFF wanted one of the puppies and her mother in law wanted one too so that left one more puppy. The last thing I planned on was coming after our weekend away with a new puppy (See DINK, Double income, no kids), but you know they say: dogs choose YOU. Here I am today with CoCo Valentine (because she reminded me of a little Hershey kiss and she would always be a reminder of our romantic weekend). Fast forward 9 months later and CoCo runs the show. I never thought I would be so willing to selflessly love and take care of a tiny fur baby and though she can be a total brat I can’t help but spoil her rotten.
Things I’ve learned from my dog:
Coco reminds me to enjoy the simple things. When I say the word “OUTSIDE” or “DOG PARK” or “DIN DIN” her eyes light up and her tail wags like crazy. To find joy in something so small, something so part of your everyday routine is a refreshing perspective to have in this world. She has taught me not to take myself so seriously. When she hears me coming downstairs in the morning to take her for a walk, her whole body uncontrollably wiggles because she is happy to see me. She’s literally so excited she can’t stop jumping up trying to get close me and kiss (well lick) my face. She has taught me to let in more love.
I’m sure all the moms, dads, and fur parents out there totally get this but for me I haven’t had a puppy in a long time and this feeling was so new and refreshing. Coco is hard thankless work. I am constantly sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, wiping couch cushions, doing laundry, picking up toys but I LOVE IT. They say the best things life are rescued. Rescuing a stray was certainly not on my agenda but the universe had different plans for me. Coco ran the numbers when she saw me and she knew she found a winner. Coco gives me purpose. She is another vehicle for kindness and love and care. She brings so much joy by just being herself. Her snuggles, her dinosaur breath kisses, I’m obsessed. I love her and I love how she’s changed my life. Technically I saved her but really, who saved who?
Peace. Love. Adopt.
Lashes, Love and Lipstick,
BC & Coco