My name is May. I am used to change and upheavals in life. I have moved countries, continents and corporate jobs and adapted to each situation with ease and fluidity. But when an eleven week old apricot coloured cockapoo arrived at my home on 16th May 2011, from that moment on, I had no idea what hit me. My daily living changed significantly – forever!
I named that little bundle of fur – Miss Darcy.
Although I’ve had several significant others through the years, I figured it’s time a “Darcy” entered my life – to love, to cherish and to enjoy each other’s company. (No one ever told me Mr. Darcy did not come four-legged.) I had many expectations for Darcy – she was going to fill the gaps and make me wonderfully happy. I envisioned her sitting by my side in front of a roaring fire, her head on my lap and smelling of some wonderful cologne. Above all, she would behave perfectly with no demands.
Well, by week two, I needed a reality check!
The list was long – I could not have a lie in if I felt like it, even on a Sunday morning. I could not get into pjs till after I had walked her one last time at night (that’s city living). If I did not make it out the door in time I could end up using an entire roll of paper towel, dabbing the hallway carpet dry. I could not just go off to the cinema and not think about what she was up to at home.
It’s fair to say that Darcy is my first dog, my first pet, the first time another being has totally relied on me. I was told they become your best friend – eventually. They are loyal and they love unconditionally. Great! I was also warned it would be a HUGE commitment. I was ready, or so I thought.
On top of all the inconvenience, Darcy in my life brought out a few embedded emotional issues. I never thought a puppy could necessitate a therapy session but there I was seeking counsel about negative feelings that were emerging.
I was not short of feeling sorry for myself. I felt trapped and a sense of – what about me? When she went about her puppy ways instead of the well-behaved dog I demanded of her, I felt loss of control. My love for her was conditional. She had to behave in order for me to love her. When she didn’t I resented her and then struggled with great guilt, realising my expectations were my issues. Well, the one thing I did not expect was a puppy teaching me life lessons.
There were very real moments of doubts but I stuck it out and made it past two months, all the while considering and resisting giving her away.
Many walks later Darcy has me wrapped around her little paws.
She has personality. She is opinionated. Like Spaniels, she runs fast and free, and hunts for squirrels and chases birds. But she can sit regally proud – very poodly of her! She’s clever, learns very quickly and then the next minute she can be totally kooky – which makes me laugh. She has an expressive face and at times she even rolls her eyes at me! When we are out it never fails for someone to tell me how gorgeous she is – making me burst with maternal pride!
I never thought I could fall in love with a dog but I did in a big way.
Darcy has given me the opportunity to exercise responsibility, to consider another before oneself. I found myself at the vet with every worrying sign that she was unwell, staying up all night when she was ill, even three in the morning emergency room occasions – mostly proven right, so not because of paranoia. My friends cannot believe themselves when they see me scooping up runny poo or Darcy sleeping on my pristine white sheets.
In return I received unhampered affection for no reason except I exist.
How I love returning home to her unabashed tail wagging whether it was after two weeks or ten minutes being away. In the mornings I love her body weight against mine when she decides to curl up against me. She has been both a wonderful companion and a healing friend. She is all joy, engaging and sociable. And she is a constant reminder to live in the moment. When I am caught up in myself, her needs immediately snaps me out of the mode.
She helped me realise that I am capable of loving another more than I thought humanly possible.
In return, I want to give her a voice. So this is Miss Darcy sharing her life adventures and experiences as a dog living in London, as well as her travels.
Please feel free to contact me to talk about the “love” of your life!