Tuesday is Ava’s 2nd birthday.
On March 1, 2014, Ava came into the world, weighing a mere 4 ounces.
On the day she was born, the thought of another dog was the farthest thing from my mind. My dog, Brooke, was alive and well – or so I thought.
As you’ll read in the page of Magical Dogs, a few shorts days after Ava entered the world, Brooke unexpectedly left it. I was distraught, shattered, inconsolable ~ all the things pet parents go through after a beloved animal companion passes over the Rainbow Bridge. I decided I wasn’t going to get another dog ~ at least not for a very, very, very long time.
However, within two months, as if by magic, Ava was in our lives. A little ball of fluff and love and sharp little puppy teeth. She had the l-o-n-g-e-s-t legs I’d ever seen on a puppy. The breeder kept telling me “She’ll grow into them” – and I kept thinking for her to grow into them she’d end up being six feet tall!
Ava settled into my heart, home and life with ease but, before long, began exhibiting some behavior that concerned me. When I would take the trash out she would immediately try to dig under the fence to get to me, howling and crying incessantly. Leaving her alone for any period – even just a few minutes – would result in coming home to a frantic, frazzled puppy covered in drool.
Everyone had their opinion on what to do from “just leave her, she’ll figure it out” to “she’s controlling you.” Consultations with Animal Behaviorists, trainers, etc. all resulted in the same diagnosis: severe separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is very real and extremely heartbreaking. To this day, Ava cannot be left alone.
I trust this will not be her story or legacy. I know in my heart-of-hearts that we will get through this. I have begun to reach out with earnest to experts in the field to get her through and beyond this. I trust in one of the sequels to Magical Dogs you’ll read about Ava’s journey to a calm, relaxed state-of-mind and life ~ and all her joyful experiences AFTER separation anxiety.
It is the hope of every parent (human, canine or other) that our children (human, canine, or other) grow up with a sense of wonder, joy, confidence and calm. That is my hope for my little girl, Ava, on her second birthday.
Ava Bean, thank you for two years of love, cuddles, puppy kisses. laughter and your trademark froggy kick. Just as you grew into those long, beautiful legs, may you now grow into a long, beautiful and peaceful life.
Love you, Ava ~ always and forever!