I decided to start the One by One Series with the latest addition to my team, my puppy, ever-so appropriately named, Hoops. When I started thinking about getting a dog this winter, I was apprehensive because I knew the tremendous amount of time and patience caring for a puppy requires. I was dreading walking a dog on cold, snowy mornings and cleaning up the inevitable accidents, but then I realized it was time for me to stop being so selfish; it was time for me to be a caretaker for once, so I adopted Hoops.
I’ve had Hoops since December, and she has brought me nothing but pure joy and happiness. She has become the defender who always has my back. When my grandfather passed away in April, she literally never left my side. She slept at my hip, as if to say, “I know you’re sad, mommy, but I’ll help you get through this.” Her wagging tail and bouncing stride managed to lift my spirits, even if it was just for a brief moment.
She has become a constant in my life, and she has helped me improve my crossover move towards happiness exponentially. I look forward to our walks around my development and our daily games of fetch. I can’t look at that wrinkly, little face without smiling.
A few years ago I read a novel by Garth Stein called The Art of Racing in the Rain. The book is narrated by a dog named Enzo who longs to be human. He is more intuitive and observant than his race car driving owner, Denny, yet Enzo remains Denny’s most loyal friend and supporter throughout the story. After reading this book, I remember wondering if dogs actually feed off of our emotions? Do they long for recognition? Do they want acceptance just like we do? Do they really remain so unconditionally loyal? Do they always love us?
After being the proud owner of Hoops for the past 6 months, I adamantly believe that the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes! I know that when I feel like I got slam dunked on at work or out hustled by life in general, Hoops will be there to slide over and prevent me from losing the ultimate game of finding joy and happiness. Her relentless energy, love, and protection make her my all-star defender.