I can’t even begin to explain how doubtful I was about getting a puppy after my beloved Cavalier King Charles, Sophie, died in January after sharing thirteen and a half years of life with me.
My biggest fear was that I just wouldn’t be able to bond with a puppy even if s/he was the the cuddliest, most puppyish pup in the world.
It was out of pure heartache that I got Stan and it was in a hopeless sort of hope that he could somehow help to take away some of the pain and emptiness I was feeling.
It seemed to be right and fitting that I would get a dog with spaniel ears and I was determined that the dog had to be jet black. When I held ten-week old Stan, just ten days after Sophie’s death, and felt our hearts beating as one as our eyes met, I knew I had to bring him home.
It was only the other day when I was listening to Roddy Doyle talking about his new book for children, which features a black dog, that I suddenly realised how my need for a black dog was all tied up with my low, low mood and Winston Churchill’s Black Dog of Depression came flooding back to me.
It also came to me that four of the most joyous days of my life have been the days that I first met the precious dogs that have punctuated my life. I can remember every single detail about those meetings.
Each one of the dogs has been an absolute joy and young Stan is carving out his own unique place in my heart. Yes, he’s digging up the garden, robbing the kitchen table, eating my shoes ….. but he is full of life, hope and love.