A Tale of a New Chapter • August 2012
One Chapter Closes And Another Begins
On July 3, 2012 we picked up our new puppy from his breeder in Michigan and began our journey home to North Carolina. It was a journey in every sense of the word.
Just weeks before, we had made the decision to let Nigel go. Dementia had claimed his mind; time and nature had taken his body. Silence seemed to echo throughout our home. There was no longer the sad sound of Nigel’s dragging paw, and no sweet face to look upon anymore. After 14-1/2 years we were “dog-less”, broken hearted, and we felt lonely, but then again, we had been missing and mourning Nigel for so long already….
We had always discussed the probability of having another dog after Nigel, and now the decision was upon us. While I knew I wanted another dog to share our lfe with, I wasn’t sure what it would be like to live with and love another dog. Would I compare him or her to Nigel and Divot? Could I ever love a dog that much again? Did I even want to?
The availability of a puppy with an excellent pedigree and a sweet temperament became known to me and after a good amount of consideration and multiple conversations with his breeder, we decided to make a trip to Michigan to visit him. We all left our options open about the meeting – if we didn’t like something about the puppy’s personality, like the way he was raised, or on the other hand, if Geri was uncomfortable with us or the puppy showed no interest in us, we would agree that it wasn’t a good fit and probably not meant to be.
On our trip to Michigan, we encountered some of the worst storms to hit the Midwest in a very long time. At one point, we feared we were being hit by a tornado while stuck on the highway. After a long and scary trip we arrived at Geri’s house, ready to meet the puppy. We knew that he was everything we’d wanted in a puppy. He was calm, sweet, and very drawn to us. We liked Geri and appreciated the way she took care of her dogs. They were impeccably groomed, happy, and friendly. After spending several hours talking, watching and playing with the puppy, we all decided that it was a good match. We left to visit with family for a few days, allowing Geri to finish preparing the puppy for his new home, and to allow her time to say good-bye to a puppy we knew she loved very much.
A few days later, with the puppy in my arms, we departed the home in which he was born and raised. We got into our car with me holding him in the backseat, and as we drove away, I looked down at his face, and I knew that I loved him. I knew right then that it is possible to love each new dog that enters my life as much as I’ve loved the ones who came before. This little puppy needed me to care for him, protect him, and teach him everything he needed to know from this point forward. My grieving heart overflowed with love and with hope.
We decided to name him Norman, as it's English meaning is "man from the North." And because we had endured both physical and emotional storms on our journey toward him and because he represents another chance for love – thus another chapter of our lives – we added that sentiment to his name. He is Sarum Stormin Norman Chapter Two. It is a fitting name indeed.
Norman possesses Nigel’s brilliancee and Divot’s sweetness, but he is his own dog, and has brought his own special presence to our home. He is truly a wonderful puppy. He delights in everything because everything is new to him. He is eager to please yet he has that twinkle of terrier mischief in his eyes. He has brought laughter and joy back to us. The sound of a scampering puppy with a squeaking toy is like beautiful music to any dog lover, and our home is filled with that beautiful music.
There are moments when I still feel sad for what was, and I allow myself to grieve but staying there too long is not good. Life is about change, and making the decision to accept change is the path to bringing more opportunities for love and happiness. We have been given an opportunity to love again and Norman is a worthy recipient. We adore him. Sometimes I feel weepy in a happy way, when I watch him play with reckless abandon. He is so young and free and happy, and he has not a care in the world. He has allowed us to turn a page and start again. And so it begins, Chapter Two.
Normie and I meet July 2012