A New Chapter
One Chapter Ends, 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, and time and nature had battered his little body. Silence seemed to echo throughout our home. There was no longer the sad sound of Nigel's dragging paw, and no sweet fact to look upon anymore. After 14-1/2 years we were dogless, broken hearted, and lonely. We missed Nigel, but then again, we had been missing and mourning Nigel for a long time already...
We had always discussed the probability of having another dog after Nigel, and now the decision was upon us. While I knew I would always want to share my life with a dog, I wasn't exactly sure what it would be like to live with and love another Norwich Terrier. Would I compare him or her to Nigel or Divot? Could I go through love and loss again?
A puppy with an excellent pedigree and sweet temperament became known to me and after a good amount of consideration and conversations with his breeder, Geri Gentile, we decided to make a trip from North Carolina to Michigan to visit him. We all left the options open about the meeting – if we didn't like something about the puppy or if Geri, was uncomfortable with us or if the puppy showed no interest in us, we would all agree that it wasn't a good fit and not meant to be.
Our trip to Michigan wasn't without drama. We encountered some of the worst storms to hit the Midwest in a very long time. At one point, we feared we may be hit by a tornado while stuck on the highway. There were power outages that limited services along the way as well. After a long and scary trip, we arrived at Geri's house, ready to meet the puppy, who was then known as Ted E. Bear. He was everything we had ever wanted in a puppy. He was calm, sweet natured and very drawn to us. We liked Geri and appreciated the way she took care of her dogs. They were impeccably groomed, happy, and very friendly. After spending several hours talking, watching, and playing with the puppy we decided that it was a good match. We left to visit 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 special 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. We got into our car with me holding him in the backseat and as we drove away, I looked down at his trusting little face and I knew that I loved him. I knew right then that it is possible to deeply 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 and protect him, and teach him everything he needed to know from this point forward. My grieving heart overflowed with love.
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 to him and because he represents another chapter in our lives, we added that sentiment to his name too. He is Sarum Stormin' Norman Chapter Two. It is a fitting name indeed.
Norman possesses Nigel's brilliance and Divot's sweetness but he is his own dog and has brought his own special presence to our home. He is a wonderful puppy who delights in everything because everything is new to him. He is eager to please yet 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 once again filled with 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 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, carefree and happy – he has not a care in the world. He has allowed us to turn the page and start again. And so it begins, Chapter Two.