Last week, I shared a story of about a “Pandemic Pup” that was a great source of healing for a child dealing with anxiety and depression amidst Covid. Tonight I want to thank Kristine for sharing about her experience as an empty nester whose Pandemic Pup has been a wonderful addition to her life.
“I am empty nester, single mom... When my son, Adrian, was in college, I decided to sell my house and find something smaller and maintenance free. I lived in an apartment for a few years while I searched. I took some unexpected time off from looking after receiving a cancer diagnosis and going through treatment. During that time our rescue Border Collie, Malcolm, died. He was 13… and it was hard to lose him as I saw him so tied in with my son’s childhood, but he was really my son’s dog. I bought my townhouse in Dec of 2019 and decided to get a smaller pup that summer. This time the dog would was for really for me. I wanted a dog again for both companionship and as a motivator to exercise. I knew I wanted a smaller dog, so I started looking around. I decided to get a Cavachon (Cavalier and Bichon mix) since they adapt well to living with a single person but are also known to be friendly and not too aggressive with visitors and adapt well to a variety of activity levels.
Then Covid hit, and I think we all realized very quickly how lonely things could get -especially living by yourself. I could not visit with my friends (or my son who is in med school in DC). My ceramics class was canceled. I even missed going to work! I did some of the same things everyone else did ... I started some home projects, ordered some gardening tools and some art supplies, did a LOT of puzzles, but being alone was starting to get to me pretty early on. When we realized we would not be going back to school, my friend Karen suggested I move up my puppy timeline since I could be home to train him. I am SO glad I did! I started searching for Cavachon pups and found that many others had the same idea I did. It took me about a month and MANY calls and emails, but I finally found one in early May. On May 18th, I went to Pennsylvania to get my new “baby.” He was only 8 weeks old and weighed 3.5 pounds.”
When asked how Remus has changed her life, Kristine shared,”Remus has given me purpose. He needs me and depends on me. He was a source of healing motivation when I was recovering from my total knee replacement. Knowing that he needed his walks, got me up and moving sooner and that helped me heal better. He has also been a great way to meet people in my new neighborhood.
What are some of her favorite things about Remus, she said, “Remus is playful and sweet, but also loves to snuggle and gives LOTS of kisses!! He absolutely loves to go for walks and loves the wind in his face. He adores belly rubs and treats and playing fetch. I love him to pieces, especially when he cocks his head to ask me a question.”
When asked if she would recommend for other empty nesters to dive into dog ownership, the answer was an enthusiastic, “Yes! Of course with the caveat that only if the the person can commit to caring for the dog (ie: not lots of work travel, etc) as that can be hard on a dog who wants their people nearby.”