Since my last post about a year ago, I found out that I’d broken my hip in the fall of 2021 as I was working on my landscaping, yard work, reorganizing, creating Large Yard Art (one 15′ x 8′, one 12′ x 12′, etc.). Not deterred by pain, I continued on my driven task of getting it all completed…and I did.

In November, 2022, I fell deeply in love with a puppy born to my friend’s female. I saw each one as they were born. The ninth one came out when the immediate message “that one! came to me. So, I told my friend, “That one!” She knew I wanted a female and she said, what if it’s a boy. I repeated, “That one.” as she turned the 9th of 10 pups over for the big reveal. It was a girl with a white heart on top of her head! I was already madly in love with her. I didn’t care how far I had to drive to see her because she was my destiny. Plus, seeing my friend and getting a chance to enjoy my lifelong weakness of puppy breath, was a dream come true!

When the pups were about seven weeks old, I drove nine hours straight to get there. If you’ve followed my blog, you know I’m a long hauler. I love being on the road and, this time, I had those puppies to play with and my lil girl to hug up on.

The first time I saw those pups, they all ran up toward me still contained in their chorale. I said, “Where’s my Big Girl?” and, there she was, jumping higher than all the rest with her front paws extended higher than the others as if to say, “HERE I AM!” My heart leapt with joy and excitement to see that expression from our first meeting. I was there for over a week and, each time I went out to see the pups, I’d say that same greeting and she would respond by bouncing higher than the last time and with arms reached out.

I brought her home in mid January of this year and learned two weeks later that I had no right hip! To say I freaked out is an understatement. I was so worried about taking care of this adorable, smart, hyperactive pup with this bad hip that it took me the whole month of February to calm down enough to call the hip surgeon to get an appointment. Why? Because I’ve never had surgery but have had unpleasant experiences as a child in hospitals and with doctors. Yep. I’d gotten triggered.

These are the pictures taken by my friend on New Year’s Eve. This haughty, rowdy, smart, inquisitive, cuddly, lil girl was going to be a handful to train. I’d trained a bird dog before who my followers knew as Montana who went on most of my 150,000 mile back road journeys before she passed from cancer. She wasn’t an easy train but eventually made the best Service Dog ever! This lil girl is called Tallulah and, although I’ve been training her in behavioral issues since she came home with me, I mostly just wanted to enjoy her puppy breath and cuteness as long as possible before she blossomed into a teenager!

To be continued…