I must have started writing this post almost one hundred times...ok, that might be a little over exaggeration on my part. But I have started this post multiple times only to realize that I don't know how to put my thoughts and feelings into words.
On May 29th of this year my first puppy, Freya, had officially been working for three years. The day is one that I have looked forward to since 2010. Freya was such a special puppy. Not only was she my first puppy, but she was also the puppy who helped me through a ton of stuff that was going on in my life at that point. I loved her. Every inch of puppy. Freya was stubborn, smart, quick, naughty. She was by no means the perfect puppy, but Freya was the perfect Freya. Perhaps that statement doesn't make sense to those who don't know her, but it's what she was. What she still is. She is the perfect Freya.
I have written before about how long it took me to get my first puppy. But I wouldn't change what happened. I often thought that I was meant for Freya. That she would not have done as well with another first time raiser. But lately I've been thinking that this is the reverse of the actual truth. Freya was meant for me and I wouldn't have done as well with any other puppy. Perhaps if I had gotten my first puppy sooner I would have gotten an easier puppy. Perhaps I wouldn't have had to work nearly as hard as I did with Freya. But, would I have learned as much as I did? Would I be the same raiser today? Would I have enjoyed it as much? To be honest, I don't think I would have...to any of those. While each of my puppies has taught me something, Freya is the one who taught me the most and without her teachings, I don't think I would be as good as I am (maybe egocentric, but I don't compliment myself on much). I think, if Freya hadn't been mine, I wouldn't have become as passionate about raising as I am. In short, I wasn't meant for Freya. She was meant for me.
Some of you may be wondering why I have continued with puppy raising. Obviously I was attached to Freya and I had to say good-bye to her not once, but three times. To tell the truth, every time broke my heart a little. I have a vivid memory of the day I placed her in the kennels. Besides the oceans of tears I shed that day and the weeks leading up to and following it, I remember walking out of the kennels and meeting up with Falla and her raisers. Falla was coming in for Breeder evals (for which Freya had been taken off around the age of 9 months for distractions) and was one of the littermates I hadn't met before. Her raisers asked, "Oh, which one is Freya?" I turned around to show them which kennel run she was in so that they might go through the kennels to see her. Instead I saw Freya's face looking over the small concrete wall. I laughed and cried at the same time and pointed to her. I remember watching Freya and the Ls walk away after graduation. I hadn't cried all day, but I lost it then. I remember giving her a kiss and whispering, "be good" when I left from my visit with them. Yes, I was enormously attached to Freya. But it's this attachment that has kept me going all these years.
I don't think I can reasonably put into words how proud I still am of Freya. And how happy I am that she is where she is. She has her quirks and I'm very happy that she went to someone who understands and accepts them.
I got an email from Mr.L in response to my "three year congratulatory" email where I told him that Dulcie reminded me a little of Freya; bold, sweet, quirky. His response was that I must be mistaken because Freya is one of a kind. Truer words have never been spoken. Freya is unique for no other dog can match her intelligence, her confidence, her sweetness...her sheer quirkiness. Above I said that Freya was meant for me. I suppose that's only a half truth. She was meant for me as a puppy, but she was born for Mr.L.
What all of this is summing up to say is that I wish them many, many more years together as a team.