About six months after Freckles passed away, I knew it was time to look for a new pet. In a way, the stress of losing Freckles had caused me to get very ill. I had almost constant headaches that had evolved into migraines with scary aura. For the longest time, I didn’t realize what they were since I had never had a migraine before, having rarely even suffered a headache in over half a century. I started to think I had a brain tumor myself.
I went to a few different doctors, including an eye surgeon because of the bursts of light in my periphery. The next step would have been to see a neurologist. It was then I decided I needed a new dog. It would heal me.
My search started online. Freckles had been a rescue. We wanted to do the same again—find a dog who needed a home. I set up an appointment to meet one. Then another. My husband was ready to adopt the first one. He was ready to take the second one. But both times, the dogs just weren’t right for me.
My problem was that I always went for dogs that looked somewhat like Freckles—black and white at least. Then I got there to meet them and they weren’t Freckles. I realized this myself and was frustrated with myself. Chris said, “Just take your time. You’ll get the right one. I’m sure I’ll like him too.” He was done getting his hopes up, getting ready to say “yes” just to be disappointed by my inability to let go. I was on my own to actually find and bring home a new family member.
I didn’t want a puppy, but when, at a party, somebody mentioned the puppies that were being fostered by a friend and that they were so cute and I absolutely had to see them, I thought, maybe she’s right. Maybe I need to make a completely new start. I mulled this over a couple of days and then decided to give it a shot. At least I could go and see them. I could say no again.
Well, I had waited too long. All the puppies had found a home. Only the momma was still available, but Janet, the foster mom, was considering adopting her herself. Nonetheless, she sent me a photo. Why send me a photo if you’re going to adopt the dog yourself? And why did this dog look so very similar to our first family dog, Filou, a German shepherd mix?
I emailed back, saying, OK, if she decided against the adoption, then I’d love to come and see her. Two days later, we met. Carmen was the very opposite of Freckles in many ways—female, brown/black, scruffy, not a ball dog. She immediately wrestled with me but also leaned into me and gave me a little snuggle. Two of her puppies were still there: one because Janet was going to keep THAT puppy for sure and was taking care of one of the other puppies temporarily for a friend. They were adorable. And Carmen was so sweet. Although a momma, she was still young, not even 2 years old.
I went home to tell Chris that if Janet decided to let us have her, we’d have a new dog. I think good karma took pity on me that day. So I renamed her Karma, not that she minded, or probably even noticed, anyway. This was a year and a half ago. And in case you’re wondering, I don’t have those headaches any more.