Hear from a Puppy Raiser:

Featuring Tara and Rebel

Rebel came into my life and took up a lot of space. But it wasn’t like I was using it for anything important. Living alone and working in Maine for the summer put me out of my comfort zone and away from my friends and family. Rebel soaked up every bit of loneliness. She dictated my life. I was her puppet and as much as she was under my command I was on her schedule.

Rebel was a raw nerve. She loved openly and whole heartedly, she showed all her pain and discomfort, she had zero ability to hold back emotions. Later she learned how to stay under the table if she saw another dog outside, how to walk to me, even if she was frightened, how to control herself, a bit. But she never lost her ability throw herself into life, hers and mine and everyone she came into contact with.

She gave me the chance to love, which I learned is so much more than saying the words. Love is showing up and helping, love is being there, even after work, even when you are tired and busy. Love is making it work and enjoying it. Love is a 50-pound puppy throwing herself at you after a recall because she just wants to be with you. Love is also her ability to hold back because you asked her too. Love is staying sober at parties so you can always drive home. Love is spending your day off working towards the goal of mastering the escalator. Love is accepting someone’s limitations while pushing them to achieve their potential.

Holy hell this dog was a challenge, and holy hell, I hope I have the chance to do it again someday.