4072 Kilometres

image4072 Kilometres. Apparently that’s the distance from Tremont, Nova Scotia to Niagara Falls and back. Understandably then, some people thought I might be a little off my rocker to do that drive, all by myself,  in three and a half days, ” just” to get a dog. I thought I might be a little off my rocker too, but it was worth it.

Some women go through 9 months of pregnancy and several hours of labour to bring a dependent they can love into their lives. I drove for 3 and a half days straight. 4072 kilometres.

I didn’t study new aged birthing methods and the profiles of a dozen doulas. I studied Airedale rescue websites, Kijiji, and Craigslist and the profiles of dozens of dogs needing homes.

I learned how to breathe, I learned how to push… both were required as I navigated my way through the highways of  Montreal and Toronto, not only for the first time, but alone. I didn’t take painkillers but I downed a lot of caffeine. Adrenaline and focus got me there and back.

We could have bought a puppy. We could have gotten a local rescue of the non-Airedale type too, but the heart wants what the heart wants. This heart wanted to restore the Airedale energy in our lives, and to give a home to a needy dog in the process.

Ohio to  Tremont, that was Spike’s journey. At 1:30 Thursday morning he met  Milo on our front lawn. Milo perked up, his tail did helicopter circles, and the play began as if it had never ended.

Spike doesn’t like to let me out of his sight. He has claimed our kitchen couch for his own. He is a master of sneaking to the kitchen for counter surfing sessions. He is learning that bitey play with a Pointer is ok, that bitey play with a human is not. He has walked our 30 acres in earnest, he has tested the swimming hole with trepidation.  He is not sure why chasing chickens is considered wrong. He has initiated a morning ritual of greeting me by crawling up from the foot of the bed and lying on my chest, legs draped around my neck and  abundant kisses directed at my face. He has slipped into our lives like he was always  here, and in spirit, he always was.

Spike will not replace Griffin, no child could ever replace another in a parent’s eyes. Spike will, however, carry on where Griffin never should have left off. He will continue the foolishness, the challenges, and the love. I don’t know any parents who would think that 4072 kilometres was a ridiculous distance to travel for their child. When you want something badly enough, when you know the impact it will have on your life, you just bite the bullet and do it. If it was the right thing to do it will come with no regrets.

The greatest joy in life is finding another being that needs you as much as you need it. 4072 kilometres is a small price to pay for that kind of devotion and love. Would I do it again? Without a doubt. We knew that Spike was the one, and I’m so glad he’s proven that the drive was a small bump in the grand scheme of things.

I often quip that nothing is ever a easy as it should be. Well, nothing worth doing is ever easy anyway! I’ve never really understood the desire to go through 9 months of pregnancy and then a body-wrenching birth process to have a child, but I can say that after the driving experience I just went through, I may understand it just a little bit better now. People do crazy things for love.

Welcome home, Spike. I’m glad your last stop suits you well.

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