Chronic Living, Home Life

the story of Isla and how she came into our lives

As I went to snap this photo of her for an Instagram post, I was actually inspired to save this for a journal entry instead. ❤️

I’m not sure if it is possible for this picture to convey her personality, but she really lights up and brightens our world. She’s actually our “grand dog”. Originally, we didn’t want another dog. We had been through the awful process of letting two of our older dogs pass and had settled into just having one dog: Manny, a “morkie” [one dog feels unnatural to us]

One afternoon, our daughter’s fiance came outside to visit with us on the deck. He explained that he felt really bad for her that she spent so much time alone while he was at work, and he would really like to adopt a dog as a companion for her during the day.

At their first meeting, they both fell in love and Isla was eventually brought to our home. Originally named “Ava” but changed to “Isla”. Named after a little girl that Em had taken care of at the daycare she worked at. The transition went beautifully.

We weren’t necessarily the best fit for this rambunctious 8-month old puppy

She had recently been surrendered by a family with young children. In hindsight, she was such a good girl during the early days, when she spent most of her time upstairs confined to one bedroom. I think, at the time, we all had believed that Emily’s health would eventually recover (because we had only known acute circumstances) but her health continued to deteriorate, and she continued to need to spend more time resting than upright and walking around.

At first, I wouldn’t allow myself to become too attached.   At the time, their plans were to eventually move out of the house and she would go with them.   But I found myself offering to let her come down and hang out with us during the day.   Just in short little bursts of time.    She could be very overwhelming.  

“When an 85-pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit on your lap, it’s hard to feel sad.” – Kristan Higgins (author, In Your Dreams)

It was inevitable that it would happen: I fell completely head over heels in love with her. We both did. She has brought so much joy to our home. She is such a happy dog. Super intelligent (she can open doors to let herself in or outside), very protective, and can be an absolute clown. The only dog that has ever licked the tears from my face, and I have really never been without a dog in my life.

Eventually, I suggested that she spend most of her time with us and whenever she needed an “Isla fix” it would be very easy to make that happen.   

She spent her first week downstairs sleeping in a crate.   The first morning, she ran into our bedroom…jumped up on the bed…and I’d swear that animal gave me a hug!  I have not had that experience with her since then, but I will certainly never forget it.   Her favorite human in the house is Emily’s fiance.   

That was almost 5 years ago. She now has run of most of the house. I think I may understand (just a smidge) what it’s going to feel like to be a grandparent someday. There’s just something about her! ❤️

Have a great week!