A Big Dilemma with a Powerful Little Solution (Or, Who Can Resist Puppies?)

Introducing Hadrian, my new writing buddy!  

  We were devastated when Declan, our beloved Cairn terrier, died the day following Hurricane Irma.  Even though he was almost fourteen and had been declining for several months, his death was heartbreaking.  The long drive that day to the only vet open in this region of Florida was terrible but also gave us a measure of peace, a certainty that it was time for him to go.  We swore we’d wait for a couple years to get another dog.

                We had good intentions.  But as a fulltime author who works from home, I found that I was lonely and depressed without my furry companion.  I know that part of that was purely the result of my grief, but I felt as if there was more to it than that.   I couldn’t write and didn’t think I could wait two years to get another dog for so many reasons.  Perhaps it was simply that we’d had dogs for the past twenty-one years, and I no longer know how to live without a dog in my life.

                Out of the blue, I got a message on Facebook from a good friend of my older sister-in-law’s suggesting that I look into Roman EmpireYorkies .  I thought, Interesting.  She couldn’t possibly know that my first choice of breed for our next dog is a Yorkie.  I haven’t told anyone besides Budge and Joe. I should at least check out the website. That was coincidence #1.

                I ended up calling Robin Taylor, the breeder.  I felt an instant connection with her and discussed our situation.  I learned that Robin was a veterinarian and that she and her husband, Roy, are Air Force veterans.  My father was in the Air Force for decades.  Coincidence #2.

Roman Empire Yorkies is located in Panama City, which is about seven hours from where we live.  However, we would be passing by the following weekend on our way to and from our nephew’s wedding.  Coincidence #3.

                My husband and I agreed to detour so that we could meet Robin on our way along the Gulf Coast.  In the meantime, I learned that my sister-in-law had actually spent the night at Robin’s house many years ago while on her way to a conference.  Coincidence #4.

                Coincidence #5 surfaced when Nate threatened the Gulf Coast.  We’d lost Declan after Irma, and we were considering getting a new dog as Nate approached.  Robin didn’t pressure us, saying that we would know when the time was right, whether it was then, months from then, or years from then.

                When we arrived at Robin’s house, we were greeted in the driveway by Roy.  After the introductions had been made, he asked where we were headed on our trip.

“Do you know where Opelousas, Louisiana is?” I asked, expecting a shake of the head.

“That’s where I was born and raised!” Roy exclaimed.  “What’s your last name?”  Once we’d told him, he looked at Budge and said, “Your dad taught my brother and me drums from an early age.  We were also in his band class at Opelousas High!”

As it turns out, my sister-in-law’s friend is Roy and Robin’s sister-in-law.  Talk about coincidence after coincidence!

                Next, we met Robin, the family Yorkies, and three male puppies.  We each took turns holding puppies, feeling at this point that we were destined to get a puppy from Robin.  We all agreed that Wilder, a traditional black-and-gold Yorkie, would be a great fit for our family.  He was neither timid nor hyper.  In other words, he was just right for us!

                As we planned to return to pick up our puppy the following weekend, Budge, Joe, and I discussed names.  Joe is twenty-seven, but he will always be integral in these types of family decisions.  The only name we could all agree upon was Hadrian, suggested by Joe because of a main character who has the same name in The Riyria Chronicles , a fantasy series we read.  I commented that most people recognize Hadrian as the Roman Emperor who ordered the building of Hadrian’s Wall.  It wasn’t until days later that we realized that the selection of Wilder’s “forever” name had led to another coincidence.  After all, Hadrian was a Roman Emperor, and the breeder’s business name is Roman Empire Yorkies.

                Seven coincidences that could not be mere coincidences.  Hadrian was meant to be with us.  Now a member of our family, he’s been a perfect puppy, so far.  He’s smart, playful, and loving.

                We’ll always miss Declan, just as we’ll always miss our Golden Retriever, Amelia.  Our dogs are literally part of our family, and we accept the inevitable end of our relationships with our furry babies and love and enjoy them while they’re with us.  That’s the circle of life.  Cue The Lion King soundtrack!

I’m thankful for the kismet that drew us to Hadrian.  We hope that we have many happy years with him and intend to remain in contact with Robin and Roy.  They are such special people, and we’re thankful that our paths crossed.  Robin and her business partner do such great work through their breeding program and rescue operation, and we were lucky enough to get Hadrian as a result!

                As for my writing, I’m writing right now with Hadrian sprawled across my lap.  Especially this first week, it’s all about him!  I’ll begin to work on my novels again soon.  I’m looking forward to writing with my new furry companion by my side – or snoozing in my lap!

                I don’t believe in coincidences.  Everything happens for a reason.  Often, we don’t know what that reason is.  Sometimes, as in the case of Hadrian, we do.

 Barbara