Long before we actually ever found Sonnet, I researched dog breeds by reading about them online, talking to everyone that I knew that had a dog about their dog and struck up conversation with strangers about theirs. I wanted to share my life with a dog, but I had no idea what I was looking for nor what was best. So I spent endless months devoted to this task which just made me feel more confused.
To help with the process I decided to reflect on how I wanted to spend my time with a dog and what my dog would be like.
A friend of mine and I traveled to Tofino one day and we saw this dog (in the photo) on the beach playing with a ball and interacting with its owner. Up until that moment, I didn’t know what kind of dog I wanted. But the instant I saw this dog, I knew that my dog would” look like this” and indeed, Sonnet’s silhouette is nearly identical. The dog in this photo was actually a chocolate lab and I also distinctly remember thinking that my dog was going to be black. It was an odd occurrence given that I didn’t know of any black dogs with this physique, but nonetheless I was drawn to the idea of these elements in a very visceral way as I began to imagine my life with this “imaginary” dog as my friend and I drove home that day.
A month and a half later Sonnet showed up available for adoption online. Her posting came up just as I was browsing through the available dogs at Dogwood Sporting Dog Rescue. She was a 3 month old puppy that was abandoned in a field in Idaho with two of her sisters. I applied specifically for Sonnet and we were selected to foster her (with the intention of adoption if the fit was right in terms of the home we were offering and her care needs). Needless to say, she was the right dog for us as we followed through on the adoption. As a very young pup, we didn’t know what her body would develop into, so we would have to wait and see.
Many months later, I was browsing through my photos and came upon this photo and suddenly remembered the entire sequence of events. Daniel saw me looking through my photos and commented that it [the photo] was a nice picture of Sonnet in Tofino. “Sonnet’s never been to Tofino,” I told him and he looked at me with curious question marks in his eyes. “This was the inspiration for Sonnet,” I told him and revealed the entire story.
One could say that I would have loved any dog, but I know that’s not entirely true. After taking this photo and before finding Sonnet online, Daniel and I had vacationed up to Haida Gwaii. We stayed at a B&B where the local SPCA was also located (for cats). We were there over Thanksgiving weekend and were invited up to join the family for dinner. Oddly enough they had a delightful little dog that had come into their home temporarily that was looking to be adopted. This dog was darling and Daniel said: “We could just adopt him – he’s so cute.” We were also encouraged to adopt him by the family as they liked how we interacted with the dog too. This dog was a possibility and a convenient one at that and I could have thought it was a sign, but I knew this wasn’t my dog because I didn’t feel “it”. What’s “it”? Well it’s that indescribable sensation I get when I act instinctively and allow the entire process to unfold with complete faith and trust – it’s the sensation within that allows me to do that. It just wasn’t there. So I let the opportunity go not knowing that Sonnet was right around the corner.
In hindsight, I realized that for myself I wasn’t just wanting a dog, but rather the dog that was the right match for me – the one that I had daydreamed about. It’s not often that I have a picture to prove how useful it is to daydream, but here it is.
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