Muffy and Pearl, our two new girls... Following our tragic loss of our beloved Frenchie Pierre, Arthur and I did our very best to recover from what was perhaps the saddest moment of my life. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit shortly after, changing life as we know it. And as horrible of a shock it was, it fortunately allowed us some time to stabilize and reflect. With our daily sunset walks, aka happy hour, we soon realized there was light at the end of the long tunnel, our hearts bursting with a mix of joy and pain each time we passed another furry friend. 

I soon realized that there would never be a replacement for our precious piggy, but there was capacity to love again. 

I also realized that as much as Arthur loved French bulldogs, it would perhaps hit too close to home to parent another one and that at this time I wasn't comfortable supporting the breeding industry, despite my absolute love for our family poodle and the goldendoodle I always imagined having. I knew this would pose a challenge in finding the right pup, but fortunately we had the time to invest in finding someone very special. 

Neither of us predicted that someone, would come with a bonus. We had reached out to the adoption agency about a little guy we found on Pet Finder, a great resource for searching available adoptees. But the agency informed us that dog was no longer available and made a few suggestions for other pups we might be interested in. That's when we received the first video of the cutest little 14 week old, white fluffy puppy. 

We fell so hard. 

This puppy seemed very different than what either Arthur or I were imagining we would want, given her super soft white fur, mysterious breeding and uncertain growth expectations. But she was a puppy and likely would have sent anyone's heart into a frenzy!

So we asked more about her background and were told the agency had rescued her mother, who was found roaming the streets pregnant, in Tecate, Mexico. They sent us a picture of her mom, who they believed was still fairly young herself, about 1 year old. 

They also shared how devastated mom was when separated from her only pup, as they assumed it unlikely the two would be adopted together. 

This story tugged right at our heartstrings like no other and we more seriously considered the idea of adopting both mom and baby together. We knew how overwhelming it would be but honestly had no idea what that really looked like until ultimately making the big decision to adopt both!

We promptly named the puppy Muffy and have since created many a nickname for her. My husband's favorite being Muffalina. We went back a forth with the mother's name between Olive and Pearl, but ultimately Arthur choose Pearl, given how tough of an environment she was born into and how sweet and beautiful she came out. I was happy to take title as Mother of Pearl. 

The first three days took a lot of adjusting, going from one older dog who slept most of the day, to two dogs full of energy and not fully potty trained! I will admit that there were moments I questioned whether or not this was the right choice, but ultimately with the support of my awesome husband, I was able to see the bigger picture and trust the process ahead. 

Unfortunately, out of all the possible challenges I foresaw, none were as frightening as this one. 

Where do I even begin.

Four days into our new life with the pups, just as we finally started to settle into a routine, we noticed Muffy appeared a little nauseous and sleepy, which for the majority of the day we assumed meant she might have eaten something off the floor or had a simple tummy ache. But after she refused food again that night, continued to vomit and started having diarrhea, we become seriously concerned. She wasn't drinking water and appeared warmer than usual, even with her thick fluffy coat. After I googled "when to take your dog to the hospital" I decided it was worth checking out, even amid the paranoia around COVID-19. 

We arrived at the animal hospital and patiently waited for someone to tell us what was wrong. After two vet technicians completely covered in head-to-toe proactive gear pulled her out of our car window, tested her six feet away from us in the hospital parking lot, we soon found out she tested positive for Parvo virus. 

For anyone unfamiliar, Parvo is the worst possible virus a puppy can contract, as they can very easily die given their underdeveloped immune systems. Arthur and I felt so much anger, as we had just taken Muffy for her final Parvo vaccine two days earlier. 

I immediately started crying, unable to comprehend the possibly of loosing another baby this shortly after Pierre. 

But our only hope was to leave her at the hospital for professional care, an extreme luxury given the mind-blowing cost of admittance. I felt extreme stress, but also relief that we  could give her the best chance of recovering, despite the bleak odds. 

After being admitted late Wednesday night, we waited several days, constantly checking in on Muffy's progress, letting everyone in the hospital know how invested we were in getting hopeful updates. By the third check in the receptionist answered us, oh yes, for the Parvo pup right? We found that nickname sobering but our ears immediately perked up once several technicians referred to her as "feisty," that's when I knew for sure, she was my girl and she was going to make it. 

But my apologies to Fernando, the poor tech who worked the shift requiring new IV drips, Muffy revealed to be as audacious as she is endearing. 

We even got a chance to FaceTime her and although it was hard to bear, her spunky and bright appearance instilled some hope in our hearts. 

By Saturday, she had shown enough progress to be sent home for continued care and isolation from her mother Pearl. Arthur courageously took on the full time task of nursing her back to health for two full weeks. He's officially the best husband I know, the only one I know, but still superior in my eyes nonetheless! 

Meanwhile, Pearl and I lived the good life, well as good as one can amid COVID-19. We took long, adventurous walks in the morning and evening, running sprints, sneaking in a few times to a coffee shop here and there. I showed her all my favorite streets in the neighborhood, taught her my different running paths and attempted ease some of her fearfulness around other humans and furry friends. 

We turned the couch into a bed every night and Pearl independently decided she would curl into a ball in my stomach, facing me, falling asleep staring into my eyes. After all the trauma work I've done in my career with humans, I failed to realize how simple it could be for a traumatized dog to feel safe in her new home. 

As my dear friend Sonia reminded me, "we were all built to survive and love."

Boy was she right, Pearl is perhaps the sweetest, most trusting dog I have ever met and even though she sometimes barks and whines around other dogs and people, I am so proud of how far she as already come and so grateful we have her. 

The two weeks of isolation was taxing but Arthur persevered with my attempts at cooking for him and managed Muffy's sassy persona with courage. I am happy to report she made a full recovery and finally we were reunited about one week ago. 

It was a lovely four days in, actually the exact same amount of time before Muffy got sick,  before I realized I had flu symptoms and had to now send myself into an isolation period from everyone else. 

But at least the cake I tried to make was pretty great, right? 


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