I recently had an epiphany: our dog Lola is old, we lost our boy Rocco last spring, and I realized how profoundly I will feel her loss when she leaves us. She was our first baby. She’s doing fine, aging gracefully, but she has already outlived all expectations. I told husband we must have dog overlap. We started researching, perusing websites, flirting with the idea of – gasp – a puppy. I envisioned myself taking a dog out in the middle of the night. Ack. I envisioned doing this under a canopy of Big Sky stars. Aaahhhhhh.

And there it was: a listing for an English Mastiff puppy. Bam. It all happened so fast. I truly believe that sometimes you aren’t even making the decisions, Someone or Something is guiding your hand. Our last puppy experience was a real nightmare, and we found her another home. It was not a good match. I think that getting a dog can be like choosing a yoga style – pick the wrong one and you might be scared away for awhile (i.e., me practicing Iyengar: NOT). I adore dogs but I couldn’t face the prospect of one chewing on our walls again. The more I read about the English Mastiff breed, the more I knew it was a fit. A huge, slightly slothful snuggler. Everyone keeps asking me if I realize how BIG this puppy will get. Yes, I reply, and we are thrilled. She will be a Montana-sized dog, for sure.

Lili has only been in our lives a little over a week, and we are completely smitten. I would do anything for her. I just want to absorb as much of her puppy joy as I can and sprinkle it all over everything. She has melded into our daily lives without much trouble at all. I worried I didn’t have time. I now know that you can always find time for more joy, love and caring for others – people and animals. I am reminded of these ties that bind us all. And I am grateful. Welcome to our family, Lili. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu – may all beings everywhere be happy and free.