I want my first post to be about the thing that changed my life: my bull mastiff. This story is integral to who I am and I feel like it can give a lot of insight into my mind. The day I got her is also the day my life started again.
On September 7th, 2014 a few months before my 21st birthday, my worst nightmare happened and I lost my mother. My mother was my world, and I was beyond devastated. I didn’t know what to do or how to continue living. A few days before the funeral I was sitting on the couch with my friend. Growing up I had had a single dog, Raven, a border collie. I loved dogs but my parents (my mom) only allowed me to have one.
Two thoughts entered my brain: I could now get away with getting another dog (my dad never said no to me) and, since I had been the sole caretaker of my very sick mother since middle school, something to take care of might help occupy my time. My dad was away at work nine months a year and even with my best friend moving in, the house seemed to empty. A dog would certainly liven it up. I decided to do something my mom had never been able to, get a bull mastiff, her dream dog. She had always wanted one but was never able to. Frantically me and my friend searched the internet for bull mastiff puppies near us, only to come up empty-handed. Disheartened I looked across the country and we found a couple. I was very determined and figured since my mom had owed me over a thousand dollars, I could ship the puppy here. We found a few numbers and my friend called them both for me, as I deal with extreme social anxiety. Neither of them called back so she left a message. A few hours later our second choice called. He had a brindle male and fawn female left. We’d always had girls so I chose the girl and we set it up. It would two weeks until I got her but honestly the wait helped me get through the funeral.
During the meantime I showed the above pictures to everyone I knew. One night me and my bestie sat down and decided to make a list of names. I was a firm believer, due to past experience, that you couldn’t name a dog until you SAW it, like a baby. We found a few names and then my friend decided to look into Irish names, because not only was my mom of Irish descent but she had always wanted to go there (and have her ashes spread there). She read a few names to me and eventually said the name Kiva. Looking at the chubby puppy on the red blanket I knew I had found her name.
The day finally came and a friend drove me the hour and a half journey to the closest airport (we live in the boonies). It was the longest drive of my life. We got lost at the airport, and almost missed getting her due to a mix up, but we finally found the correct place. A kennel was brought forward and I looked inside to see her cowering in the back. We carried the kennel outside and I carefully got her out and held her.
This is the picture my friend took. She said it was the first time I had actually smiled since my mom had died. I actually teared up when I held her. The ride home I bundled her up in the blanket they sent, even though she’d peed on it, and petted her. Kiva definitely stuck and we chose her original name, Daisy, as her middle name. From that day on my life was changed. I often say that I wouldn’t be here without Kiva and I mean it. I’m going to be honest here: If I hadn’t got Kiva I would have killed myself after my mom died, I had lost my very world and didn’t want to live in a world without her. But Kiva gave me a reason. Two years later and now as I write this four months after I lost my dad, I still get up every single morning for her. I go to work for her and I’m trying to learn to be happy for her. I’ll talk about these things in later posts but Kiva has helped immensely with my anxiety and depression problems. She is, truly, the light of my life and I want to share that special light she has with everyone.