When you are solo, whether by design, divorce, or death, it is easy, and almost necessary, to go searching for the magic that will make you feel less lonely and more relevant in the world, less dull and more alive. What I have discovered is that there is no One Size Fits All solution to these problems, or most any problem, for that matter.

I must confess, though, I have found my answer. Yes, friends, love is the answer!! We’ve heard it in songs, in poetry, and from well-meaning friends. It turns out it is true. Falling in love is known to cure all kinds of ills and ails, and so I have jumped into the waters one more time.

I met him online just over a week ago. I know what you are thinking – this is wild! But I must believe that old saying is true that you find love when you’re not looking for it. But I know this about me: I need touch, I need attention, I need laughter. Rocco provides all of this, and more.

Rocco

He is gentle, and funny, and exuberant, and playful, and curious, all the qualities a gal looks for in a guy. Or a mommy looks for in a furbaby. And that’s exactly what I got, all in one four-month-old bundle of fluff and slobber. Meet Rocco, the new man in my life.

I saw his picture on a Facebook post, and I zapped it off it to my sister just to look. He is a Shih-Tzu and she has one. I had been thinking of maybe looking for another senior Yorkie like my Harley, maybe after Christmas. I called her, and as we were talking, I got a text from the dog rescue organization I volunteer with.

I was also preparing for the adoptive parents of Molly, the beagle, to come get her at 10:30. Wouldn’t you know it? At 12:30 I was on my way to pick up Rocco (then named Wrigley) to foster. He is my 9th foster dog in just over two years, and my first puppy. You know how people say “third time is the charm?” Well, this is not only the third one I have “foster failed” by adopting, but as the ninth one, he is my Love Potion #9.

Just to be clear, I still love the other dogs I have now (Bo and Sasha–my first foster, who I adopted) and the ones I have lost (Cookie, Chica, Blackie, Buddy, and Harley–my second foster who I also adopted) and the ones I have only had for a short time until they found their furever homes (Lily, Rascal, Dopey a/k/a Bandit, Paris, Dixie, and Molly).

Rocco has awakened something in me, and I like it. He filled an empty spot, and not just the vacancy created by Harley’s passing this last July. He makes me want to stay on my toes, to learn from him instead of making him learn my ways, to get down on his level and see the world from a simpler view. He has brought fun back to me.

Here’s an example of my life now.

The other day he got his stitches removed from being neutered, so I gave him his first bath (at my house). It turns out he HATES water. Does. Not. Like. Being. Wet. He does not like getting his face wet, and he isn’t much more happy about having his bum washed. He squealed like a baby goat! And not just once. I laughed so hard he stopped for a second and stared at me. I am sure my arms were shaking as I was holding his wet tiny body. So he started to shake, too, you know, how dogs shake all the water off their bodies? I let go of the water sprayer to grab a towel to protect the counter and window, but the nozzle hit the side of the sink just right and there was water shooting up in the air like a fountain. It was hilarious’; I thought I might pee my pants.

He started shrieking again (yep, the baby goat cry again), which made Sasha start barking, which made Bo pay attention and start his own baying. If it had been summer and door a was open so someone would have heard us, they would have called 911 and come running. It was a comedy I hadn’t been part of in forever. My sides hurt from laughing. It was the zaniest, craziest thing that has happened to me in long while. I hugged his dripping wet body next to me while I shut off the water, and we sat on the floor recovering. Ah, it feels so good to laugh. He still didn’t think it was funny and scrambled away. But Oh My Gosh! I still smile just remembering it.

Well, anyway, by the time I caught him and had him dried off, my coffee was cold but I had a good dose of Love Potion #9, so it all turned out better than okay. The adoption will be finalized this week, and my new little family will be making more memories. Will have to work on the bath thing, though. Beagles only need baths 3-4 times a year, but apparently Shih-Tzus about every 3-4 weeks. God help us! It might not be so funny the next time, or by this time next year!