My mom always told me that it takes about two years to really integrate something new into your life. So I think it was alarming to her that in one year I got a new job, a boyfriend, moved in with said boyfriend, went on a vacation together, and got a new puppy.
This was back in 2014. Like every twenty-something I was sure I had everything figured out. And to be honest, things went about according to plan. But looking back I can see what she was concerned about.
Separated by three years, I watched my brother do something similar. And in both cases I witnessed the same outcome. We saved, planned, puppy proofed and in the end the puppies shaped our futures.
But Islay was ready to make up for those missed moments.
The first week that she was crate training full-time while we were at work, she took it upon herself to throw shit-parties, as I called them. She'd poop in her small crate and then roll around and decorate the walls around her. All of the books said that dogs don't like to foul where they sleep, but Islay had her own agenda.
When she got old enough, we decided that we'd let her stay out during the day while we were at work. For the first 8 months, she slept all day and hung out with Nala. It was perfect. Then she decided to chew off a zipper from a couch pillow. Not great, but it was a small time offense. We tested it the next day - nothing happened. But then a few weeks later she mulched a baseboard and we couldn't find the nail until after we had already paid for x-rays.
But those moments, good and bad, taught me so much in the almost four years she's been in our lives. Patience, compassion, responsibility. I can't imagine a day without her or Nala.