When the Camera Met Astro

There’s always that first time a new loved one meets my camera.

Or is it really my camera meeting them? I always seem to capture the moments exactly as they fall into place, sort of the way it always works out. Instinct. Technique. More of one than the other. Self-doubt. Pure emotion. I can’t say that I’ve been really up on myself with photography or writing lately. Sometimes it’s hard for me and sometimes it isn’t. It’s just that there’s so much perspective and emotion crammed into blog posts and photographs, no matter how wide the bandwidth and how large the format. I only took phone photos the day we got Astro because I was focused on keeping the surprise under wraps and holding a wiggly puppy for a three hour car ride. Not that it wasn’t pure bliss. I shouldn’t have been worried.

We spent a few days, and then weeks, getting to know each other. He has started puppy class and he’s tried to chew our entire house. We’ve had some user-error-induced house breaking accidents, but we’re learning the way and so is he. He brightens my day. I’ve been so tired since we got him – just flat-out exhausted at the end of the day. I was already so bad at balancing parenting and personal/social life and work and writing/photography for fun. Then you throw a puppy into the mix and the fact that he has to be watched or crated when I’m working. Yet, sometimes he’s just the brightest star in my sky.

And the best part of my day. Pure unconditional affection. He doesn’t cower like Athena, act like too much of a cat like Junie (the cat), break my heart like humans, and cause Salmonella like the chickens. I can just scoop him up, day after day, moment after moment – sometimes letting tears drip down his fur. He’s perfect and new. And he smells good. And he’s fluffy – although changing color every day. Not to mention, will we EVER know what kind of dog he is? Maybe. Probably not.

So that’s my story for you, and it’s one of love and newness and how the emotions spill out into words and then spill out into photos and somehow with spoken words and written words and photographs, other people get a bit of an idea of it all.

So this is my photo story for you:

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is Photo Share Friday And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE. What’s your photo? What’s its story?

He’s pretty irresistible, isn’t he?

The Coming of Astro

In case you didn’t know, that’s an episode title from “The Jetsons.” Also in case you didn’t know, THIS happened yesterday:

Link up with Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF for Photo Share Friday. They have a new format and each week is exciting and new!

I don’t have just one photo, but I have one story. We have long thought about getting another puppy. Another cat is non-negotiable because I firmly believe that when you have two, it can backfire on you. They might team up to torment you, or they’ll curl up in each other’s paws, rather than in the nook of your arm. I realize there are exceptions, but we’re a one-cat family. Since I keep putting off the third baby decision, and no less confusing everyone around me (like I said – they’ll deal), we got a puppy. This wasn’t long planned. It was 2 – 3 weeks and I barely kept the secret. I didn’t want my kids to know.

They didn’t, until they did.

(This was just before she knew.)

I was nervous. I get nervous anyway, but this was an airless room with lots of people, a presentation from the shelter, and then he was in my arms and we were whisked away pretty fast. Now we’re left stumbling around like we did when we first had a baby. A “now what” mentality. Do you just go on doing what you do, in the ways that you do? Or is nothing the same? Has the world been topsy-turvied over? Are YOU topsy-turvied over? How fast can you right yourself? Where will you land?

The short story is that my “puppy-pusher” friend, Sarah, tags me in occasional puppy rescue updates on Facebook because she knows our type. Husky-ish. Quirky-ish. Yoda ears. That something something element. The status update had photos of a litter of five and they called them, “Mini Huskies.” Astro is estimated to be a Husky-Pomeranian (Pomsky) mix, but I have my own theory. I think he’s totally a Corsky (Husky-Corgi). All the siblings have long and squat bodies. We’ll find out tomorrow what the vet says. We first applied for Astro’s sister, Angel, but she had a wait list. We hemmed and hawed over the 5 puppies or so, and then I told Cassidy to choose. Of course we got off the phone and I texted him simply one word. Astro.

We took the realist approach/route and still decided that our hearts were saying yes. Astro was ours. We waited two weeks or so and then got our transport date – May 24th. So we told the kids we had a BBQ in NJ because the rescue shelter is in NJ and the three hours in the car would seem suspicious otherwise. I mildly freaked out all week, and then all day, and I got that feeling you get when you have one baby and you’re about to have two. You feel excited/sad. Hopeful/melancholy. Will they get along? More importantly, will your first know they’re not being replaced, and that in fact, you love them madly?

A lot of questions still, and no answers. Yet. I’ll never forget the look on Scarlet’s face when she caught on. We went to the shelter and stood on a line and told her we were there to see Cassidy’s friend and pick something up. Yeah, she wasn’t buying it. She heard the puppies barking and saw the people on line filling out paperwork. “We’re here for Astro,” Cassidy said. Scarlet’s hands were shaking. Sorry to reference LOST for the 100,000th time but it was exactly like this:

The process was hard for me because anxiety gets me. And excitement anxiety is a weird one. It’s like when I met Tim Curry. I didn’t want to faint at his feet, or pass out on the floor. We went into the shelter and knelt in front of Astro’s crate. Des finally got it. Scarlet’s heart was pounding into my arms. The whole process took about an hour, and then we were out the door and into the rest of our lives. We had a three hour car ride, and split up the snuggling between two of us. Bliss.

When he was first placed into my arms, though. Ah, it took the breath out of me and pounded the life back into me.

You’re probably wondering what he’s like. Initial thoughts are mellow but puppy-like. He put his paws around my neck in a hug and played with the drawstring on my pants. He knew he was home. It’s as simple as that. We gave him food and water and he bounced from his dishes back into our arms. Back and forth and back and forth. “You’re still there! It’s still there.

You’re still there! It’s still there.”

Indeed. There’s a metaphor for life somewhere in there.

He has yet to meet my camera, the way Athena has, Penny has, and Junie has. That comes with intimacy and daylight. It will probably start this weekend because I just want to squeeze him when he’s this little, and learn his ways. His soul.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is Photo Share Friday And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE. What’s your photo? What’s its story?

Well, what do you think about that??