Tomorrow is the three year anniversary of the day we adopted Asha. Three years ago tonight I laid awake for hours wondering if we were making the right decision. I worried that it would be too much for us. I worried that we were too selfish to handle a dog like Asha. I know for sure that my “what’s the worst that could happen” scenarios were not as bad as what would follow. I also know for sure that what I thought we would gain from loving Asha did not even come close to reality - we have gained way more.
Three years ago everything changed. We could never have imagined or prepared for it and we didn't really even see it coming. Three years ago today I wrote a blog about our new addition. You can read it in its entirety HERE.
This is how that blog post ended:I keep thinking about what a great life she will have with us. Yesterday, one of my friends said "she will change your life forever". That really hit me....I think we are going to save her life, but I suspect it will be the other way around.
Sunday night, we will bring Asha home to a place that she will never see. She will never hear the barking of our other dogs, the hissing of our cats, the lawnmower, the trash truck, the vacuum. She won't hear us call her name or see how we look at her when we disapprove of what she has done. She will experience her home in a completely different way than the rest of us. But she will know love. We all will. Welcome home Asha....you have no idea what great things lie ahead of you.
You can read through my blog over the last three years and see the things we have been through with Asha. I sometimes forget how things were, how she acted, how that made me feel, what that did to our lives. I think back and wonder "how did we ever make it through all that". I look at Asha and I see my soul, living outside my body. I have never loved something or someone as much as I love her.
Are things perfect? Far from it. But I have learned that perfect doesn't mean happy. The secret to life is finding joy in the imperfection, seeing beauty in the flawed, loving something more than you love yourself.
Asha is so smart. I am amazed every day at how she navigates the world. People have asked us "what do you do with a dog who is deaf and blind". Asha does not know or care that she cannot see or hear. I often forget because she does just fine. I sometimes wonder what it is like for her, how she experiences things. When the other dogs run and play or chase a ball I do feel a little sad that Asha will never do that. But then I see just how happy she is and I know that it doesn't matter.
The last time I slept through the night was three years ago. Since Asha, there is no sleep. 8 hours of dream time is a thing of the past. However, year three with us has brought a big change. After two and a half years of sleeping on the floor or the couch with her, Asha finally decided that our bed and the floor next to our bed is sufficient. At last I can sleep in my own bed again. That happened back in December and has really made things tremendously better. Maybe on her fourth anniversary I'll be able to say that we get to sleep through the night. Until then, every morning around 3:30am (if not several times before then), this face appears next to me (after some walking around and barking).
Asha still runs and barks uncontrollably. Not as much, but she still does it. Asha still takes medicine to control her seizures, medicine to control her anxiety, herbs to help with everything and she still eats a special diet. She isn't a "normal" dog. She never will be and that is okay with us.
She sure has grown!
Here is a video about our lives with Asha: