A gift

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”  Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

Some of you may know I have a new member in the family, my German shepherd puppy, Oscar.

He’s 10 weeks old, adorable and cute with tons of energy. Growing big at a phenomenal rate. 

I won’t say I have a teddy bear to play with as I write this he is presently busy chewing the legs of my dad’s precious dining table chair.

I did ask myself if talking about Oscar here has anything useful for the readers of my blog and whether this chapter in my life is connected to my dad. It is. Everything I do is connected to my dad and us, my dad and me. Even Project Oscar is part of my healing and the finding of me in this journey of life. 

Not having had children he’s given me a glimpse of the energy required but he has adjusted quite well into my hermit lifestyle.    I haven’t appreciated the sheer energy and patience parents have when raising their children.   However, I do understand the sleepless nights as I used to get up frequently to attend to my dad in his final months.   So massive respect and hats off to all those parents out there and dog owners.  You all deserve a medal.

When it comes to Oscar I see myself as his caretaker, my brief is to make him feel safe and loved. 

I’m on day 11 with my buddy Oscar and I totally underestimated the effort and patience required. The behaviourist who came to see us said I want a well behaved dog now but I have a pup instead. 

In the morning I look at Oscar’s innocent face and eyes. He melts my heart but I did question, after feeling exhausted last night and realising I was acting like a firefighter, with my trainers and coat by my bedside as if I would be called on duty at any minute,  if  I had bitten more than I can chew. It is a valid question and some may say already, so soon!! Then I heard my dad’s voice in my head saying ‘Get on with it and stop complaining!! 

When we question ourselves because we feel perhaps overwhelmed and in my case, slightly out of depth, the best thing I tell myself to do is to step back.  Hit the pause button and remind myself how I got to this point. Before bringing Oscar home, some of my brilliant friends reminded me that it would be all consuming and hard work and whether I was ready for it?,  etc.  I went with my gut feeling when I met the breeder’s dog who was pregnant with Oscar, and a voice inside me said yes, he will be coming home.  I did my due diligence and I weighed up all the pros and cons. I contacted the right experts to help me with Oscar so it is not as though I am doing this all by myself.  The breeder is the most amazing lady and I could not have met a nicer breeder.  She encouraged me to meet Oscar a few times before he came and she answered all my questions. She wanted to make sure I was up to the job, and I knew this dog was coming from a loving environment and my job is to maintain and build on that foundation. 

As a child I grew up with a German Shepherd dog, she was called Asha and she belonged to my dad. I honestly, don’t know where my father found the time and energy to raise his children and a dog and run a business, all whilst being a single dad with no other family support.  I must have been around 3 when she came into our lives and I remember whenever, my dad went out in his car, there were three of us together, me, my dad and Asha, just the three of us.  My decision to get Oscar is definitely connected to my father. I knew if ever I got a dog it would be a German Shepherd, black and tan, short haired and straight back. Did the universe deliver? Absolutely and much more. Oscar has a delightful temperament and he is so handsome.  I know I made the decision to bring Oscar into my life based on my gut feeling, now my analytical head is just going to have to follow this through with utmost care and diligence as I have been entrusted to be his keeper.

Yes, I will freely admit having to get up 3 or 4 times a night, and feeling shattered doubts did enter my head but this little buddy is here to give me love. In return I need to earn his trust and respect by being patient and kind. It is easy to spend money and buy new things for him but in reality all he wants is my time and attention. So, if anyone sees me and Oscar in our drive at 4 a.m. kicking a football or hears me bribing him with treats calling him ‘good boy’ you know I am slowly growing into the role of being a ‘responsible’ dog owner.  Whether I can do this with panache only time will tell. 

My whiteboard has PATIENCE & LOVE to remind me when I have my doubts. As I mark 7 years, 7 months and 7 days today since my dad’s passing I feel my father will be very proud of me and will be delighted to see Oscar in my world.  Could this be a gift from him? Quite possibly yes.    Oscar is from Yorkshire.   Born in Bradford like me I feel perhaps this too was in some ways engineered by my father. I met the breeder only because a very good friend of mine, saw this gorgeous dog in a park with her owner, only to find out the dog was pregnant. The rest of the story is not necessary. 

To anyone out there reading my blog either to support me or to take what is of help to them in their journey right now, I say this.  We need to be our biggest champions, the Universe believes in us, often by granted our dearest wish but we need to believe in ourselves and then see what magic transpires.

Peace be with you.


6th August, 2021

Dad and Asha

My amazing father with our dog, Asha