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By Jocie Ferron

Sydney Lola Chocolate, an adorable little chocolate Labrador puppy, became part of the family just after Christmas.

So life with a puppy…


Ahhhh yuuup…. Yup…. hmmmm… good idea? I am still trying to figure that one out.

We were warned. We heard the stories. We saw the looks on people's faces when we told them we were adding a puppy to the mix, but we continued on and bought her home. We became sleep deprived, our socks appeared out of nowhere in her mouth, the cat has a new nemesis (I seriously thought they would work it out, still waiting…), and the baseboard's started losing a paint layer.

The underside of the box spring that's been shredded? Well that’s something we will ignore and pretend never happened.

I honestly feel like we have another child. We have the baby gate, had the wake ups during the night followed by the 5am whining to go out and play, and then the house training. This child, though, tends to nip, play rough, put holes in your clothes and doesn’t understand a word I say most (if not all) of the time.

But… she’s also fun, makes us laugh, wiggles her butt so hard with joy and excitement every morning when she sees you, plays crazy with the kids, swims in the snow and chases snowflakes, runs around the house like a mad thing and since we have had her we have definitely got out and walked more. We have also spent more time doing things together as a family, something that is often left behind in the busyness of school, activities and life.

Do we have moments of regret? Honestly, yes.

Life was slightly easier when you didn’t have to think about babysitting the dog, or getting home for pee breaks, or having to do all the extra dog related things when the hubby goes away for work (as he is now). But as I sit typing this with her curled up sleeping so sweetly next to me on her cushy bed, I am not sure I could imagine our family now without her crazy loving presence.

On another note, ever wondered about ways to meet people? Kids and dogs, the classic combination.

Everyone likes a puppy, and this little puppy likes everyone. I have recently become friends with another mum from the boys’ school who has a puppy a couple of weeks older than our little Sydney. We have enjoyed getting to know each other over puppy traumas, school talk and walking in the park.

Would I do it again? Ask me that question again in a year. We still have the year of camping and road trips with a puppy, and surviving the next few weeks of spring thaw that ends up with a very dirty wet puppy at the end of every walk in the park.

So, as always, the seasons continue to move on and it was a pretty memorable winter. A February blizzard blew through, shutting down the city for two days, and in January the worst ice storm in years left thousands in the dark and cold for days.

Now the grass is starting to show and soon the tulips will start poking their heads through the frosty ground. I've been quite homesick for Australia the last couple of months, probably the most I have been since starting this Canadian adventure. I have even started looking into how much it would cost to return and is it feasible, fair, the right thing to do?

My hubby just looks at me, shakes his head and tells me I just can’t seem to be content in one place for too long. And he is probably right. Historically, I start chafing at the bit after the two-year mark in any place and start thinking of the next adventure, the new people I could meet, the sights I could see, the experiences which I could now share with my kids.

It seems that some of us, like myself, are born with an inherent wanderlust, and others with the ability to be content in one place. Sometimes I wish I could be that person and let the friend, relationship, community roots grow deep in my soul. Maybe (no, probably) now is a good time to try.

My hubby is happy, my kids are content with their friends and activities, and most of the time, I am too.

Going back to work has definitely helped to ground me. So I will continue my love of wandering adventures with camping and exploring our local area, and occupy myself with planning a fabulous vacation for the end of the year, to wherever in the world life takes us.

Happy spring!


More articles from the joyful Jocie Ferron:

Australian nurse Jocie Ferron was volunteering in Mongolia when she met her French-Canadian husband, who was working in the mining industry. After a few years living in Australia they decided to settle in Canada with their two young children. They enjoyed a few years in a north Quebec mining town (where Jocie had daily adventures navigating life in French) and they've now settled in New Brunswick.