Eat.Pray.Heal

Meet Xanh.

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I realized I haven’t had any posts with pics of my dog yet.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that we are quite obsessed with our pup.  Last May, I was really struggling with life.  My husband, Choi, and I had been struggling to conceive a baby for a while at that point.  In fact, I was on Clomid and had had several tests run to try to figure out what was wrong.  Only 2 months before, we suffered a miscarriage, and in May we were referred to a fertility specialist.  Because of the stress we were under (Choi also worked long hours at the time) and because I was going to be seeing the fertility specialist several times a week, we decided it would be best for me to stop working outside the home.  Because of all this, my husband tried very hard to talk me into buying a puppy.  I really didn’t want the responsibility of a dog.  I’m a firm believer that if you adopt a puppy, you have to make sure they receive lots of your time and attention, and solid discipline and training.  You shouldn’t just leave them home all day and then spend many of your evenings and weekends doing things your dog can’t participate in, so I wasn’t sure I wanted that commitment, especially since I figured if I was going to put that much time and energy into someone, I wanted it to be a baby.  But, Choi won me over and we started looking for a puppy.  Long story short, last Memorial Day weekend, we picked up our first and only “baby,” Xanh (pronounced Sahn).  Xanh is Vietnamese for “blue,” because his silvery/gray fur color is known as blue in the dog world.  He is an American Bully, which is basically a giant and more even tempered pit bull.

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It was love at first sight.  And Choi was absolutely right–having a puppy to care for really did help me heal from all our suffering.  Having this tiny little animal be completely dependent on me for all his needs, and pouring my love and efforts into house training him, crate training him, and doing obedience training with him filled my void, not for a baby, but at least for my need to nurture someone.

This past year, I have loved every second of watching Xanh grow and learn.  He is trained in Vietnamese (the language my husband and I speak at home), and he also knows hand signals.  He was such a quick learner as a puppy!

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We take Xanh everywhere with us that he’s allowed to come.  He’s been to lots of lakes and hiking places, he’s gone out to eat with us at restaurants with outdoor seating, he’s been to peaceful protests with me (wearing his doggie backpack to carry his toys and some water), he’s been around the French Quarter of New Orleans and even came with us to Cafe Du Monde…  This list could go on.

Our baby just turned a year old a couple of weeks ago, and we love him more than ever.  That image of a viscous pit bull is blown out of the water with Xanh.  He is super protective of his momma, but he is a cuddle bug who gets excited if a person even looks at him.  He thinks everyone is his friend, whether that person is afraid of Xanh or not.  He loves to give kisses, and he is VERY dramatic!  He makes noises like a human when he doesn’t get his way, and he goofs off and makes everyone laugh the rest of the time.  As soon as we got Xanh, my depression faded away, laughter filled our home again, and my husband and I finally started relaxing a little, despite the fact that we were going through fertility treatments at the time with little hope of ever conceiving.  Adopting Xanh is one of the best decisions we ever made!

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(These pics were taken yesterday.  Xanh laid in the shade of the garage while Choi changed the oil in my car and I vacuumed it out.)

Do any of you have pets?  (Pit bulls, perhaps?)  If you’ve ever experienced the healing power of a pet, please share your story in the comments section!

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Author: Amber Vo

Traditionalist Catholic, wife, foodie, animal lover, barren. My blog: http://thisluminousroaditravel.wordpress.com/

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