All I Want For Christmas


As soon as I saw him I knew I was in trouble. Because as soon as I saw him I loved him. I had wished for this exact moment ever since my first night alone in the eerily quiet volunteer house. I had literally dreamt of him. I had even had conversations with people about how happy he would make me. I heard him calling the night before I met him, but thought I must be imagining it because I wanted it so much. And then the next morning, my wish came true. I was sitting in my garden feeling woefully homesick when he appeared, terrified, defenceless and completely alone. Instantly he stole my heart and all I wanted to do was nurture and care for and protect him. I knew that like me, he would not receive a warm welcome from many locals – whether it be the dog-hating neighbours who would poison him or the feral cats and mongeese that would literally eat him for dinner.

In those first few hours the only thing that would calm him was snuggling up in my lap. So I sat with him, knowing full well I would be bitten by fleas and most likely peed on but willing to give him whatever he wanted to feel safe. He needed me for reassurance, comfort, food, survival. But I needed him too, in order to rediscover the kind, soft, giving side of myself I was secretly starting to think may have disappeared forever.

For the first time since arriving here, I knew I could give freely and he would take only what he needed – nothing more, nothing less – and give endless joy and love in return. As I dote on him, come to his whimpering call, play games with him, clean up his many messes, feed him constantly and cradle him to sleep, I realise I would do anything for this little creature. I know that sooner or later “anything” will include letting him go, giving him to a Jamaican family and saying goodbye forever rather than putting him through the trauma of Australian quarantine.

But for now I am simply overwhelmingly grateful that fate or luck or pure random chance conspired to allow Buddy to wander into my backyard. I called him Buddy after my favourite Christmas movie, Elf – because this little puppy is a little ray of sunshine in this big, wild world and he is the ultimate proof that Christmas wishes definitely do come true.


14 thoughts on “All I Want For Christmas

  1. Dear Dear Happydancecat! So pleased that Bob directed me to your truly marvellous blog..your descriptions and revelations are brave , encouraging and above all progressive from the point of using the unexpected to draw strength from. Go Catherine! Love the pup who truly was God’s gift at a low ebb and a cause for gracious thanks! Christmas will be different but you will relish the experience as a part of this great undertaking. All the best and many blessings for now and New Year love Mary Goldfinch

    • Hi Mary, thankyou very much for reading and for your kind words. The puppy certainly is a perfectly timed gift. Luckily I have a couple of friends from Sydney visiting to spend Xmas and New Years with and we will be at the beach, so it will be a little like a Sydney Christmas. I hope all is well with you and you have a lovely Christmas and New Year also. C

  2. He is divine!! But what does Stella think????? Merry Christmas from this side of the world. I have been reading about your trials and tribulations and so happy you have Buddy in your life. Animals are so important and it is telling that have come to you just when you need them. We are all well although Autumn had to make a mad dash home to the States as her grandpa is on life support. Tonight is the YPP Christmas party so that should be a laugh. W are off to Sri Lanka and India in a weeks time- cant wait. Is Cuba still going ahead? Lots of loves and congrats on the posts- they are beautifully written and thought provoking Much love Virg

    • Hi V! Was just about to email you. Yes, animals definitely sense when they are needed, and as you know they have a way of making you feel happy just by being by your side. Poor Autumn. 😦 I hope FECs don’t create too much trouble at the Xmas party – make good choices peeps! Hope you have the most amazing time in India and Sri Lanka, can’t wait to hear all about it. Cuba is definitely still going ahead, and Mexico and the Cayman Islands too. Thanks for reading, glad you are enjoying it. Big hugs. C xxx

    • P.S. Stella isn’t too impressed with Buddy – its just like the older sibling when a new baby comes home! But I’m trying my best to divide my attention between all the children. 😉

  3. Oh, he’s gorgeous! A gift of unconditional love is such a wonderful gift to receive – I’m so pleased it found you now. Enjoy this time and sending you chrissy best wishes xo

  4. How beautiful indeed. “To wander into your yard” – aint that just life.

    A great 2014 to you both! 🙂

  5. Pingback: 10 Moments in Jamaica I Will Never Forget | Year of Jamaica

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