How a getting new puppy relates to your job search

Original Photo by Andrew Plath

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog will remember the loss of Teddy,our German Shepherd, in late January. Teddy was our first ever dog, brought home by my oldest son, Tim, without any prior warning in June 2004. Teddy was 8 weeks old then, when he died, he was 6 years, 9 months.

We were not prepared for a dog when Teddy arrived, everything was new to us. Raising any dog, training a puppy, having a dog in the house — all new to us. Teddy became my friend early on, a companion, a part of our family and a part of my business. When I started blogging and participating in social media, he was part of that too.

He not only touched us but he touched my family and Bill’s family too. My mom loved him so much that she carried a photo of him in her wallet and announced to everyone that he was her GrandDog. She broke all the rules of good dog raising as did we (Teddy got people food) and she baked him cookies. When she baked Chocolate Chip cookies, she baked Teddy a batch without the chips.

I think losing Teddy was harder on my Mom than the rest of us and it was very hard on us. She seemed to struggle more after he was gone and it was less than six months later that she was gone too. It was Teddy’s last day that made me prepared for my mom’s fall, hospitalization, and death. I was able to say good bye to her because I knew that letting her go was the best thing for her just as it was for Teddy. Mom had always chosen quality of life over quantity and as hard as good byes are, I was able to honor that when I gave instructions to the physicians and staff.

My husband didn’t want to have a dog ever and yet Teddy won him over too within days after he joined our family. The day Teddy died was so hard on Bill. He’s a man who rarely cries. In 31 years of marriage, I have seen him cry only a very few times but he cried so hard when Teddy died and vowed he never wanted that pain again.

Despite Bill’s reluctance to ever have a new dog, I was praying about the right time. Tim was anxious to bring a new dog into the house, knowing that it would be our dog again not his dog that would leave when he moves out.

Friends all knew how much Teddy meant to us so it wasn’t totally surprising when Shelly, a friend and our church choir director sent a message on Facebook to let me know her mom’s German Shepherd, Shadow, had puppies and the one that they call Garfield needed a home. She said that Garfield’s nature is so friendly and warm that she thought of us. Her mom lives in New York but Shelly took it one step further and offered to go get Garfield and bring him home to us. She is in route now and I am praying for safe travel. This will give her the chance to see her family and yet help us have a new addition to the family.

Bill did reluctantly say yes and I believe that it will take just a short time for “Garfield” to win him over. We will take one step at a time, including figuring out his new name.

This new puppy will be formally introduced in social media and on this blog when we have him here. Right now, I thought this was a good time to let my readers and friends know of this adventure but I also wanted to talk about how this relates to job search.

When we lose something through death or through losing a job or the joy of working in our job, we struggle with all sorts of emotions. Sometimes we give up, kind of like my Mom did, losing our zest for life. Sometimes, like Bill, we are so afraid of being hurt that we aren’t willing to put forth the effort to find a new position. Sometimes we know we need some space to process but after than can handle the changes.

If you are struggling with a change in your life, a loss, and don’t know how to move forward, take heart. Many of my clients were in the same position not long ago. The process of job loss, job search, and starting over takes time but there is light at the end of the tunnel.


  1. Sherree Worrell on August 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm


    This is a wonderful post, for many reasons. Your life this year seems to closely parallel ours.

    We also lost a wonderful pet, parents, and a job. I am not ready to ponder a new pet, but am heartened that you are.

    I see the light at the end of my tunnel, just wish it was a bit closer!

    Looking forward to “meeting” the new member of your family. Wishing you the best.

  2. Julie Walraven on August 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you for stopping by, Sherree! You have had many challenges too. I wasn’t sure for awhile that we would have another pet either but the timing seems right. I wish you blessings.

  3. Julie Walraven on August 23, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Thank you, Lola. Yes, pet ownership definitely teaches you many things. I am on a new journey now.

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