My puppy has changed me in ways I never knew he could. For the first time in my life I feel like a momma. Maybe not in the traditional sense, but if you have pets in your life, I bet you know what I’m talking about. Like a lot of women, I tried most of my 20s not to get pregnant and most of my 30s trying to conceive. I was never blessed with a child, and at 43, I have given up on that dream. It is still very hard and painful to know I will never be a mom nor a nona (grandma). It hardened me. The walls went up around my heart, around my life. Throw in being very sick and worried that anytime I walked outside it could be my last. I was talking to my doctor and the suggestion came up to look into a Medical Alert Dog. I didn’t realize how much that recommendation was going to change my life.
Disclosure: This post not only shares my story about Porter Storm, but also has Affiliate Links that I earn commissions from. This is how I make a living and keep this little blog running. Thank you for supporting me! I appreciate it. Much love, Kristi.
He is Finding Parts of Me That I Buried A Long, Long Time Ago
I didn’t notice it at first, but others did. I would hear it from friends and family during the first couple months after I brought Porter Storm home – you are smiling more, you’re laughing again, you aren’t so rigid and serious. I hadn’t noticed.
He was giving me unconditional love and I am giving it back to him. I have been single a long time, but I don’t feel nearly as alone since I brought Porter into my life. He is filling a void I never wanted to acknowledge was there.
I love my puppy, but boy he is a lot of work! Waking up in the middle of the night to him peeing in my bed… dealing with more poo in one day than I ever thought imaginable… and all the other bodily function things that have freaked me out my whole life. I don’t like to talk about bodily functions and I for sure don’t want to deal with them at all hours of the day and night! Yet, here I am.
Something changed in me though having to care for this little guy. I picked him up in North Carolina when he was just 10 pounds and 10 weeks old. He was so little! On our first road trip that night he looked up at me with his midnight black eyes and I was hooked. He wouldn’t settle down unless I put my hand down for him to cuddle up with. I have learned to drive with one hand as he still loves to be touching me in some way while I drive.
Heated seats, soothing tunes from Sirius, and a smooth ride from this Mazda3 are the perfect combination for a well-deserved puppy nap. Porter Storm loves car ride time!! Thanks @mazdausa for this perfect puppy nap mobile. 😍🚙😂 . . . #Mazda #Mazda3 #puppynap #heatedseats #labradoodlepuppy #puppy #cars -#traveldog #travelwriter #traveltime #porter #porterstorm #newpuppy #naptime #driveshop
Porter is a bit skittish around people and he is not a fan of rambunctious dogs. He will run to me to pick him and protect him. And so I do. I will always protect him. I am his person. One day I know he will return the favor and save my life.
Puppy Bonding Time
Right now we are in the bonding stage. He is just starting his Service Dog training. The trainers and vet both wanted us to have together time first. To say Porter is bonded to me now is an understatement. He follows me everywhere and never wants to be out of eyesight of me. He knows when I’m not feeling my best and will lay on my feet. I get up to 6 shots a week in my arms that are painful and leave large angry welts and bruises. He will lick them to try to make them feel better. It is the only part of my body that he doesn’t think is his chew toy.
The trainers want him to be able to recognize the different scents I put off and how my voice sounds in different environments. When I go into anaphylaxis (throat closes and I cannot breathe), it kicks off my Vocal Cord Dysfunction. Basically what happens is that my vocal cords expand so rapidly that I cannot breathe. You can hear it in my voice, and often times I will lose my voice for days or weeks depending on how bad the allergic reaction is. This change in sound is one way that Porter will be trained to detect when I am going into anaphylaxis and need immediate help.
Our Days Together
My days with Porter are very different from when I lived alone. He wakes up and Army crawls up the bed and starts licking my face and hands until I start petting him. He has me giggling before my alarm goes off most mornings. Then we both get up and do our business. If I haven’t picked up his poo in under a minute he will bark at me to make sure I noticed. He likes to be told he’s a good boy, especially when he hits the puppy pad perfectly, which he does 98% of the time. I weigh myself every morning as I keep detailed notes about what I eat and drink for my doctors. Well, Porter Storm now sits on the scale and weighs in too. It is the cutest thing!
While my tea is brewing he gets his breakfast. Then comes my favorite part of the morning – I sit cross-legged on my couch with a blanket over my legs. Porter snuggles into the space with one of his many bones or toys. I drink my tea and he plays while we both welcome in the day. Then he does my favorite thing ever! He stands up and looks down at me while my hands are petting his soft luscious fur. His cute little tongue sticks out and rolls to one side as he is in pure Doggy Heaven. It is by far my most favorite look on his sweet face.
I’ve been an Alaska pup for 2 whole weeks and I love snow!! I love eating it, playing in it, and my favorite – peeing it. I like it to come all way up to my bum before I pee in it though. 😀😂🐾 I’m a Mini Australian MultiGen Labradoodle for those wondering. 🐾 . . . #porterstorm #porterstormak #porter #puppy #puppylove #australianlabradoodle #labradoodle #doodlepuppy #blogger #servicedogintraining #alaska #alaskadog #snowdog #14weeks #blogdog #puppiesofinstagram
Just like with a child, I talk to Porter as if he is my baby. I bathe him, I feed him, I play with him, I correct him, and I love him just like I would if he was my flesh and bone baby. Maybe it is different, I don’t know.
He tries my patience like no one ever has before. I lose my temper, I get frustrated when he barks, but all I want is for him to be happy and to feel loved. I set aside my laptop every time he wants cuddle time. Often times when he is napping on my lap he holds a piece of my clothing between his baby teeth. I love it!
Warning, smiles ahead with Porter Storm. 😀 From his first steps to an epic wipeout… he absolutely loves the snow!! Follow him on his own IG: @porterstormak . . . #porter #porterstorm #playtime #snow #playinginthesnow #puppy #puppyantics #puppiesofinstagram #labradoodle #labradoodlesofinstagram #alaska #thealaskalife #alaskadog
My Puppy is Motivating Me to Work Smarter Not Harder
I’m working smarter these days as this puppy isn’t cheap and I have to provide for him. Did you know Service Dog Training costs roughly $20,000?!? I don’t have that saved up and who knows if I will get a grant to help with the costs. That means I have to make more money this year to cover his care and training.
I have to budget in my time that I spend 6-8 hours a week in the allergy clinic. I need at least an hour a day to walk him and work on basic training skills. Add in another hour or so for me to go to Crossfit, which is helping me to get stronger. Gone are the days where I would spend hours playing or reading social media or making graphics for my side hustle.
Crossfit was amazing this morning! Thank you @crossfitanchorage!!! @porterstormak was oh so happy to lick all the sweat off my face when he saw me. Lolz. Now for my Drunken Turkey and Pancetta Cheddar Mashed Potatoes. Recipes on www.kristitrimmer.com 🙂 . . #happythanksgiving #thanksgivingwod #crossfit #crossfitanchorage #sweaty #helovesit #mypuppy #porterstorm #happy #thankful #crossfitgirls #workout #postworkoutglow
I invest time in my bullet journal which has helped me to drill down what needs to get done vs. what I want to get done. Spending just 15 minutes a day in the morning and night writing everything down has already had an impact on my productivity.
My first bullet journal weekly spread. Of course Porter Storm popped into the pic when he saw me staging the shot 😂🐾😜 . I’m trying out the #ErinCondren dot journal and using #Staedtler pens… they bled a bit so not sure if that is a pen issue or a paper issue yet. This is my first attempt at bullet journaling. Im also using the @ErinCondren Life Planner too.
I’m a bit messy. There I said it. You know what you can’t be when you have a puppy? MESSY. Otherwise you are just yelling at your dog not to get into things you haven’t cleaned up. Having Porter has motivated me to purge every space, every drawer, and every closet in my condo. I have wanted to do that for a very long time. Well, this puppy took it off the Want List and firmly put it on the Need List.
My puppy has changed me in ways I never knew he could. 🐾
I’m writing again for one, for which I am forever grateful for the inspiration. I make a living as a writer… well, when you aren’t writing it is hard to bring in an income. With that, I am definitely working smarter so I have more time to spend with him and on my health. I’m combatting my bad habits to make living in this small space better for both of us.
Porter Storm lets me hold him and kiss him whenever I want. He sits there and listens to me, even if he can’t understand me. He lays on me when he feels my stress level rising. He is touching a part of my heart that I forgot was there. It didn’t happen right away… but day by day he is getting me to open up and love him back in a way I didn’t think I could. I’ve heard the rumors – I’m cold, I’m distant, I can be bitchy. All of those things are true and they are also false. For the last year though, there was a lot of truth in them. This little puppy is bringing me back and filling my cup back up with love and empathy.
Where I go, he goes. I had to cancel a couple conferences this year already. He wasn’t ready for Vegas and 80,000 people… honestly, my health wasn’t ready either. Traveling is much more stressful when you have a Service Dog. Every airline has their own rules and every person you encounter has an opinion on whether you should be allowed to have your dog with you. (That’s a story for another post.)
Cuddling with Mama on our way to Alaska. I loved 1st Class on @alaskaair – mama had bubbly while I got all the cuddles. 💕. . . . #porterstorm #porterstormak #porter #puppy #puppylove #travel #travelpup #aussiedoodle #labradoodle #doodlepuppy #blogger #servicedogintraining #alaska #alaskadog #puppiesofinstagram #traveldog #travel #blackandwhite #travelblogger
If I am out and about in Alaska, you can bet that Porter is with me or resting in the car… which is typical for most Alaska pups.
I have had Porter Storm for 3 months as of today. 🐾 I am so grateful that he is in my life and helping me to love again. 💜
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