Goliath is my dog. One hundred pounds of beautiful, purebred German Shepherd. He’s mellow. He likes to sleep a lot and these days you need to nestle close to his ear if you want him to hear you, but this wasn’t always the case. My husband and I adopted Goliath from the local animal shelter when he was nearly two years old. We were ten years younger, childless and very likely smarter than today. I always had dogs growing up and convinced my husband our very small, very old Victorian house needed a walking furball to shed all over it and besides, it would be fun. My husband had never had a dog before, just childhood dreams of how great it must be… a boy and his dog running in the fields. Off we went. When you’ve never had a dog, it seems fine to immediately gravitate to and fall in love with the biggest dog in the shelter. “Sure, he has a sweet face, but he’s so big,” I said. “Ok.” I also said. That may be the moment our quiet life began to change.
We named this giant dog with the sweet face, Goliath. Just because we liked it, not because he resembled a huge warrior or anything. Well, maybe just a little. I couldn’t know at the time his name would become to symbolize so much more. From here on out, things that seemed so ordinary, things that should have been ordinary became giant struggles. Goliath size struggles. Such as having a big dog, trying to start a family, and later being diagnosed with breast cancer. All major, life altering things, yet life does go on, every day. My boys still need breakfast, they have homework, they want a mommy playmate. The dog needs to go out, or the floor needs cleaning. There’s laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, husband, work, bills to pay… You know what I mean. The stuff that makes up every day continues, whether you’re told you probably can’t conceive, whether you just flew home from Russia with the cutest baby EVER, or you’re told the small spot is cancerous. I know I can’t possibly be alone in these things and that’s what brings me to write here.
I’ve search the internet for another like me, someone with similar experiences and the guts to share it, hoping for a connection to others that “get it.” When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I thought I’d put it out there myself and see what happens. I hope you find me and share along with me. We all have our goliath size struggles, everyday, but at least we’re not alone to carry them.
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