Aria has been a huge part of my life since I got her as a birthday gift in 2011. When I got here, she was just a little bundle of fluff, about the size of the palm of my hand and my favourite thing in the entire world. She was so small, and had such little legs that she couldn’t make it up (or down) any steps and slopes were nigh to impossible. It was in a carpark in the outskirts of Krugesdorp (holla Krugersdorp and SA) that I chose Aria and my life changed forever. My grandparents wanted to get me a puppy for my birthday and there had been a lot of begging involved. Finally, Dad agreed and said I could have her. Nana and Popa said I could choose any puppy, any breed and I could have it. It was almost impossible to find a miniature Maltese but I had my heart set on having one and my internet search was unrelenting to say the least. Eventually, I found Ari and her siblings on Gumtree (which I know now is more than a little sketchy). There were only three puppies left and my Grandparents drove me out into Krugersdorp to go and choose one of the three. All of them were lovely and so, so cute. One though, came to my feet, leant against me and started licking my toes. That puppy was Aria.
It was a steep amount that Nana and Popa had to lay out for my birthday gift but I can only thank them and maintain that it is to this day, the best birthday gift I have ever received. Aria has, many a time, saved my life and for that, I am eternally grateful. After the money changed hands, we were given Aria with her certification and all her vaccinations and off we went. I had nothing for this dog and I mean nothing. When she got back to our house, she didn’t have a bed, she didn’t have food…she literally just had me. I think that the first night she would only eat from my hand whist sitting on my lap and a vague memory says she was given chicken and rice. When I got her home, I sat her on my bed (risky I know) and at that point I only had a three quarter bed. Now, I had a few month old puppy on the bed and she obviously needed to go to the bathroom but had no idea how to communicate this to me. But instead of just weeing on the bed, she wandered around the bed, found a piece of paper and had a wee on that instead. Ari has always been special and she has always had an immense understanding of me as a human and all my weird, personality traits and moods.
Since then, we have had a bond which has been unbreakable. I did everything with her, she even came to school to visit me while I was still there. She shone a light through the dark clouds that haunted my later teenage years and to this day, I can look into her eyes and feel the veil of sadness lift. I see her and almost automatically, something inexplicable shifts and I can breathe again. Since 2011, she has been with me, shared meals and happiness and and sadness; she has slept beside (or even on top of) me in our bed with me every night. She has danced with me, showered with me, swam with me and chased me through parks. My whole life since 2011 is Aria covered and it’s something that I simply couldn’t be more grateful for.
Leaving her was the worst…is the worst. I’m up to a count of three times now, three times that I’ve left with the promise of coming back to fetch her and not knowing when. I have promised three times that come hell or high water I will get her to England and that we will be reunited. The first time very nearly broke me when I knew I was going to England and I didn’t know when I’d be able to have her but the second was somehow worse. I’d just assumed that I would go to England, get a job, keep said job for at least three months, rent a flat and then move her here. The course of life never did run smoothly though and I ended up with an absolute bastard as my boss for my first job. He treated me like crap and promptly fired me after just a month of working there with no real reason at all. Suddenly, just like that…I was back where I started and I didn’t have job nor a salary. I had to find another job and quickly and I did but it doesn’t pay as well and I can’t afford to have a flat much less Aria. I had promised her that I’d be back to get her and whilst I was back, I couldn’t have her and it cut me to the core.
I miss her terribly though and my mood is always lower without her than it ever is when i’m with her. I see her and the veil lifts, I leave her as I did again today still with the promise of coming back as soon as possible and getting her (and I will) and it breaks my heart. I feel physical pain without her by my side. For now at least, I have to do whats best for her and right now, that doesn’t match what’s best for me but that’s just the way it is. It is what it is for now. I can understand…she can’t.
Ari, the reason the blog is called Ari&Me, I love you and I miss you.