Unexpected Connections

It feels like my family’s lives have been through constant and aggressive change for a little over a year now since we moved from New York City to California. The shift from one coast to the other couldn’t have been more extreme in every way, but we had each other throughout the entire process, physically and mentally. Jack and Zoe entered elementary school in Santa Cruz together, and Beau had me one hundred percent of the time.

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A couple of months after we moved to California, we welcomed Theo into our home. We had so anticipated adopting a puppy once we were physically able to, and everyone in our family was excited and ready. I was a bit anxious about bringing in another major change to our family dynamic at that point but his arrival was surprisingly seamless, as though he’d always been there in spirit. Theo became Beau’s constant from the get-go. Their unexpected connection was immediate and unwavering, and it was clear that this puppy would play a very special role in our lives.

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I don’t think I quite understood how much consistency played a crucial part in the lives of children, especially during times of change and stress, until our baby Evangeline was born. The day we came home from the hospital was very intense; Beau had started preschool that same day, so we all came into the house a bit emotionally and physically frayed. Theo was there to greet us, though, and his presence was incredibly comforting. It wasn’t until nap time that I realized just how important his role in our lives is, especially for Beau. During the eight weeks since Evvie has been in our lives, Beau has gone through periods of intense struggle with his adjustment to sharing his time with me. His daily nap time routine, and the fact that his buddy Theo is there with him unwaveringly has proven to be one of the most valuable constants for all of us. It’s something that we can expect, and something for Beau especially to rely on.

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Throughout our marriage, there have been few, but meaningful consistencies. Our relationship itself was a bit of an unexpected connection, and so we’ve come to really recognize and embrace moments of serendipity in our lives. Cheerios Canada has launched a new campaign celebrating these unique and sometimes unexpected connections called the Cheerios Effect: When two Cheerios are placed in a bowl of milk, they will eventually come together. I’m happy to partner with them to help me tell our story of how Theo and Beau did the very same thing and continue to do so every day. At the end of this week, I’ll be traveling to Canada to talk publicly with Cheerios precisely about this campaign. Sharing our own personal Cheerios Effect story with Theo and Beau is a joy each and every time, and I and would love to hear some of your stories, too! You can see more and share your own stories at CheeriosEffect.ca.

Thank you to Cheerios for sponsoring this post (and for a really awesome campaign that I love). Thank you for reading!

Join the Conversation

10 Comments

  • Jessica,
    I can’t tell you enough how much I look forward to your pictures and your writing. They both add so much joy and insight to my life and my life with little ones.

    Thank you,

    Carole


  • It’s quite wonderful that you recognize the calming presence of your fur baby. When our first puppy


  • It all started 5 years ago and it involved a robbery, my husband and a litter of 5 puppies.

    My husband worked for a bank and unfortunately he was in one of the worst bank robberies in our area. After the robbery, he became very sick and went on a medical leave of absence. Come to find out years down the road he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and inflammatory arthritis. (It only took 5 years full of medicine, infusions, biologics, appendectomy and finally the removal of 14 inches of his intestine) During these very painful 5 long years of battling this disease, not being able to eat, depressed and losing so much weight that he looked like he could be from a 3rd world country a light and savior came in the form of a litter of 5 four day old puppies.

    Our sister in law worked for a vets office down the street and one day she frantically called us explaining that a man just dropped off a whole litter of German Pinscher puppiesx he told her that the mother of these puppies died and he didn’t want to take care of them, bottle feeding them every 2 to 4 hours… to put them down if needed and to “deal” them. My sister in law knew my husband was not working and could take care of these puppies around the clock. We immediately went down to the vets and picked up the litter.

    It was love at 1st sight as these puppies were maybe 5 inches long and could fit in the palm of your hands. My husband then spent 8 weeks taking care of these puppies, bottling feeding them, cleaning them, teaching them and loving them. He created such a bond that it was so hard finding homes for them. We ended up adopting all of them out but we did keep 2 brothers. They had such a bond and love, we couldn’t stand to break them apart. These puppies have such devotion to my husband and my husband to them. Their bond is mutual as they know he saved their lives just as much as they saved his life. They gave him hope and love… they gave him something to look forward to everyday, something to take his mind off of his pain, something to nuture and care for.

    As for the Cheerio effect, they are always together all 3 of them. Whatever room he goes in, they follow and he sleeps with both of them at the foot of the bed. I have so many “theo&Beau” pictures of them together sleeping. They truly are soul mates and inseparable. 😉

    ~L


  • I loved your story, Jessica, as always. We all have a purpose in our lives and your story of your joys and struggles help us know that others walk unique and often challenging paths each and everyday. Some days bring tears while other days bring joys and smiles as you so clearly share with us.

    “L” thank you, too, for sharing your beautiful story of how rescue dogs found their forever home and profoundly touched your husband’s life and rescued him. Pets are a true blessing. Please visit your local shelter today and give a dog or cat (young or old) a loving, forever home.


  • I love the imagery that when two Cheerios are in a bowl of milk, they will eventually come together. A mother of a two-year-old, I’ve seen that to be the case numerous times. 😉 And it’s such a beautiful metaphor for our life!


  • Jessica, welcome to Canada. We’re happy to have you visit!


  • I was a chiropractor students, “widow”, living in a different province away from family and close friends with a only 2 legged little girl, just trying to do, to get through. Our family became complete when we added our second “daughter” Tayle a loveable but very young English Cocker Spaniel. We all grew and evolved and now we have a senior dog. The joy she has brought us, is indescribable and in reading ur blogs, seeing ur Instagram pics brings me much joy. Last year was a heartbreaking one for us (an unexpected loss) but watching ur growing family is heartwarming. Funny thing too, I’m 1/2 greek, anfd have family in Santa Cruz. The partnership u r forming with Cheerios is fabulous, it’s a perfect heartfelt campaign so right! All the best, have a lovely time in Toronto.


  • Here is a great example of The Cheerio Effect. It’s a wonderful story of a special needs boy named Owen and his dog Haatchi. Grab a kleenex or maybe a box! When I saw it I immediately thought of Theo and Beau and their wonderful connection.

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