Meant to be.

umzila kawulandelwa
4 min readMay 15, 2022
My baby

I’m a dog mom! I went to pick up my baby today from Woodrock Animal Rescue. Yes, adopt don’t shop! Listen, in all my 31 years on earth I had NO IDEA that when people said they loved their pets THIS is what they felt. Backstory. Last weekend I went to Woodrock with my nieces to find a cat. We went to the cattery and I couldn’t connect with any of the cats there. My older niece was sad that I hadn’t found a cat. They have a cat so she was excited for me to get their cat’s “cousin” (that’s what she was calling my future cat).

So to make it up to them I suggested we go check out the dogs. I was sure I wanted a cat not a dog so I told the people working there that I just wanted to see the small dogs which my nieces could hopefully play with. They took us to the kennels and omg. It was love at first sight with my dog. The lady who was showing us the dogs apologized that they didn’t have all the small dogs as most of them had gone to the pop ups they have on weekends. I told her not to worry as I had already seen THE dog.

They brought him out to the pet and play area and my heart could have exploded! I honestly thought people loved animals out of a sense of obligation. I thought they had pets because “it was the right thing” to do. I couldn’t imagine that they actually loved their pets like one would love another human being. Boy was I wrong!! I love this dog just as I’d love another human being if not more.

On Friday someone was talking to me about my book. They asked me if I’d ever love anyone enough to write a book for them like I did with my late boyfriend. I had to pause to think about that. But what that question made me realize is that the next guy will have the book, the memorial bench I put for my boyfriend, the pictures around my house and the huge tattoo of boyfriend’s name on my arm hanging over his head forever. He will wonder if I’ll ever love him enough to do similar things for him. What a revelation. I have no intentions of being with someone I need to reassure every second. It just feels like too much trouble.

As I was thinking more about that I realized that getting a dog really just made sense. Watching him sleep next to me, it feels like my intestines are untangling themselves. I didn’t realize that the trauma of losing the love of my life had left a permanent knot in my tummy. But having my baby, Ry here makes me feel like the knot is being loosened up a bit. All that love I was holding on to, scared to open up to a man cos they will realize how in love I was and feel inadequate and bounce is finally free to come out now.

Ry is a boy. He had to be a boy. I had a name for a boy. And Ry is not threatened by the ghost of my larger than life boyfriend. In fact Ry doesn’t care that I ever loved anyone that much. He just expects the same love from me if not more. Not questioning his place in my life because I ever loved someone so deeply. I don’t have to hide my love from Ry. He’s happy to share my heart with the love of my life. I don’t have to choose one. I can love them both all at once, forever. I’m not crying, you are.

I am so happy to have him home. It just feels like one of those things that were just meant to be. His full name is Ry Pitse-Ndebele. He has both boyfriend and I’s surnames. The name came to me one day as I was driving. I was obsessively thinking about him and wondering what I’d call him. And Ry came to me. He is named after the musician Ry X. My late boyfriend loved Ry X. He’s the one who introduced me to him. When I was judging him for his taste in music Ry X was the one artist we both agreed on. So it just seemed fitting to name him after someone we both loved. And Ry has a surname because I like to weave strands of my boyfriend’s memory into life without him.

First night home. Already passed out

Would you look at my awesome? Already passed out in bed next to me. My bed is too high up so I put his bed on my bed. I know, I know. I’m THAT mum. My boyfriend LOVED dogs. I used to call him pup daddy or the dog whisperer. There was no dog he didn’t love. When I met him he had 12 dogs. His family tells me how he always loved animals from a tender age. He would sneak his pets into his room and get into bed with them. He was a real softie!! I was scared of dogs until I met him. True story. So this feels like a full circle moment. The original pup daddy’s girlfriend got a dog. Oh but of course!!

Some things are just meant to be! :)



umzila kawulandelwa

I tell stories about my experience of being alive. Perpetually day dreaming of reading and writing by the beach