Spring is just around the corner, eventhough the weather's not too great, I'm in for some new writing vibes! I thought I'd start with something more personal. As you probably know, I have a partner in real estate now: Gaulthier. And the story of how he walked into my life and my carreer is something I'm happy to share with you, because I got a lot of questions about him and I wanted to show you that did really think this through!
I've always had a big heart for animals. I was surrounded by pets while growing up, so when I moved into my own appartement, I really missed a wagging tale around the house. At my parents', we had a Chihuahua Lavender, but he was so attached to my mom that there was no waaaaay he could ever live with me.
After a while I took peace with the fact that maybe having a dog would not fit my busy schedule... I have very irregular work hours, I have a busy social life and I love to take city trips. He would be all on his own at my place, all day waiting for me to come back.... I felt like that would be a really sad life for him. But the universe had a way of making its own plans for me.
One day in winter, I was enjoying a glass of rose on my favorite terrace in Brussels. Suddenly, my attention was drawn to a couple behind us with two dachshunds, they were so calmly sitting on their laps and you could see that they were absolutely happy and well taken care of. So - after weirdly staring for 2 minutes - I started asking questions, and before I could even let the conversation sink in, one of the dogs jumped on my lap and curled up a in my coat to cuddle with it. And in that moment my dear readers, I lost my heart to the dachshund breed. I mean really - his fur was so soft and shiny, his body was so long that he had to jump in a clumsy way - I was enchanted.
Following that day, I started doing some resarch - and I wouldn't be me if I started having doubts as well - I had read that they are loyal, stuborn, active, loving.... They have a strong character of a big dog in a small body... Got to admit that I was thinking: "well this is just me if I were a dog breed" haha. I figuered out pretty soon thay I wanted a chocolate color and that I would name him Gaulthier. I started following some accounts on instagram and talked to the owners about what it's like having a dachshund living with you... And I must say I became a little obsessed with finding out more and more about them. But still, I couldn't get past the idea of leaving him behind when I went to work, I also love to travel and I eat out a lot. He would be so lonely, I thought...
Months passed and quite frankly, I could not let it rest. I think I must have driven my colleagues crazy because at times I would enter the office and start searching for a new litter of puppies. But all I did was look, so the universe thought of giving me an extra push again. Some weeks before the summer, I had to take over an architect appointment with a client of my colleague. To that appointment, she brought her 12 weeks old DACHSHUND in a carrier bag, I swear to you that I am not making this up! She asked me to watch him while they were going through the house and Oh my, did I have fun that day!
This made me realise I could perhaps take him with me in a carrier bag as well. The next thing I know, I was reading the policy of the Engel & Völkers offices, and I discovered that every office could have one office dog. And then my readers, my world turned pink with rose golden stars. Why would he have to stay at home? Raising a puppy is going to take up some time, but why not slowly letting him adapt to my life? Why not making him a part of me as a real estate agent? I asked everyone in the office if they were okay - even thrilled - with the idea.
Now you would probably think that this facilitated everything, but no. I've spent 4 months looking for the right dachshund. When I know what I want, it's quite hard to get that picture out of my head. I wanted him to be a long-haired chocolate and tan kaninchen dachshund. AND more importantly, I wanted him to come from a warm home and not from a professional breeder. Almost every day, I checked websites, my colleagues checked websites...
But then... One morning, I was laying in bed and after waking up to a not so pleasant e-mail, I started browsing again. And there he was, a chocolate kaninchen pup raised by a family who had dachshunds at home, in the Netherlands. I was running like a fool through my apartment, and I did not even want to reply to the add because I was thinking: he's probably long gone by now... But my boyfriend pushed me over the edge and I contacted her. She said we could come and take a look at him that same day.
I immediately jumped in the shower, I was ready in 5 minutes, I didn't even overthink my outfit. But I also didn't mind to ask where her house was located. When we stepped into the car I finally realised to ask, and ooooh she only lived 250 kms away from us. A 2 hour and a half hour drive, and I had organized a signing of a purchase agreement that same day at 3 in Antwerp. Well, it was only 9 so I just said: we move nooooow!
After our spontaneous road trip on empty stomachs, we arrived at the house. She had a lot of dachshunds, also some pups, but that one particular pup immediately opened up to me. I held him in my arms and never let him go again... I remember her saying: you drove all this way, if you want, you can already take him home with you. And you need to realise, I did not even bring any money, I did not - even after all the research and me being the-over-planner that I normally am - think this day through. We were somewhere on the countryside in the Netherlands and drove to the closest village with an ATM, and then drove back to pick up 8 weeks old Gaulthier. We were getting all settled to drive back but then I realised that this dog had nothing at my apartment: no food, no bed, no toys, no nothing... We ended up finding a pet shop in a industrial zone in the middle of nowhere and bought everything I laid my eyes on. Along with 8 kg of dog food. Then we rushed to Antwerp to go to my appointment. So his first matter of real estate business happened on the very first day I had him by my side.
I had arrived at the office and let him get used to the space, which he had no problems with. I had told my clients the story and they were even more thrilled to come and sign. Afterwards, I took him home, and everything went so great. He felt at ease at our apartment, slept through the night, went to a restaurant with me the next day... I was so happy! He adapted to the office really quick, comes with me on city trips.... And now, we are inseperable!
Quite the story to kick off with, right? I'd love to tell you more about raising him and making him adapt to the real estate life, so If you want a follow up article. Go to Gaulthier's instagram page and and vote yes on his story.
Lots of love from US,
Kimberly & Gaulthier