PUPPY BREATH, ANYONE?
Okay, so my brain is switching to "puppy shopping" mode, even though we just put Dakota down four weeks ago and I swore I would never get another dog. I am 61-years-old, which is MUCH too old for another baby, but, alas, if i don't have to birth it it doesn't sound half bad. Am I NUTS, I ask? There's pee and poop to consider, and vet bills, and training, and EXERCISE! Hello--what am I thinking? I'm thinking I need to feel the love of a puppy, that's what I'm thinking.
Dogs are amazing creatures--to people who love dogs. If you're not a dog lover (like my adoring husband), then you don't quite "get" it. I am just blessed enough to have a man who says, "Honey, if a puppy would help to heal you, I think you should get one." Isn't that the sweetest thing you ever heard? From one who would NEVER have owned a single dog in his life were it not for me?
I thought I would die myself when we put Dakota down, and I felt the weight of his 20# head fall into my arms when he breathed his last. My cries went through the ceiling in that little 12X12' room at the vet's office--and Cecil had to hold me up as we left him lying there on his favorite blanket and walked out to the car. I went home that day and knelt on his big pillowy bed and cried and prayed and cried, thanking God for the 10+ years I'd had with Dakota.
And then three weeks later to the day, and almost the exact hour, I found myself back in the vet's office buying a bag of cat food when my phone rang. Fishing it out of my purse, I quickly answered it on the fourth ring.
"This is Connie from Hospice. I'm with your mom."
"Oh, goodie," I said. "I'm so happy you're there. I'm on my way to see Mom right now." I love Connie. She is a modern-day hippie. You should see the garb she wears. And she has an amazingly big heart.
"I'm sorry to tell you this, but your mom just died."
What? Huh? Is this a dream? My mind could not wrap itself around her words. I paid for the cat food, muttered my thanks, and stumbled out into the frigid air, fumbling for my keys, staring at the road, repeating, "Jesus, help me. Jesus, help me."
And so for the next four days--as we made funeral arrangements, called friends and relatives--bought a casket--I thought I would die myself. Again. Losing a beloved pet is heartbreaking; losing a mother is heart-ripping, mind-numbing, soul-stinging. I cannot tell you.
But here I am going about my days, mostly not dealing with the pain as I probably should because I am alone in my house for two weeks. It's okay, though. I TOLD Cecil to go on his business trip because I would be fine, and I am fine. I lean on Jesus, and I am totally and completely fine.
But I am also a little bit lost. I know there will be days ahead in which I'll weep and wail and ache with my whole body.
So, that is why I am thinking "puppy" again. I have decided that my heart is willing to risk the pain of another loss in order to rediscover the joys of puppy breath and warm, fuzzy fur. Dogs (for me, anyway) have an uncanny ability to fill up the darkest, loneliest corners of the heart.
I found this litter of four-week-old collies that Krissi and I are going to go look at next Friday. If I find a little boy I can't live without I will dole out the down-payment.
I think I am about to fall in love all over again.