It went something like this…
Hey DaniGirl, it’s the Universe calling.
Hey! Whoa, haven’t heard from you a in a while. What’s up, old friend?
Oh, not much. Guiding a pretty little comet your way for later this year. You should like that.
I heard about that! Can’t wait to see it.
It should be good. Listen, I called because I wanted to tell you how sorry I am about Katie.
Oh. Yeah, that was rough.
She was a good dog, and you guys loved her a lot.
We did. She really was a once in a lifetime sort of dog. It was way, way harder to cope with letting her go than I ever imagined. I keep seeing her out of the corner of my eye when she’s not there, and keep looking to the spaces where she’s supposed to be and being startled all over again that she’s missing. I can’t believe I’m still crying over her, still looking for her, and how much it still aches.
Well, it’s only been a couple of days, you know. You have to give yourself some time to grieve.
Yeah, I’m not so good with the grieving. I just want my dog back.
You know that’s not going to happen, right?
Yeah, I know. And the ache from missing her is all mixed up with guilt for looking at ads for puppies on the Internet.
Yes, I did notice you perusing those. Thinking about a German Shepherd, are you?
Well, I’ve had half a dozen shepherd mix dogs in my life, and I’ve always been fond of the breed. Katie had a good dose of shepherd in her. I found a couple of breeders nearby with litters pending, and a couple of older puppies that we could bring home right away.
Why were you thinking about purebreds, though? You don’t want a show dog, do you? I think you might have enough hobbies to keep you out of mischief.
Ha, no, definitely not a show dog. I dunno, I want a big dog, not from a puppy mill, smart. I looked at a hundred dog rescue ads and some of them were charging up to $450 or $500 for an adoption, and it’s not a huge amount more than that for a dog from a breeder. There’s something about the German Shepherds, I can’t quite explain it, but when I look into their faces in the photos, they’re the only dogs that speak right to my heart. Maybe it’s the Katie connection? I don’t know, but I’ve looked at probably a hundred dog pictures over the past week, and it’s always the shepherds that speak to me.
Are you sure you want a puppy? Have you forgotten how much work Katie was? I seem to remember eavesdropping on a tearful call to your mother when you wondered aloud how you’d ever manage to raise children if you couldn’t train that willful dog.
I have never forgotten that conversation. She was definitely a handful, our Katie was, when she was a pup. And yes, a puppy is WAY more work than a young dog. But puppies are more adaptable, and with Willie already in the house, that seems like a good idea. Plus, I really believe you get what you put in to a dog, and training them from puppyhood is a way to make sure they fit into your life.
Okay, I can see that. But you are in a heck of a different place in your life than you were 14 years ago when you could focus all of your energies on training Katie. You may even be, ahem, a little bit older now than you were then.
Ah, that’s true. I do have one thing now that I didn’t have back then, though.
Minions! The boys are of an age now where they can actually walk the dog, and they can certainly absorb some of the puppy energy that was so relentlessly focused on us with Katie.
Ha, minions. Yes, there is just something about puppies and boys that seems to go together, isn’t there. Do you think Willie will mind?
Well, I don’t think he’ll be thrilled at first, but he’s pretty young himself, and he clearly misses Katie. Maybe a new dog will even let Willie snuggle with him, something Katie never tolerated.
So you’re sure? Is it time for a new dog already?
Ugh, I wouldn’t say I’m sure. I know we’ll have a dog back in our lives soon enough – that’s not a question at all. And I can’t help think, if we’re going to get one later, why not get one sooner? Tristan and I both feel the same way – in his own words, he said there’s a hole in the family that needs to be filled. Simon and Beloved are more cautious.
Your Beloved hasn’t put the brakes on your search for a new dog?
To my surprise, no. I keep telling him that left to my own devices, we’ll have a new dog in the house within days and that he’d better speak up if he feels he’s not ready. He likes to look at the puppy pictures over my shoulder, so I know he’s on board. We’ve talked it out a lot over the past few days.
So have you found a breeder you like?
We’ve found a few, actually. And just last night, we found another possibility that may work out even better. I’m just waiting to hear some more details, but there may be a puppy visit in my near future.
That sounds promising!
Promising? I’d say more like terrifying, heart-rendering, anxiety-invoking… and exciting! I don’t want to say more. I’ll give you a call in a couple of days and let you know how it works out.
That sounds good, DaniGirl. Don’t forget to listen to your heart and your head. They both have insight to offer, if you just listen. And I really was sorry to hear about Katie. She was a helluva dog and a good friend to you.
She was the best, Universe. Thanks for your call. I’ll be in touch!
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