Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Faces of Healing

Last Wednesday was a hard, hard day emotionally for me. My baby was turning one (yes, I know, way overdue with his 12-month letter, and let's ignore the fact I never wrote one for his 11-month birthday. Hello, second child syndrome!) which means that I will never get to hold a newborn again, at least not one that spent nine months inside my tummy. I was missing my dog tremendously, more so than any other pet I've ever lost. I knew I always had a sweet spot for that dog, but never realized how truly special he was to me until he was gone. And damn I miss that dog.

But even more than me, there was Little Man, who worried about Old Dog going hungry in heaven, since it had been his job to feed him twice a day. And then came the talks of how he hoped that our car would get in a horrible crash and we all died, that way we'd all get to go to heaven and be with Old Dog again. Nothing says 'I miss having a dog' like a four-year old with crazy dark thoughts.

So on that fateful Wednesday, I decided that we all needed an outlet for our puppy love. And began to contact breeders of Brittanys in Texas.

And it was freaking hard. Because the whole time, the guilt of 'replacing' my dog, was eating me alive. And I cried in my blue cubicle. A lot.

One of the breeders who contacted me back was one of those rare breeders who holds the interests of the breed above the business side of it. The kind of person I was looking for, because the last thing I'd ever want is to fuel a puppy mill, thank you very much.

She told me that they were not planning any litters for the next six months and maybe beyond, due to the state of the industry and the economy. She then told me that unfortunately, most breeders don't have the best interest at heart, and to please let her know if we decided to buy a dog from someone, as she could tell us what that breeder's reputation was like. She then asked me about rescuing.

We all might remember our incident with Cujo, a.k.a the cocker spaniel who was inbred and had Spaniel rage and mauled Sweetie Pie twice, the second time being so horrible, that my husband's body went into shock. And then of course, there was Satan's Dog, the worst dog that ever lived, who was just rotten, until he mauled Old Dog.

I told this breeder that if we didn't know the parents and their temperaments, we wouldn't take a dog in. Which excluded rescues.

On Friday, I received an email from a woman with the Brittany Rescue Association. Wouldn't you know it, two puppies were available for adoption about 40 miles from us! And the breeder had suggested us as parents.

And I told her no way, not going through that again, I have children to worry about, they come first. No parents, no rescuing from us.

She had me on the hook. She emailed me back and said these puppies were actually from a divorcing couple, the kind of divorce where no one can agree on anything and it gets so nasty that they just get rid of everything and start fresh. Which included the dogs, mom, dad, and three puppies.

And then she told me she'd sent me pictures.

And did she ever.

17 megabytes of pictures later, my inbox blew up, and I had fallen in love.

As soon as I emailed the pictures to Sweetie Pie, he made it clear that we could meet the puppies, but we were getting only one. Which I agreed to.

On Saturday, the rescue group came to the house for the mandatory home visit with both puppies and there they were, in our yard, running around with those little puppy legs, sweet as can be, wagging their tails at us. After a good half hour, a decision had to be made.

And I couldn't do it. Picking one over the other felt too much like a Survivor tribal council, and neither puppy had given us any reason to have their torch snuffed out and tell him too bad, so sad, but you can't be part of our tribe, because your brother's slightly cuter?

We couldn't do it.

So meet Thing 1 and Thing 2. They've already brought a lot of joy to our house. And have been so have been a lot of help around the house, like when they decided I had way too many gift bags in my closet and helped me declutter by shredding a couple. Or how Thing 2 feels that Bounty paper towels' stock needs a boost and piddles in the house to make sure that Bounty's sales can increase.

Most importantly, they're helping heal my broken heart.




Sandy said...

so how many pups does it take to replace one magnificent old heart? at least two.

great looking pups. congrats.

Betsy Mae said...

Good for you!

I can't believe your baby is already a year the heck did that happen???

Michael said...

I hate it when you make me cry.

tami said...

Awwwww... dogs are just the best things in life. Even reading this makes my soul warm. Love them!

Haphazardkat said...

oh. my. gawd!!!

Cutest dogs, EVER!!!

You made me girl squeal.
girl squeal

Seriously. I'm so incredibly happy for you and your family. I know how harsh the loss of a beloved pet is and also know the healing balm that a new pet brings.

My GabbyAbby has woven herself completely around our hearts after losing our Guido. I still miss him like mad--but her sweetness dulls the sharp edges of grief.

Congrats, Catwoman. and thanks for making me smile.

Nina Diane said... precious are they!! and how awesome for all of you...have fun

Anonymous said...

They're are beyond adorable.

Baylee's been gone a year and everytime I think I'm ready to add a dog to our family, I feel the "replacing" guilt.

Plus, the husband isn't on board. The big jerk.

Love those puppies!

╰⊰⊹✿hUmMeLfIeD✿⊹⊱╮ said...

Holy Moly!! I LOVE them! Congrats on the additions to your family. we have four labs, we know all about love at first sight when it comes to puppies!!

Burgh Baby said...

I can't look at Cody without thinking about Jasmine. It's full of suck at times, but other times it's because he's doing something so fantastic with Alexis that it makes me realize maybe it's OK. Damn that kid loves that dog. SO much.

(Not that Alexis didn't love Jasmine. She did/does. More that Cody is most definitely Alexis' dog. 100%.)

Loukia said...

Oh, yay! They are adorable! :) Hope you're all truly happy.

pam said...

I'm so glad you kept them both. I have a brother and sister SharPei and they've healed my heart.

Susan said...

I was so afraid you were going to say you didn't take either. They're adorable! We had a scare with our old dog this week. I feel your pain and I'm so sorry. Now go give those puppies real names.