We came home from The Girl’s cheer competition at Idlewild Park late Sunday night (more on that later), and I knew as soon as we pulled into the drive that something wasn’t right. Usually, the instant your tires hit the drive, you hear the sound of the barking barker who barks and barks and then barks some more. But that night, there was no barking. I thought maybe the dog was sleeping, but as I was getting out of the car, I heard some loud banging coming from the open window.
My thought went from OMG something is wrong with the dog, to OMG someone is in the house, to WTF? It turns out my first thought was the correct one.
Before you get too worried about us, let me say that he is OK. But that night, we weren’t so sure. We walked in to find puddles of vomit, poop, and a cowering dog. At first, I thought he just chowed his food too fast (and he always cowers when he’s guilty), but then I saw how much there was and I knew it was something more.
I went to pet him and it was obvious something was very wrong. He couldn’t seem to control his body. He tried to get up and kept falling over. When he did manage to get up, he just went in circles. His eyes looked…I don’t know…blank.
Within 30 seconds, both kids were crying and mr b and I were terrified and trying not to cry ourselves. Mr b took the dog outside while I tried to calm the kids down. The whole time, all I could think was “Not yet. I’m not ready.” But, you know – you’re never ready. There is never a good time to lose a loved one – even when it is a pet and you know it eventually has to happen.
Every time I have lost a pet, I have gone through a brief, but intense period of I Am Never Having a Pet Again Because It’s Too Painful, and then I come to my senses and do it all over again. Last time – with my cat – I found that it was easier to go through because we had another cat at the time and it didn’t feel so empty, so…catless. And I came to the conclusion that maybe two dogs or cats are better than one. So I got yet another cat.
And lately, we’ve been thinking about getting another dog. Not because of the reasons I just described, but just because. We talked to a breeder and made plans to send in a deposit. And then Sunday happened and I found myself feeling guilty – as if I was “replacing” my dog before he was even gone. I know it’s silly, but I felt almost responsible for what happened.
First thing Monday morning, Mr b took the dog to the vet and was told that he would most likely recover. And so far so good – he’s getting around almost as good as before, he’s eating and barking and being his pretty much normal goofball self. But I find myself worrying about him every day, spending more time playing with him and petting him, which he loves, of course.
And I’ve gotten over my ridiculous guilt – our puppy-to-be will be born in a few weeks and we’ll have him in late October. And in the meantime, I am just loving the dog we do have, and trying not to think about what’s in the future, because no matter how much you try and prepare for it, you’re never, ever ready.