Sunday, February 24, 2013

We Made It

We got through our "last first." Yesterday was the first anniversary of Scarlett's death -- and as of today we have no more firsts in our grieving experience. Well, at least until we're able to have more children -- then we'll have a whole new set of firsts.

Yesterday didn't go as planned. And I'm so glad about that. We had this grand plan to meet my parents for lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant, pass Tyr off to them for the weekend, and then head to a hotel. But God had other plans for us.

I got up around 8:30am and came downstairs to do my morning reading. I flipped on the new age music station on the TV, made my coffee, and curled up. Tyr knew I was in a delicate state, I think, because he was extra huggy.

After reading for a while, I decided to meditate. I've learned some new meditation techniques recently, and I thought it would be the best time to practice them. I'll write more at a later date about this -- but for the sake of this post, I'll say that I spent a good portion of my morning in meditation and it was so good for my state of mind.

Jeremy and I drove over to Jewel of India to meet my parents for lunch later that morning, and we got there about 15 minutes early.  We saw a sign for an adoption event at a pet store in the same shopping center, so we decided to pop in to waste some time before my family got there. Let me say this right now, I have been ADAMANT that I don't want any more pets. Especially not another dog. Tyr is such an easy dog, we're so spoiled with him, I just don't want to complicate our lives right now.

That said, I fell in love with a puppy at the adoption event. He had Tyr's same mellow personality, and his mother was a good size dog with an easygoing nature. But I walked away and told the adoption people that I would take another look at him after we had lunch, if he was still there.

Jeremy, Drew, my parents and I had an amazing buffet lunch at the Indian restaurant. It was the best Indian buffet any of us had ever had. Afterward we were all so stuffed, I told my family they should walk down to the pet store with us to work off some of the lunch. They obliged.

The puppy was still there. Argh!

I spent probably 45 minutes in that store, going back and forth about the dog. The woman who runs the rescue organization told me the story of this big group of dogs and puppies that was rescued from an abandoned farm in Texas, and she was nursing them all back to health. Oh great, a story of thriving against the odds -- I am SUCH A SUCKER for that. I kept waiting for someone to talk me out of it. Yes, I was drawn to this puppy -- but was getting another dog a smart decision? Probably not!

I finally decided I wanted a day to think about it. I took the rescue organization's card and we all went back to our house. Long story short, everyone thought I should get the dog. So I caved. I called the woman from the rescue organization and told her I'd like to adopt the puppy. She said he was being adopted by another family. I thought WHEW!

So my family packed Tyr up in the car and headed home, and Jeremy and I sat down to figure out where we were staying that night (especially given the incoming blizzard, we didn't want to wander too far). I went upstairs to get ready for our night out -- and collapsed into a heap on the recliner in our bedroom. All of a sudden I was so incredibly sad.

Jeremy came up a few minutes later and caught me crying. He sat at my feet, held my hands and said, "Honey, the woman said she had more puppies back at her house. Let's go look at them." I said, "No, that puppy was special. And I didn't even want another dog, so I don't know why I'm so sad." He said, "Let's just go look. If you don't find another dog you like, no big deal." I relented.

At 5pm, we went over to the house where the Colorado Aussie Rescue team was tending to the abandoned pups. They had a garage full of 13 Australian shepherd mixes, in all shapes and sizes. After telling the woman our home situation, she pulled out three little female pups for me to look at. They were so cute -- but I just didn't feel it. They were skittish, and you could tell their experience on the abandoned farm in Texas had made them wary. Jeremy fell for a little beige female, and I thought, Great. He's in love with this dog, and I'm going to have to be the bad guy and say I don't want her. I think the woman could tell I was hesitant, so she kept bringing out other pups for me to look at, all the while telling us their amazing story of survival and healing. She pointed out a big, handsome male in the kennel who was "the leader," and I didn't even want to look at him. An alpha male rescue dog? Yeah, not my cup of tea.

I was getting ready to tell Jeremy let's go home and think about it. I didn't bond with any of the pups. Obviously I was not meant to get a dog.

Then the woman let the "leader" out. He was drop-dead gorgeous, with intelligent eyes and long legs. He walked right up to us, more confident than any of the other dogs. But he didn't jump, he didn't bark. He just let us pet him, and he collapsed in that Aussie floppy-leg way as I scratched his chest. He wasn't "alpha," he was just confident. It was easy to see why the other dogs considered him the leader. Jeremy picked him up and he just went limp in his arms. He was mellow, but friendly and confident -- and I was falling in love.

The woman let the leader dog out into her back yard -- he had never been out there and never seen snow. He pranced to the snow, then pranced to the kennel in the back yard which held some Siberian huskies, then pranced back over to us. He didn't take off, didn't bark, didn't dig in the snow. He was just happy and having fun. And I thought, This dog has been through hell. And look at him. He's still capable of love and happiness. He's going to fit right in with us.

I put a hold on him right then and there. He's got one more week of treatments for the diseases he carried in from the Texas farm (he wasn't diseased, but was exposed to others who were), and then Hero is coming home with us.

We spent so much time at the rescue, and then so much money on adoption fees, we decided that we would not go to a hotel last night. Rather, we went out on a date. We saw Beautiful Creatures at our local dine-in theater, and got fried pickles and half-baked chocolate chip cookies. I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, I was so excited about Hero.

As my dad keeps saying, "God guided us." I believe that. Nothing else would have distracted me from the pain of what yesterday meant for us. Nothing else would have cracked open my heart on such a sad day. And to find a dog who, like us, had been through unspeakable trauma and is still able to love with wild abandon -- that's God working.

1 comment:

  1. This post made me cry happy tears. Not only did you make it through the pain and grief of yesterday, you were lead to save a soul that was obviously meant to be with you. Everything really does happen for a reason. I'm so glad you could find so much love on such a hard day to face.