If you recall, my dear friends lost their dog Sosa suddenly on January 2nd. Seven months later, Sosa’s memory brings pause, followed by gentle smiles. Sosa made the world better and his family is trying to carry that legacy on. The grief remains raw, but it’s healing.
My friend V would take in one billion dogs if she had the space (and if she didn’t actually care if she stayed married, which she does). The days after Sosa’s death she said to me, “I will never get another dog”.
Grief can crush you.
I nodded, knowing it would change. After a few weeks she said “I think it will be a while before we can get another dog”. Ok, she didn’t say never, this is good. Shortly after that, we were doing what we do best, stalking internet rescue sites, still tearing up over Sosa but hunting nonetheless.
One rainy day, her and I loaded up her three-month-old and headed to Home Goods. There is a Home Goods five miles from our house but for some reason my car opted for the Home Goods that is twenty miles away and that happens to be next to a PetSmart that was hosting an adoption event. This is our definition of coincidence. V’s husband still argues just how coincidental such a purposeful act can be. Also, we are no longer allowed to go to Home Goods together.
V walked up to the dogs, was petting them all until suddenly she said: “I want that one”. Wait, we’re taking one home? Which one? The puppy? No. The bouncy lab? No. The one way in the back that seems very arthritic and extremely overweight. And old? Yes! She fell instantly in love with Beauty. Beauty (we are guessing she was named after Black Beauty) had been adopted from this same rescue group ten years ago and had suddenly shown back up that day. Her family was moving out of the country and apparently forgot they were not taking Beauty along so they rushed over to drop her off, never even asking if the rescue had room for her. Of course the rescue group took her back, that is their core value.
It took Beauty a full minute to lower herself to the floor. She was not spry. V walked her around the store, snuggled with her on the floor and then called husband to tell him she was coming home with a dog. I won’t print his response, this Blog is rated PG-13. In his defense, there may or may not have already been a few fosters brought home recently (did I mention they also have three children, one resident dog, a horse and a cat?). V hung up and we left with Beauty (who we now call Booty). Fast forward to today, she has lost tons of weight, runs around with the energy of a puppy, loves on her new family with a fierce vengeance and even husband agrees, she was meant to be. She is the perfect dog for them to transition back into a multi-dog household.
For every animal that creates a void when they leave, there is a another waiting to carve out fresh space in our hearts. We don’t replace, we just replenish.
Beauty has this way about her, it’s like she has an opinion. Her mind is constantly in motion and she is always trying to figure out how she can obtain more food (diets stink). One thing I don’t see when I look at her are thoughts of being abandoned. Quite the opposite, she feels found.
This is Booty, the day she was dropped off by her family of 10 years and then rescued by the best people imaginable (and also just before people started singing “Bootylicious” whenever she walks in a room):