The new us.

There have been some realizations in the past three weeks.  One is that, Jake and I are out of sync. Even though we are both mourning the same thing, our needs are very different. Jake is lost during the day, whereas I am sad at night. I try to come up with new things to do with him during the day but he usually seeks out space alone. I’d love for Jake to snuggle, or hang out with me (say int the office during the day), but he doesn’t want to do either.  Despite not seeking me out, he does not want me to leave the house, he is having some pretty severe separation anxiety when I go.

I think our current differences make us each miss Melvin even more. When he won’t come into the office with me, I miss Melvin. When I try to snuggle with him, he is more like a cinder block than a dog. I’m not his brother. Melvin followed and loved on me. Jake followed and loved on Melvin.  I love them both, very much, but without the Melvin puzzle piece, he doesn’t seem to see the bigger picture of our family. It’s a lot like when you are in traffic behind a big truck and you have no idea what is in front of the big truck.  Melvin was Jake’s big truck.  I don’t think he noticed I was in front.

When our trainer (who has worked with Jake before) asked me what I wanted to achieve. Some of it was about his prey drive, which has kicked into overdrive since Melvin died. Some of it was how to get him to learn to focus on me (lack of focus combined with his prey drive is a challenge).  But when I answered her out loud I said: I need you to help Jake and I communicate.  Our translator died.

I was surprised I said that but it was true.  I love Jake, completely and unconditionally and beautifully. There are just some dogs that would rather be with another dog than a person (Jake). There are other dogs who want to be with their person over any dog (Melvin).  I know that Jake can’t go too long without another dog in the house, for one just out of sheer loneliness but also, he will slip quickly back to old, grumpy, lash-out-at-my-siblings Jake. No one wants that!  Since I’m not ready yet, for now, we train and we figure out how to re-connect without our shared, soulful glue.

And I pray he learns to like snuggling!  For cripes sake, I shower! This is the sleeping stance of a dog that does not want to hug:IMG_3953Ahhhhhh, but I love this monkey so of course I’ll keep trying!

A lovely day.

There are currently two ways I think about Melvin, before we knew he was sick, and after. I don’t think it will always be that way. In thinking about the before, those memories are easier, I think mostly because I don’t have to associate the fear of him being sick with any of them.  The memories of him after we found out about the cancer are a little jumbled.  It’s odd, those days were filled with so much love yet it’s impossible to not attach the fact that I knew time was short to their memory.  Anyway… I’ve started letting little moments and details of his last few weeks into my thought process.

There was one day, towards the end, that was quite possibly the most beautiful day anyone could ask for. Blue skies, just the right amount of warmth, spring smells in the air. The boys grazed, we laid on a blanket and just existed.  No agenda, nowhere to go. It was perfect in every way.  A day that brings a smile to my heart for sure.

Wishing you each a day like this over the weekend!!

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