The holidays can be lovely, joy filled, and happy. They can also be challenging, lonely, and heartbreaking.
I always say that best part about any holiday is who you share your couch with. Sometimes, the couch is full. Inevitably, someone is missing.
This will be our third Christmas without Melvin, and the second without Jake. There are a few tears when I put their ornaments on the tree, but at this point, I’m mostly just grateful that they are both in my heart and that every beat is a chance for me to seek and spread joy in their memory. Despite their physical absence, I’m blessed to still have a full couch.
Love lives on. But it is not always an easy journey.
We wish you all much love and much laughter this holiday season. To anyone who is dreading the holidays or too sad to celebrate, we send you love and hugs. We’ll hold a spot for you, just in case.
xoxo, Tracey & Doug
PS: If you are wondering what Doug thinks of Christmas, just check out his expression on our card. It’s the ho-ho-ho version of F-you.
My friend (next door neighbor, sister), Virginia and her family, lost their dog recently.
Lost is a very simple word for a very terrible moment.
Sally should still be here.
Before I tell you how Sally left this world, let me first tell you how she became to be a dog I love. There is a rescue group in Northern Virginia called Lost Dog & Cat Rescue. They have a ranch in our area where dogs, who are not in foster, are housed until they find homes. A few years back, during a polar vortex, they lost power. Lost Dog put out an urgent plea via social media for people to take animals in for a day or two until the power could be restored.
Virginia, and her giving heart, immediately responded ‘of course’. They were assigned a dog to pick up the next day. When Virginia and her kids went to get the dog, Sally came running out and leapt into their arms. Sally was not the dog they were signed up to get that day, but Sally was the dog they took home. Sally was just meant to be.
The Polar Vortex came and went. The power was restored. Sally never returned to the ranch.
Sally, was a Dachshund mix. She was probably 6ish when Virginia and her family took her in. She was a man-hating, bitch and bad ass. True story. I loved everything about that saucy dog.
Virginia championed every single thing about Sally. Sally would go nuts over men coming into the house (not in the fun nuts way, more in the let’s kill men nuts way). Virginia could have put Sally in a room whenever a strange male came over, but instead, she would explain Sally to said male, and ask him to work with them on getting Sally more comfortable.
We should all be so blessed as to have a Virginia to explain our odd behavior and plead for understanding for us.
In return, Sally loved Virginia the most. The most of all the family and the most that a dog can love her person.
A few weeks ago, Sally got out of the house. It was the accident we all fear, a door was not closed completely and she was tiny enough to wiggle out.
She was hit by a car.
I was at Virginia’s house when this happened. Her two youngest children came running in, screaming that Sally had been hit. The world started moving in slow motion. In the next sixty seconds, Virginia scooped up Sally, she and I got into my car and headed for the vet. The vet is one mile away.
Sally died in Virginia’s arms on the way.
There are honestly no words to describe what an incredibly horrible moment this was in life. Anyone who has ever lived through anything like this, just hopes it never happens to anyone else.
Sally’s life began and ended in Virginia’s arms. She was loved fiercely. She was a little dog who left a huge void.
The car that hit Sally, didn’t stop. They slammed on their brakes, ran her over and sped off. In front of children. So today, and tomorrow, and all the other days when we find ourselves in neighborhoods where families live and love and dogs and cats live and love…please slow down. #slowdownforSally. And should an accident ever happen, and accidents are going to happen, please stop and do the right thing. Do it because you are a good person. Do it for Sally.
Dearest Sally, I hope to one day have half the spunk you had for life. Thank you for accepting Doug, you are the one and only female he ever adored. You will be loved and missed, forever. xoxo
Prior to the surgery, Doug loved the vet. Now he does anything he can to remain in the car when we arrive. His tail is tucked from the moment he walks through the door to the moment he exits that same door. While I get that he had two situations where he arrived at a vet, fell asleep and woke up unable to walk/in pain, I can’t imagine he applies this to every vet. Sure, if he did this only at the surgeon I would understand. But he does this at our regular vet also. For a dog with ADD, he sure has great memory and focus in this area.
I’d choose to be back in jail over going to the vet.
Prior to the surgery, he didn’t seem to mind the cold all that much, he has jackets and hoodies to keep him warm. But now I’ve noticed that on colder days, he’s not nearly as mobile. He’s stiff and uncomfortable. I know he has arthritis (there is no having what he had done and not having arthritis) and I have also heard that all the hardware in his legs could ache in cold temps. He’s not even two yet. Focus on the joy, stay positive. At least he can stand and walk!
Let’s move to Florida.
Earlier this year, Doug was doing great with meeting dogs. Then he got attacked by one (he ended up in doggie ER) and he became, less-good. During surgery restrictions, play time was not allowed. I noticed each time that we were at surgeon or at rehab that he was snarly at other dogs, even lunging a few times. I talked to a few people who said that can happen when a hyper dog goes on lockdown. So, I hoped for the best. Now, I am ready to add a dog (or two!) and Doug is still not doing great meeting them. Long gone are the days where I worried a dog could keep up with Doug (or that my house would collapse), now I just want one who he can co-exist with.
Remember when that dog wolverined my nose?
What I know is that he does not do well with dogs bigger than him. And females are for the most part, are not his favorite either. You know who he does well with? Male puppies/male younger dogs (and some male dogs that are smaller than him). Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? When will I have a dog that shares in my love of big, old dogs? When? No seriously, it is a question.
As it turns out, there are a lot of young dogs in our area in need of a home. There are a likely always puppies/young dogs available and I just never notice them as I go right to older dogs. Ideally, I’d like to add two dogs. I mean I entertain the idea of adding two younger dogs (plus Doug) and I’ll think I can do it and then about 20 min later I’m looking up definitions of insanity and they show a photo of someone with 2-3 young dogs.