Doug is still in search of a sibling.

We are looking to add a dog to the household!  Doug loves meeting new dogs which makes it all very fun and easy, except for the part where I give a lot  of thought (probably too much for my own good!) to how each dog will fit.

As for my part in the search, the last dog I looked for was Doug and I met so many dogs and had so many breakdowns that each dog was not Jake. My last search was in the bubble of the deepest grief. That time when the house was so empty and my heart was broken and every dog I met made me even more sad (good times!).  Until I saw Doug’s face. The dog search before that, was wrought with so much stress because Jake hated every dog that was not Melvin. The dog search before that, was Jake.

I was the last winner of the dog search. img_2531

This go around is so fun! I am loving watching Doug meet potential new siblings. Sometimes he overwhelms them with his exuberance, sometimes they underwhelm him with not wanting to play with him. There are a few things I feel very strongly about this go around:

  • I obviously would like the two dogs to like each other. Basic like, they don’t have to love each other but hey, that would be great too!
  • Doug is still very young and has a lot of training left in his journey to breed ambassador. That means that unlike Max, who schooled Melvin, or Melvin who schooled Jake, this next dog is going to need to be part of Doug’s schooling. Doug can bring the funk, but this next dog is going to have to bring some of their own soulfulness.
  • I don’t want another Doug. That sounds harsh, but it’s really just honesty. I love Doug, I love that he is who he is. But when it comes to the next dog, I don’t want a dog a of equal energy. Not because I want to do less walks, Doug still needs walks so that is not going away. I just don’t want two dogs in the house, bouncing off each other. I want a dog that will play with Doug but also one who can school Doug on the other aspects of being a dog that don’t require constant zooming.
  • I think the age range that would work best for Doug and for me is 5-8 years old.
  • The ultimate goal is to have three dogs, the third of which is a super senior (10 or older)!

We have not found the dog yet but we have met some great dogs on our journey.

Is my new brother or sister in here? img_2507

We met Angel (here), who was lovely! She is a little older than Doug and she’s deaf. She made the most awesome noises. I was a little worried how Doug would respond to her Chewbaca talk but he did fine.  Doug and her got along pretty well, but they never stopped chasing each other. Inside, outside, inside, outside, chase me, no you chase me, ok I’ll chase you, hey jump off the back of the couch with me. No, please don’t. Just when I thought Doug could not get more energetic, enter Angel! Now before you worry that I don’t want Doug to play, I DO! I so want him to have a playmate and a life-partner-in-crime.  But I can sense when we meet a dog that plays into Doug’s need for anarchy and when we meet ones who have a better balance between mayhem and peace.

We met Wendy (here), who is the sweetest Pittie and who if  I had met her before Doug I would have swooped her up and called it a day. Wendy is adorable and lovely. Wendy is also very young, like Doug, and is coming into her exuberance (which she should!). Wendy and Doug would make for a tornado and while it would be so fun for them, mamma wants a more stable weather pattern. I know, I know, I’m a party pooper. I do trust my instinct to know when it’s right though.

I have prescreened about ten dogs for Doug. A few have gotten adopted because I am unable to walk into an adoption event and walk out with a dog. I NEED TIME! I NEED TO MAKE LISTS! I NEED MY LISTS TO GIVE BIRTH TO NEW LISTS. I am who I am! A few were not a good fit (the dog does not like other dogs in their space or they are dog selective). I have found when a dog is selective, Doug rarely makes the cut, even though he tries too so hard.

We are meeting  a dog this weekend that I actually met after Jake’s death, before I got Doug. She was one that was perfect, but at the time, was just not Jake. I go back and visit her often and this weekend, Doug is going with me.  We’ll keep you posted!

She lies, I’m always calm and wonderful and I never misbehave or chew feet or pillows, like this pillow which I destroyed yesterday but I only did it because I know she secretly wanted me to. img_2477

 

MY GPS is off.

The only thing I know for certain right now, is that losing Jake is not at all like losing Melvin. The difference is not about emotions, those are exactly the same, but my navigation through the loss and the day is completely different.

Sadness and missing them aside, when I lost Melvin, I had a strange sense of hope. I felt a lot of purpose. I felt him guide me. Jake was here when I lost Melvin.  We survived it together. With the loss of Jake, I am trying all the things I tried last year, they are not as successful this go around. I am paying things forward (his things) and while it makes me so, so happy to do it, it makes me miss him so much more.  Probably because I’m donating his things and wishing they were still needed by us.

You can donate my things, but not to other dogs. You know how I feel about other dogs. IMG_5971

I know that having no dogs in the house is a 25-foot wall roadblock to my grieving process; it gets in my way every time. I’ll have moments, normal grieving moments, when I’ll think about Jake and tears come and then a funny memory will pop into my head and I’ll start to laugh. If only I could have that little moment. Instead, right as I’m having my teary-laugh, this loud, scary, bully of a voice screams –  THERE ARE NO DOGS HERE,  YOUR LITTLE FAMILY IS GONE. That voice is ruining my life. I know in my heart that it is way too soon to think about getting another dog but I also know that trying could alleviate the empty house issue and that even if it’s hard, it might make grieving easier. I’d be rescuing someone who also lost their family.

So, I went to an adoption event this past weekend. Let me explain me and adoption events to you…it’s not my thing. I don’t make life decisions that quickly. I need to meet a dog then go home and think, and think some more and plan and make some checklists. So I knew it would not be a fit for that very reason. That’s mostly why I went, to just get out there and test the meeting waters.

I cried after leaving the event. For two impossible and opposing reasons. It was way too soon to be looking for a dog and it feels way to long since a dog has been here. I cried because no matter what I try, nothing feels right. Jake not being here breaks me and there being no dogs here takes a lot of the air away. Grieving Jake and dealing with the empty house has been… a bit complicated.

I will find my way.

It’s been three weeks. I miss him. After losing Melvin, Jake made me laugh every day. I miss my little comedian. Melvin traveled through life spreading love and joy; Jake scooted along spreading love and comic relief. If you are having visions of me sitting around crying all day, there is no need for worry. I go about my day, I’m keeping busy, I’m honoring Jake in as many ways as possible. When a sad moment hits, I close my eyes to calm down and I have a vision, pretty much the same vision every time. It’s of a line of dogs that have touched my life. Not just my dogs, but dogs that impacted my life in some way too — my heavenly dog army. They are all sitting in a straight line in a field of grass, facing me. In front of the line of them sits Melvin and Max. And in front of my first two angels sits Jake. And they sit, still as can be. I know they are coming together for me and Jake. Jake is so close in this vision, I can almost touch him. He can almost reach me. And almost, at this point, is everything.

IMG_9146

I know that everything will work out. I know that this home will not be empty forever and I know that the grieving process for Jake, while complicated is somehow just as it’s supposed to be. For all the beautiful love, I will carry all the heavy grief. I will continue paying love forward in Jake and Melvin’s memory and I will keep going to meet dogs that in no way could ever be Jake or Melvin.  One day, one of them will say to me, I am not them I’m just me. And that will be the one.

A look back to my little bug, using his good eye to conduct neighborhood watch. IMG_9817

 

 

That feeling.

I think most people rely on that feeling when ‘you just know’.  It’s often used in dating, home shopping (during all big purchases really) and also when picking a new/the next dog for the household.  It’s an emotional light that goes off that compels you to run in that direction and never look back. Some of us find ‘the one’ right away whereas others of us look longer before the feeling presents itself.

Take my friend V, she can walk into a Petsmart adoption event, see a dog from across the room and that dog will end up going home with her.  That same day.  It’s almost as if she knows before she goes. The proof of this is that three new dogs have shown up at her house in as many months.  And in her lifetime, well I’ve lost count of how many animals she has saved. Her knowing has no fear or boundaries or walls.  She is my hero.

I take longer.  For one, I have a resident dog that has to meet the potential one before I can bring that one home.  Thus,  I cannot walk into a Petsmart and leave with one.  Now some of you might be saying, bring Melvin to adoption events.  You’re too funny, and apparently smoking crack. I will write a full post on why Melvin is ban from Petsmart.  Also, while I believe in rescuing a pet, I tend to seek dogs who have been in foster long enough to know some quirks about them.  I don’t so much care what the quirks are but I like to be ready with a plan on how to address them.  I’m a planner. It’s a disease.

So far, in our quest that started late February, we have met five dogs.  One of them got adopted the day after we met him. One of them was rejected immediately by Melvin (actually they both mutually rejected each other but Melvin was much more verbal and foamy about it). Two were not the right energy for Melvin (or me) although they did make for fun play dates.  One had been abused and was in desperate need of having her soul mended.  (While I very much want to be the person to fix her, unless I’m sure I can do that, I remain unsure. Melvin and her would likely have months of separation.)  We also a have a dog that we are trying to meet who lives in Baltimore. My schedule has kept us from getting out there to meet her.

I am open to dogs with challenges. I tend to lean towards considering dogs who have health challenges over deep-set behavioral issues. I think that is mostly due to…

  1. I work full-time away from the house.  If I worked from home I’d have more time to work on the issue and;
  2. My experience thus far has been with dogs who have had health needs.  That is where my confidence is.  Where others might see costly vet bills or large pill boxes, I see opportunity.

Which is why when I recently read about a dog with diabetes, who was going blind, I fell in love.  Proof that there is someone for everyone.