On April 3, 2009, I put down both of our dogs: Ted, 16 and Ginger, 15. I was with them when the vet put them down.
It was just awful. Awful beyond words. I cried for a month straight. I still have their ashes in our bedroom. I don't have it in me to bury them... not yet at least. The sweatshirt I wore when I took them to the vet that last time - I couldn't wash it or wear it until just recently. I kept it folded in my closet on a shelf with a tuft of Ted and Ginger's hair, and their collars.
It may sound strange, but I think things just got off kilter for me after the dogs died and I couldn't seem to get my balance back. I had trouble making rational decisions, concentrating, and sleeping. I'm not sure how to explain it, but the sense of loss I felt was so overwhelming. I think back to what a crappy year 2009 was for me... and it all started on April 3.
Ted and Ginger were my dogs. Not Paul's, not the kid's. Don't get me wrong, Paul did a lot of work caring for the dogs... but I was momma and those dogs knew it. We got Ted when we had been married for about six months, and Ginger about six months later. In fact... I remember the day we brought Ginger home, I found out I was pregnant with Zachary. The kids loved the dogs, but it wasn't the same. Ted and Ginger would sit in my lap, follow me around the house, and let me carry them. The kids didn't really get that.
So, after they died, I wanted another dog. A dog that all of us would bond to -- especially the kids. But, Paul didn't want another dog. THAT did not go over well with me. I argued and begged and pleaded... I threatened to just come home with a dog (which I could never do to Paul). We finally agreed that we would wait a year before getting another dog.
I, of course, tried to speed up that timetable by periodically sending Paul pictures of adorable dogs from the shelter. He didn't bite. In fact, it made him mad. So I stopped and resigned myself to the fact that we would have to wait a year.
But over the last couple of weeks, I've been having a lot of dog dreams -- petting dogs, playing with dogs, napping with dogs -- all positive and very comforting. My mother, who is superstitious, says dreaming of dogs is a sign of good fortune and friendship. I hope that is true.
Imagine my surprise when Zayd told the rest of us that he found Paul looking at a website for Goldendoodles.
Wow! This is four months earlier than expected!
My reaction was to tell the boys NOT to breath a word of it to their father. Don't think about dogs, don't say the word dog, don't even want a dog. Think about cats instead. (Paul is allergic to them).
Yesterday, Paul and I were out to lunch:
Paul: (big inhale) I'm hesitant to bring this up...
Paul: Well... Chris (a co-worker) has a Goldendoodle they got from a breeder in St. Cloud. They are happy with it. And it doesn't shed.
Inside I am jumping for joy - but I don't want to overwhelm him.
Me: (acting vaguely interested) Really?
Me: Is it a boy or girl?
Paul: They have a boy.
Me: What's his name?
Me: Cute. (Still acting low key).
Paul: Well... I like the idea of a Goldendoodle because it doesn't shed. I don't want to deal with hair all over the place.
Me: Yeah. Me neither.
Paul: And the smaller ones have smaller poop.
Me: That's true.
Me: But are they tiny?
Paul: No... I think Chris said his was about 40 lbs.
Paul: There is a breeder in Peever, SD. I've been looking at her website.
Paul: I'll email it to you.
Me: You've made me really happy, you know that?
Paul: (sigh) I know.
Perhaps NajMania will now be the story of five men and two bitches?
Did I really just write that?