Saturday, January 9, 2010

Puppy dog tales? More to come...

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...

Me: What?

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?

Paul: Yeah.

long pause

Me: Is it a boy or girl?

Paul: They have a boy.

long pause

Me: What's his name?

Paul: Bauer.

Me: Cute. (Still acting low key).

long pause

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.

Me: Huh.

long pause

Paul: There is a breeder in Peever, SD. I've been looking at her website.

long pause

Paul: I'll email it to you.

Me: Okay.

long pause

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?


  1. Not that you don't have enough to worry about, but I would strongly recommend that you consider getting a rescue dog instead of working through a breeder. Many families have recently had to give up their dogs due to financial troubles, and those dogs are in need of good homes--try or to find exactly the dog your family needs. So many great animals have been abandoned and need good homes! Good luck with your search!

  2. Lishyk - Yes, I totally agree. I too would prefer a rescue dog. But, I need to take it one step at a time with Paul. It is a big step for him to even consider getting another dog, which I want very much. I scan petfinder regularly and my hope is that a dog will come up for adoption that I think he would be open to adopting.

    Thanks for you comment!

  3. My pleasure--I have been a long-time reader and am now a first-time commenter! I understand that adopting can be an incremental process. I look forward to reading more about it and all of the adventures 2010 has in store for you and your family!

  4. Um, can't paul read this if he wants to?