The thought of trying to catch up on everything over the last year is really daunting. Seriously. Instead, I decided to catch up on reading the blogs I really enjoy. Guess what? Looks like folks are as lazy as me about posting! Okay...maybe not that lazy. They did have way more than one post this year but still, it made me feel pretty okay. :-)
Let's just get the most difficult thing we faced this year out of the way because I know for a fact that I'll reference it often. In July, our dog Emma became very ill. After an emergency surgery, her problems could not be resolved and we made the painful decision to end her suffering. Forty eight hours later, her companion Cecil began struggling to breath and coughing a lot. We took him to the emergency vet. Late that evening, Cecil went into cardio-pulmonary arrest and passed away.
In the 48 hours after Emma's passing, Cecil had spent his time looking out the window, waiting for her. We took him on short walks and he kept looking around. I knew, in my heart, that my Cecil knew Emma wasn't coming home. I had no idea that he'd leave us so quickly, though. Both vets who helped us through those difficult days were shocked by the losses...and so supportive. They both worked so hard to save our beloved dogs.
I find myself missing Emma and Cecil at odd moments, and tears come to my eyes. I catch sight of Cecil's picture or I remember holding Emma as she drew her last breath. For anyone who's ever lost a beloved animal, I'm sure you know what we're going through.
This was particularly difficult on our daughter. She eventually decided that all dogs made her sad. Everyone works through grief in their own way and in their own time, this is true of adults as well as children, but to see her reject dogs was heartbreaking. To help her work through this, we encouraged her to remember how happy Emma and Cecil had made us. We looked at pictures of animals who were up for adoption online reminding our baby that Emma had once been homeless, too, and that she'd given us 11 years of joy and love.
Eventually, we decided to take her to an adoption event that a local rescue group was holding. I called in advance to let them know our situation and the lady I spoke with was compassionate and encouraging.
The adoption event was loud, hot and filled with lots of beautiful dogs and cats all looking for a forever home. My girl gravitated toward a Min Pin we'd seen online who was sharing a pen with an Italian Greyhound mix. I asked L if she wanted to take the dog out for a walk, and she said sure, she'd try. L walked her back and forth. We asked her if she'd like to walk another dog. The ladies at the event asked if she'd like to see other puppies or hold them. L said no, and kept walking the Min Pin.
That's how we found Penny. She came home with us that day and has helped us heal and find joy in the eyes of a dog again. More importantly, she helped my daughter and that makes her one of the best dogs ever.