Thought for today: There’s a new dog in the house. A fifteen-month old German Shepherd rescue. He and his brother were surrendered because the family was going through a divorce. From what I can gather, it was a busy household, four children (ages 17, 14, 9, and 3) a cat, and two dogs under the age of two.
With my old dog gone since November, I did not think I was ready to bring a dog home. Plus, there are all the reasons why not to: Dogs are expensive. You do not have a job how can you care for a dog? What if you want to go somewhere, how will you accommodate the dog?
Not having a job and getting a dog seems so… irresponsible. Selfish, even. Right after my old dog died my older brother said to me, “You’re not going to get another dog, are you?”
Defensively I answered, “No... why?”
“Because you need to focus on getting a job,” he said.
“I need to love something too, you know,” I said to him.
But inside I felt he was right.
So even before visiting the dog rescue I had it in my head that it was simply not the right time to get another dog. I had tried once before and it did not feel right. This time would be no different.
We walked several dogs that day before taking the new dog for a spin. It was a Monday.All of the animals were beautiful. None of them spoke to my heart. Then the owner of the rescue asked us to wait in her office with the new dog, if we wouldn’t mind, she had to tend to another visitor. So there we sat in a small office with this gentle giant and waited. He sniffed the corners of the room and stared at the door, sometimes tilting his head at the sound of another barking dog. Then he walked over to me and nudged me with his nose. He has light brown eyes, almost golden. He looked at me and I thought, oh no, I’m done for.
Then he lied down at my feet.
It has been five days since bringing the new dog home. When we go for a walk I sometimes imagine that he is looking for his brother. This can be sad to think about. Also, those four children who were asked to give up their dogs because their parents are getting divorced. Apparently the mother packed the four kids and the two large dogs into a small family sedan and drove 1.5 hours to surrender the animals. I can’t get my heart around that goodbye. Were the children upset? The mother?
An entire family dismantling.
How much failure and loss can a person take? Or maybe the divorce is amicable, the dogs too much and they were simply ready to get rid of the new dog and his brother just before boarding a plane to Disney? I have no way of knowing.
But here, it’s starting to feel as if we hit the dog-lotto. The new dog is so well behaved, so mellow, does not bark or counter-surf or dig or chew on shoes or furniture. He walks off-leash without taking off and if he gets too far ahead a simple ‘Here’ brings him bounding back to one’s side. If you’re standing still he will sit right in front of you and wait for a treat as reward for his stealth return to you. His ears are floppy his legs long his fur soft and his back end does not have the traditional often unhealthy slope of a traditional German Shepherd which will hopefully contribute to many years of healthy miles. He’s an athlete, and a snuggler. He is a welcomed new addition. He is a good citizen.
Whether cold or wet or windy, no matter, I have started going outside once more. It is a welcomed lift for the heavy heart.