1. I’m still here. I’m doing everything I can to stick with the discomfort, to process all the grief and confusion, to not give up. It can get a little messy at times, but I’d rather be here than not.
2. Morning walks. I guess we just aren’t going to have a mosquito season this year, because I’m still able to walk by the river and around the ponds without getting eaten. The mornings are getting cooler and darker, and things are definitely moving towards fall, even though most days are over 90. One morning, getting ready to walk Ringo, I grabbed two cookies. Cookies are what my dogs get as a treat for putting on their collar, harness, and leash. On the walk, I use smaller treats, so cookies are only for gearing up. I grabbed two cookies, out of habit, and only then did it hit me I only have one dog. On one walk, Ringo found a dead snake. This week we kept running into one of the heron that fish along the river. One time, it had just caught a fish. 3. Our garden. This week, I made roasted tomato salsa for Eric, and right now I’ve got a double batch of tomato jam simmering on the stove. We also ate one of our watermelon, are getting tons of cucumbers, and there’s a whole lot of broccoli and kale.
4. Good people. Lots of cards and messages about Angela’s passing, doing laps in the pool with Janice, writing and hanging out with Mikalina, kind and supportive comments on things I post, texting with Chloe’ and my mom and brother, the DNC speeches, everyone committed to doing better, all the people working so hard and putting themselves at risk so that we have food, clean water, electricity, education, healthcare, ect. — a special shout out to the firefighters, and grocery store workers, and the workers who go out in the heat and the smoke to harvest crops, and those working in hospitals with COVID-19 patients, and the parents working while simultaneously trying to help their kids with whatever version of school they are currently attempting.
5. My tiny family. Ringo continues to do better and seems like he’s starting to get more used to Sam being gone, to being the only dog. I suspect he shouldn’t like it too much or get too comfortable because even though I am so NOT ready for another just yet, it feels weird to have only one dog. The 15 minutes of rain we got the other day just so happened to coincide with Eric grilling Beyond Burgers, but he didn’t let that stop him.
Bonus joy: the way the house smells when I’m cooking something good, when the wind shifts and the air is clear enough in the morning to run the whole house fan, peaches, black walnut ice cream, getting all the laundry done, grocery pick-up, good podcasts, good books, good TV, good music, the time to practice, Eric working from home (I would have thought I’d be tired of it by now, but I like having him here), birds in the birdbath, goldfinches perched on a sunflower stem singing, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.
When you mentioned another dog my mind went two places…
One, as a reader I miss Sam. Your images and words endeared him to me and he became a bit of my dog too! Thank you for sharing him with us.
Two, awhile back I heard a couple share how they chose a second dog for their family (they had an existing dog). They basically said they did not choose their second dog; their existing dog chose their second dog. They (the couple and their existing dog) did a series of meet and greets (interviews) followed by playdates inside their home with potential dogs, all of which went “okay”. But then they had a meet and greet where their existing dog IMMEDIATELY FELL IN LOVE WITH THE OTHER DOG and that was it. The two dogs were inseparable and best friends until they died (both this year). Other people have asked this couple how their dogs got along so well and what I shared above was their answer. I know you’ve added dogs to your family over the years, but I thought this antidote might be of interest to you when the time is right.
Anecdote, not antidote. Oops!
Yes, that will be the first priority this time around, Carla — even though I feel like I NEED a dog to be my shadow because I lost Sam, it’s actually more important that Ringo LOVE the new dog. Fingers and paws crossed! ❤
Oh Jill, I hope my comment did not come across as offering unasked for advice! Please forgive me if I overstepped. The spirit behind my comment was sharing the story how one family chose their second dog, which I found interesting… and I thought you might as well. I hear you on the need for a shadow dog! I call them velcro dogs! 🙂 My brother had a velcro dog; our entire extended family adored that dog! After velcro dog died, several years later, my brother got two brother-dogs. We all love them too, but it’s different. I send supportive thoughts your way as you mourn sweet Sam. And yes to fingers and paws crossed! You will know the how and the when.
No, not at all! Your story reinforced for me that if I can stay patient, we will find the right dog, for both of us.