The changing of the guard

Almost a year ago our dog Coco took her last car ride with me. It was brutal and heartbreaking and time to do the right thing and I thought I would never get over it. I never got over her. I can’t say that I ever really will because she was loved and she was real and she was ours.

A guilty horrible part of me felt unburdened after she died. There were entire nights where I slept through the night – not jarred awake by a sound I quickly ran to assess. Then the sadness came sharp and instantly – I had slept, and soundly. How dare I?

Not long after, we adopted again. Our boy, called Apollo then, was a one year old German Shepard that the owners had not neutered. He had been on hold for a gentleman, until the man brought his own Shepard for the meet and greet and “Apollo” ran circles around him, resulting in the older dog wearing out and hurting his leg. The dog limped out of the “interview” and the man never returned. Lucky for us.

We brought him home days later, where he ran a track around the yard maniacally and I wondered if we were equipped to handle such a handful. It turns out that even if we weren’t then, he would teach us and we would grow into a family together. It has been a year now since we brought him home and he loves to run just as much – though I know now to put a vest on him or at the very least, a leash and take him out until he is tired.

Receo, as he is called now, completed us in ways that I hope he knows – and I believe dogs do, but also in a way that I wanted to share, because I thought after losing Coco that I could never try again. We have had a few friends who recently lost pets (can’t there be a better alternative, like pets staying healthy and alive forever, please?) and I know the decision is a tough one about what time is the right time to think about loving another one. I think that just as in life there will never be a “perfect” time, but I am so grateful that we stumbled upon him when we did. Yes, I do hear whines in the middle of too dark mornings and I know exactly what they mean – they are the gentle nudge in the direction of a new day and another chance to live in the moment.

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