|Getting through each day...
||[Apr. 30th, 2012|08:56 am]
It's hard to believe that it's been a few days, already. I can't say as I've had much energy to leave the house to do things; Joe and I have been pretty reclusive, other than running necessary errands. After all, if we leave, we have to come home, and coming home is just not the same without a happy tail to greet you.
It's like they say - Home is where your dog is.
Saturday morning, Joe and I walked around the local agricultural center, as well as a plant nursery, to look for a nice tree we could plant in the back garden to provide some shade and stand as a memorial for our babies. We've decided on a weeping bottlebrush tree. Not only does it thrive in full sun, live in sandy soil and have the ability to withstand droughts if necessary, the name includes a nod to sadness and mourning, and the blossoms are reminiscent of a ferret's tail when they're investigating something new. Since two of our ferrets are resting out there as well, the tree should be appropriate for a memorial.
Today is the first day I am home all by myself. All day Friday, and all weekend, Joe and I had each other. Today is the first day back to "normal" life, whatever that means. My normal days included working in my work room, with breaks every couple of hours to let the dog outside. Yesterday, I noted that I hadn't stepped outside beyond what was necessary to go out early in the day. I went all afternoon, all evening, without being outside. Forget cigarette breaks; I want to be able to step outside for a doggie break.
Of course, losing such a great dog as Reo is going to leave a huge hole in our hearts and our home. We don't want to rush into getting another dog, though we will adopt another, some day. While the passing of a dog is not something new to me - I always had dogs growing up - Reo was Joe's first dog, and it's going to take us both some time to heal from this.
In the meantime, some distraction would be fantastic. What I've done, then, is e-mailed our local rescue organization to offer up our home as a foster home for dogs needing to be rescued from the shelter. We have resources to care for an elderly dog, if need be, and experience with a host of health problems including but not limited to arthritis, sensitive stomach, chronic skin infections, and anxiety. Our vet will give us a great reference, as will any of the techs. And I've had experience in training dogs with behavioral issues; both of the childhood dogs I had were terrors straight out of the shelter, and in the more recent of the two, a headstrong American Eskimo dog, we had constant dominance struggles but once we reached an understanding, we were inseparable. I've reached a point now where I communicate with dogs in a way that they learn very quickly that I don't tolerate bad behavior and reward the good, and that could be valuable in fostering dogs from the shelter and getting them on their way to a new forever home.
The rescue says that, for one, you're not obligated to take a dog just because you are on their foster list. You ARE allowed to say no, you can't do it right now. Second, the dogs are usually placed within about two weeks, so you won't have the dog for very long. Third, they cover veterinary expenses, and can assist with food too, if needed. I really hate to see our resources go to waste by not being used by a dog, and yet knowing we want another dog some day, we do not want to get rid of all of our supplies. By taking in dogs without a lifelong commitment to them, just a pledge to help them out of the shelter and into a family, we can be distracted, fill the vacancy in our home and not have to worry about issues that could arise due to our expecting a baby later this year. And I think it would be awesome to honor Reo's memory by helping other dogs out of the same situation we rescued him from.
I just wish it were easier to get past the mourning stage. It'd only been just shy of six years, but we gave that dog another lifetime, one that he cherished. One that we'll always cherish, too. I wish that dogs could live forever, because boy, this stuff hurts.