Ponder this:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

dogs and the lack thereof, and what to do about it

Since Angus' passing, I've been telling myself over and over again what a relief it is not to have to take care of a dog. I drive into the barn at night and sit in the car for a minute, thanking God that my workday is over and I'm home . . . and that I don't have to rush to the house to let a bursting-bladder dog outdoors. I do have more time. But I don't do anything with that unused time except sleep and think too much. 
When I think too much I get sad. 
I have been very sad. 
I identified a great deal with Hyperbole and a Half's "depression" posts. 

Husband and I talked about dogs . . . should we get another? The cost of the medical treatment! The pain of the inevitable leaving! Oh, wasn't Marly a good dog? And Chase? And wasn't Max just the cutest little fluffball with the little pink puffy hearts floating out of his head? And Angus was such a little tough guy... Our voices begin to turn nasal and crack; we turn away from each other, embarrassed with our moist eyes and quivering lips.
We've gone by turns, evening after evening looking at every dog on Petfinder and every rescue site we could find and then, for a couple of nights not looking at all to avoid the pain of wishing we could save them all. Or even one. Just one, to keep us company. To be happy to see us when we get home at night. To walk around outside with us, barn to house to shed to hedgerow. To ride with us to the hardware store...

And then Husband saw an Australian cattle dog "free to a great home." The dog is four and a half hours away and he sounds like a dream. I've been corresponding with the owner to learn more.
And today there is an adoption clinic where we might meet a girl dog who has pretty yellow eyes and a red-brown coat.

I have come to question rescue outfits' write-ups. I imagine the rescue people see so much that people do wrong with dogs, that they don't see how dogs are when they can run at will and then get called in to watch movies and snuggle with their owners. Country dogs are different from city or suburban dogs. The poor rescue people see the ones that people left behind or dropped off . . . the unwanted ones who aren't out there running around for fun, so the people think unfenced yards are Bad Things. 

Anyway, it appears that the two of us will expire unless we avail ourselves of a dog buddy.
Stay tuned.

26 comments:

VioletSky said...

Although I am not a dog person, I understand the yearning.

DJan said...

I look forward to finding out what your new companion will be. And of course you will have another dog to brighten your days and nights, not to mention how fortunate he or she will be to have found YOU! :-)

threecollie said...

Oh, how I understand the dilemma. Nick is old, feeble one day, strong the next. At 14, how much longer will there be? I looked into rescue BCs because it seemed like a good fit. I have taken several other people's problem dogs over the years and had a great life with them. But the rescues won't let you get a dog unless you have a fenced yard. We only have a run. And they charge as much as a purebred, properly socialized, puppy from a topnotch BC breeder. What to do, what to do....

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Sometimes my dog is the only thing that. Keeps me going, so I feel for your dilemma, so I guess unless you are planning a world tour in the future, all the yearning will probably end with a wet nose and a waggling tail soon, nice to hear from you again June, good luck. Xxx

Floridagirl said...

I lasted two months without a dog. Their companionship is necessary to me. I'm sure you'll let us know what you get.

English Rider said...

Fostering was my solution to this dilemma, but I don't know if they'll allow that without a fence. I now have an extended family of "Other Mothers", those who adopted my Fur-Fosters.
I have 40 people coming to my husband's birthday party on Sunday. The most important returning guest is Abbey-Rose, who lived with us for a year, before finding a match. Abbey is bringing her "Mum", her dog-sitter and some random friends from New Zealand, who are staying at her house.
I was on anti-depressants when Abbey joined our family, from death row at the Oakland pound. I give her credit for saving me right back.

Friko said...

After Benno died we lasted 3 months. Millie’s been with us for 6 months now and we can’t imagine life without her. As she is already 8 yrs old I look at her with a lump in my throat.

But hey, she’s a bit of a mix. Mixes last longer. In the meantime, she’s happy and so are we.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

What a beautifully written post - made me cry - made me pull out of the proverbial drawer and remember all too clearly what I've left behind, what I miss, what I no longer have.
Mine are still alive but no longer in my reach.

I shall stayed tuned, can't wait to hear what happens next or who joins your family!

x

Sharon said...

I identified with "Hyperbole and a Half" too. She is making a difference in the world with her ability to make it clear what depression feels like, which is next to impossible when you feel that way.

We've never had a dog but have had cats. Leo adopted us in October 2007 and graced our lives until April 2010. Now my daughter has found a "senior female" cat who desperately needs a home. I have been on the fence but came back and read your post again. I will call tomorrow....

Vicki Lane said...

Absolutely. You all sound like you need a dog -- and I'm sure there's a dog that needs you.

georgia little pea said...

:D

June said...

Sharon! DO call. You'll feel so much better...you'll feel the little hole in your heart close up.

Carolynn Anctil said...

My husband took our dog with him to run errands yesterday and, I confess, I did enjoy her absence for that hour. That said, her puppy energy does provide for a lot of comic relief, too.

I can't live in a house that doesn't have an animal in it. It feels cold and empty. I think, at the heart of it, I'm a cat person. I like a cat's quiet demeanor and they're a lot easier to care for. I'm not sure I would get another dog, after Willow. Although, there was that time last winter when a stranger came to the door and she kept up a steady and ferocious barking. I did appreciate her then.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your search for a doggy companion. In the meantime, give Peep a squeeze from me.

Blessings,
Carolynn

Pauline said...

Get both?

Hilary said...

Pauline shares my thought. I have a feeling you'll do just that. I know how much better my life is with cats and a dog in it. You'll all have a fine home together. Looking forward to hearing about it.

Linda Myers said...

I'm looking forward to hearing about the new dog you find for your home.

Tom Sightings said...

Sounds to me like in your head you already have a new dog. Hate to say it, but I have the best of both worlds: We have a dog, and B takes care of her (for the most part).

Terra said...

I think God will match you up with just the right dog for you.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I agree , exactly the right dog for you is out there waiting and you'll find her soon .
The fenced yard rule seems odd for country dwellers ... perhaps a reference from your vet might help ?
Looking forward to meeting your new companion !

June said...

Rescues always check with potential adopters' vets offices, so we're good there. Some rescues are twitchier than others about "fences" versus "lots of land." Depends on the dog's breed too...

Amy said...

Yes, I understand your dilemma. I will not be adopting because I refuse to fence in the yard (not only expensive as it is large, but the upkeep, too) and I do not have time to house train a puppy. My mother is 90 and I would prefer an older, calmer dog. But it is not to be.

June said...

Amy....I bet if you found the right rescue and the right dog, you could adopt a good old dog. The old ones need all the attention they can get. The puppies are ALL cute!

rachel said...

This is exciting! I hope it all happens soon. I wait eagerly to find out how long it takes for the new addition to realise that Peep is in charge?

fiftyodd said...

Be careful of an Australian cattle dog. Did you see Cesar's show in Aus.? Said dog had an absolute obsession with herding things. She might be hard work. We have loved to have dogs when we were younger but broke our hearts every time they died. I am now addicted to Cesar's "Dog Whisperer". I watch it every day and pretend I am a wonderful pack leader.

Barb said...

I also yearn. Unfortunately, Bob doesn't yearn with me! I'll enjoy a dog vicariously if you adopt one.

Isabelle said...

I feel for you too. Hope you find a lovely dog to soothe your heart.