Monday, June 18

The FAQs: How are we handling the reduction of our family?

Besides the physical losing of Sweet Pea, and the gathering of her things to put into the garage (for the moment), the hardest hit to our gut was the thought that our family of three...was now only two. And I hated that thought. While, yes, there are people who judge and criticize people that are 'merely dating' and jointly acquire a pet - that it's the worst decision you can ever make. When you break up, you can't just cut the animal in half. It's like a divorce - and someone needs custody. Well...when we break up, that's not an issue anymore, now is it?

This unexpected loss was literally the hardest thing we've ever had to do as a couple - and that's a lot considering our collection of years together. Mr. Wookie's theory was 'don't talk about it - just try and move on.' My approach was verbally reassuring us that we gave her the best home she could have ever had - even when I was in tears knowing that we couldn't have done any better.

What happened?

Sweet Pea passed away from old age - she was just much older than thought. And finding her was the saddest day of my life, there on the rug, looking just as adorable as when she was alive. Those floppy jowls. I can't help but look at her pictures and mentally squish her face.

Are you going to get another Bulldog?

Most likely never again. You can't replace the bumbling hilarity of Sweet Pea. She was not smart. But for a Bulldog, she was Einstein. She was the perfect built Bulldog - no hip issues, no breathing issues, no nothing. She had a double ear infection once, but I wrestled her for the daily drops. Her personality was the best. Yes, she was not dog friendly. But who cares. Minus the few dogs she snacked on (don't be a Maltese, mmmkay), she was a great companion of the house...despite her semi-annoying whining for attention. Hello.... I'M A RESCUE, GIMME SOME PITY ....mmmm... that's right...pat my head.

Are you going to get another dog then?

Yes, at some time we'll bring another canine into our home, but for right now...the timing just isn't right. Mr. Wookie is gone and we both don't feel it's right for a new canine to join the pack and not bond with the Resident Caveman. That and with a PCS on the horizon post-deployment, we'll have to judge our thoughts come that time about what type of dog we want and when we want it.

Someone pointed out the Rainbow Bridge poem about how pets  leave this world under perfect conditions (lest they be hit by a car, or something tragic), and for the owners to not grieve their exit - but to know that Sweet Pea left with a heart filled with love from us. She turned me from a staunch cat person into a holy shit, I'm a dog person now. Who knew?? Now I can't imagine not owning another dog. While I still talk to her box o' ashes and tell her we can never replace her, there will be a time where the stars will align and another dog is due their time in our house. And I can't wait. Some people are 'baby people' - we're definitely 'animal people.' That whole 'baby issue' is on a massive back burner, because the need just isn't there yet/at all.

We've had deep conversations about what we want next, what we don't want, and things that will never come up (the Corgi - Mr. Wookie hates them, so that breed is forever not considered *tears*). So for now, we'll continue to analyze the breeds that our friends have, think about the mutt-like combinations that occur from accidental breeding, and see where we move to next.

There was extreme worrying about my sanity level sans pooch during this summer's exercise.

Me: "Babe, I don't know if I can handle this by myself."
Mr.: "Don't be silly, you did fine in February." The boys were gone for just shy of a month.
Me: "I had Sweet Pea to hang out with."
Mr.: Silence.

So with a lot of thought, and the Rainbow Bridge poem in the back of my mind, I knew my heart is open to love again. We had further deep conversations about What if I adopt a cat mid-detachment? We'll give it a couple weeks to test out how it is being alone, would you be okay with that? I just don't want to not be okay being along? And a cat isn't the same commitment level as a dog - plus it's too soon to get another dog (I think). And a cat can't replace Sweet Pea. It would just be re-expanding our family to something that needs a home. It would be a companion and another heartbeat in the house. And he understood completely - to go from a house with someone to interact with to a house where the dog is in a cedar box were two different worlds.

But I'm a big proponent of Things will happen when they're supposed to. You don't have to be highly religious to understand this concept, but it's a nice way to buy off your own worries. Because going into an animal shelter and trying to choose a cat or dog just doesn't work - I'd rather let the animal choose me.

I'd love to expand our brood. Get a cat, maybe acquire a couple dogs with our next station. We have the turtles. All we're missing now is a couple penguins in the fridge and we're Ace Ventura. I love it. And I'm excited.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my heart breaks over and over when I think about you two dealing with a world without Sweet Pea. It's good to hear though that although you might not be ready today, you can see you might be ready for another furry something in the future.

    And I agree, sometimes it's about the pet finding us instead of us finding the pet. Interested to see which type of fur ball eventually makes it into the Wookie household.