I was talking to a friend of a friend a while back who lost his dog recently. He was amazed when I shared how quickly I got Cooper after Spike passed.1 He said he just couldn’t bear the idea of another dog yet.
Like me, he was afraid of getting another dog for fear of betraying or trivializing the love he had for his previous one. After Spike passed, I too could not bear the idea of another dog. If it weren’t for Apple guy I probably still wouldn’t have another dog. Honestly, I think I would have closed my heart to the experience and moved on.
I explained my situation was slightly more complicated than his. His life is currently very stable with a minimum of drama. Not so much for me back then. I was extremely depressed over the recent break-up and my financial crisis. Also still living with my ex kept the wounds fresh and open. Getting Cooper was extremely therapeutic for me and saved me from more downward spirals. Out of all the memories (good and bad) I have of Apple guy’s and my time together, picking up Cooper will always be one of the brightest. It often outshines the pain and bad memories. I’ll always be grateful for him for it. He recognized it w/o me seeing it and it was the most unselfish caring thing he ever did for me.
He literally had to goad me into it. I was against the idea and resisted pretty much up until he filled out the app online. By the time the application completed and we were waiting for an answer, I was beside myself with anticipation. The idea had taken root and I couldn’t let it go. It was all I could think of and I’m sure Apple guy was more than a little annoyed that I kept asking if he’d heard anything. Finally, I couldn’t wait any longer and started emailing them directly. lol
Fast forward to the big day, it was truly love at first site when little Norm (his name back then) came bounding into the room. He was so energetic, alive, and just happy to be the center of attention.2 There wasn’t a seconds hesitation on my part. He came home with us that very day. That little monster saved me in ways he’ll never know or even understand. And my new love for Cooper has never once diminished my feelings for Spike. I see now how silly it was of me to think I could ever replace him. The care, love, and support Spike was shown at the SPCA vet center is also the primary reason I’m a volunteer there now. So even his passing inspired me in ways I didn’t expect. And now I can help other animals even if I can’t bring them home.
After sharing my story, we were both in tears and hugged over it. He said afterwards he still wasn’t ready but he had now decided to rescue another dog later on. I guess at that time he was even unsure if he could ever own another dog. It made me smile knowing my story helped him.
I found out yesterday he has started the process of rescuing a new dog. It’s been 5 months for him and he said he’s ready. I was very touched that he reached out to me just to let me know. He lives local and has started his search at the local SPCA as well as other shelters. He has 3 dogs that he is deciding from.
On a total side note, Maya, the bully I mentioned a while back, got rescued pretty quickly. I knew she wouldn’t stay long at the shelter. She was barely there two weeks and someone took her home!
On a second side note, my neighbor three doors down is dealing with end of life care for his doggie. He is 16 and his physical health is declining. He has some spine issues and lost a lot of mobility in his back legs. My neighbor got him a doggie assist wheelchair (think of training wheels for a dog) and it’s been helping. He is also on a very strong drug which is helping but it’s only a matter or time now.
I hope I can be there as a friend for my neighbor when the sad day comes.