It had been only 5 months since our Dog, Sophia, had died of a rare salivary cancer, and only 8 months since Katie, our other dog had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, forcing us to end her life. I was missing both dogs, and feeling like I had a huge hole in my heart that I was unable to plug.
It was a Sunday in February, and I was working in my photo studio, Animal Planet blasting in the background. A dog show was being broadcast. I missed my dogs. Before I knew it, I was surfing websites, looking at puppies. I’m only looking, I told myself. I thought it would be good to research dog breeds, for when we were ready for another dog. A Cocker Spaniel was out of the question. My husband was so distraught over loosing Sophia that I doubted we’d ever be able to own another Cocker Spaniel again. I began perusing the pictures of Lhasa Apsos in honor of Katie. Page after page … young puppies, older puppies, adult dogs. I knew that when the time came, we would need to get a puppy. After loosing 2 dogs in 3 months, we wouldn’t be able to go through this again anytime soon. Sophia was almost 15 years old when she died. We knew it was only a matter of days, and, bless her heart, she waited until 3 days after my birthday before she died. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had a “talk” with her the night before my birthday. “Please, Sophia, don’t say goodbye tomorrow. It’s mommy’s birthday. It will break her heart. Please hang on one more day Sophia.” And so she did. It was one of the best birthday presents that I have ever received and one that I never will forget. Sophia and I spent the entire day together, cuddling & napping and talking old times. I bathed her and I brushed her and I took what were to be her final pictures.
We weren’t certain of Katie’s age, because we found her on the side of the road, late on a Saturday night. She had a tag. The man that owned her didn’t want her, which was a good thing, because I didn’t really want to give her back. So when I asked him on the phone if he owned a little brown and white dog, and he asked me if I wanted a little brown and white dog, I was quite happy to say, “yes!” We guessed she was 9 or 10. Her previous owner didn’t know her age, because he had found her at an animal shelter. It was obvious by her condition that she had seen the worst of times. We had her for 6 years. Through all her ailments, health problems, and vet bills, our love never wavered.
And because our losses occurred in only 3 months time, only a puppy would do.
And then, I saw him! Jupiter was his name. There were 4 pictures posted. I printed them out and saved one on my computer screen.
I thought about the puppy on Monday & Tuesday. By Wednesday, I cold no longer stand it anymore. I showed two of my work friends the picture of the puppy. They squealed, “You better call on that puppy now before he’s gone. You’ll be sick if someone else buys him before you do.” Of course, they were right. So I called the Texas number and was greeted by a woman with a friendly, southern accent. I held my breath after I asked, “Is Jupiter still available?” “Yes. Yes, he is” she replied. “I want him,” I blurted out. Long story short, he was now on order. Once she received the money, she’d make flight arrangements for him to be shipped from Austin, Texas to San Jose, California.
How on earth was I to break this news to my husband? I had purchased a puppy without his knowledge, without first talking it over with him. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but he was still grieving, and I had no idea about how he would react. I felt excited. I felt selfish. I felt comforted that I’d have a puppy to pour love into, the love that I could no longer share with Katie and Sophia … but at that moment, I also felt queasy.
My husband took the news well. He understood my need for a dog. I understood his need for time to heal. We had agreed (HE had agreed) that what I had done was OK. My husband said he had a “feeling” when he saw me surfing the web landing on puppy sites. When he saw that I had actually printed out a picture of a puppy and it was laying on my desk, he was certain their was mischief looming on the horizon. When I saw him take that picture and pin it to his bulletin board, I knew there was healing on the horizon.
To Be Continued ...
In Loving Memory of Sophia and Katie