Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm ready to open my heart again

We lost a beloved family member last year on Thanksgiving. Sancho, the Best Dog Ever, lost a 6 month battle with cancer.

We've always known we'd get another dog, but the pain of losing Sancho remained so fresh, we just weren't ready to dive back in to doggyland. Periodically, the kids would ask "When Sancho is coming back from Heaven," or "Why don't we have a dog?"

When the Girl started preschool in September, one of the kids brought a picture of his dog for show & tell. When asked who else has dogs, her reply was, "I have a dog named Sancho. He lives in Heaven."

Oh, so heartwrenching!

In addition to not being ready to try to fill Sancho's pawprints, I haven't been pushing very hard to get a new puppy because Brian is at home with the kids all day, so he's the one who will have to deal with a puppy. Also, quite selfishly, I've been enjoying the lack of dog hair.
Here's Brian and Sancho at the beach, and Girlchild & Sancho, about a month before Sancho died:

But Thanksgiving is coming in another week or so.

I realized yesterday that I just can't bear it. I don't want Thanksgiving to be about losing Sancho. It will be, to some extent, forever. But if I at least know there is another dog on the horizon, I think I can take it. While looking at pictures all over the interwebz yesterday, I sobbed my heart out for Sancho, and it was just as fresh and devastating as it had been when he first died.

I've been watching and visiting several area shelter websites on and off for about 6 months. There just haven't been any little puppies at the times that I've been watching. Of course, as I mentioned, I wasn't really focused on the search then.
I'd love to be able to adopt a dog that really needs a home, but Brian & I really think we need a small puppy.  We have little kids, 3 cats, and a neighborhood full of kids and cats! I can't take a chance on a dog with a mystery history.

We had great success introducing Sancho to the kitties, because even though he grew to be 125 pounds, he started off smaller than the cats. He never once did anything aggressive towards those kitties.  Oh, he was such a good dog. I'm crying as I write this. :(

So we went and looked at a couple of 10.5 week old Rottweiler puppies yesterday. I thought, there's no way we go look at puppies and don't bring one home!
But you know, we just didn't seem to have a connection with either of them. Maybe it's because their tails had been docked. I don't know. Brian and I were hesitant, but then Girlchild clinched it. Brian asked her, "Do you think we should invite one of these puppies to come home with us and join our family?" and she responded, "No, I don't think one of these puppies is our dog."

She then changed her mind, for the record, as we were leaving, and then changed it back again -- so I don't know how much stock we should place in her opinion here. She remains convinced, however, that we did the right thing in not getting one of those puppies.
So do I.
We'll find our dog. I sure hope we find it before Thanksgiving, but I feel a little better just knowing we're ready.
No dog could ever take Sancho's place of course, but we can make room in our life for another dog.
"Who's a pretty boy??"

"A Fine Specimen"


  1. Oh, honey, my heart aches for your pain and I'm sending virtual hugs as that is all I can do at the moment.
    He was a very good dog and will always be a part of the family and nothing will ever take that away. The nice thing is that there is no lack of animals that need love and who knows what the next "Greatest Dog Ever" for the Swans will be. I'll be proud to be Auntie to any fluffball you guys choose to bring home.