Monday, March 15, 2010

Gone to the Dogs...

As many of you may know, just before Christmas I had to put my dog, Zeke, to sleep. Since I had Zeke for more than 15 years, this was a tremendously difficult decision, but the right one given how he was suffering at the end of his life.

It has been a difficult three months without Zeke. It's taken a tremendous amount of time to get used to coming home in the evenings or after a trip and not be greeted by his wagging tail and his barking. It's even still a little bizarre to eat a meal in the house and not have him begging, or to have to pick food up off the floor when we drop it instead of waiting for Zeke to eat it.

After Zeke died, I didn't think I'd want another dog, because I couldn't bear the thought of having to go through again what we did with him. And of course, no one can replace him. But as time went on, I realized how much love we have to give, and while there never will be another Zeke, it would be wonderful to care for another dog and give it the kind of love and affection we gave him.

Yesterday we went to an adoption fair sponsored by A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation, a non-profit animal rescue group that operates in the Northern Virginia/Washington area which strives to make quality dogs available for adoption. We looked around a bit and came upon a litter of puppies. We picked one up and petted her for a bit. Then we picked up another. She immediately started licking my face and nestling in my arms, while other puppies were struggling. I felt a certain connection I hadn't felt since October 1994 at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

So...we put in an adoption application for a 10-week-old golden/lab retriever mix puppy. She's absolutely beautiful, although she'll be a lot bigger than Zeke was, and a bigger dog than we had anticipated getting. We have a home visit scheduled for Wednesday night, and after that, hopefully we can bring her home the following week. We're nervous and excited, and although we know training a puppy will be a lot of work, we're so looking forward to watching her grow and thrive.

Details and pictures to follow...don't want to jinx it. But I know Zeke will be looking down and protecting his "sister," and that makes me happier than I could imagine...

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