I have a confession to make. In the past, I used to secretly judge people who immediately adopted a new dog once their old dog passed away. You don't have to tell me how horrible that is. I'm a Taurus, a double Taurus actually. Intense loyalty is just part of my makeup. Trust me, it gets on my nerves. In my volunteer work with dog rescue, I'd write a condolence note and then get an email the next day that the family was looking for a new dog. HOW, I'd wonder. I just didn't get it.
On March 31st, we lost our Kenzie. I was crushed, as you'd imagine. I wondered how long it would take for me to be ready to open my heart to a new dog. All I knew is it would be a long time. Yeah, fast forward to the end of May. I was at a meeting with the Golden Rescue and someone asked if I'd consider fostering a dog. Around eight dogs had come in to the club in the previous week and we didn't have enough foster homes for all of them. I felt my heart clinch but immediately said no. No way, I'm not ready. I just lost my Kenzie. No way.
This ate away at me for about a week. We had a good, loving dog home and it was empty of dogs. Why couldn't we help out? It slowly occurred to me that helping another dog might just be the way to honor Hubbell & Kenzie and bring peace to my heart. Someone else had opened their heart and home to help my pups before they found their way to us. I should help a dog find their forever home. It seemed right.
When I called the Intake Coordinator, she asked if I had any preference as to the type of Golden. I didn't hesitate....Big, Red, Boy. Easy. She called me back the next day and asked if we'd take in a young, small, blond girl. Her previous owners had neglected her by leaving her in a crate ALL. THE. TIME (the "dad" just happened to be a professional football player). Of course, I said, of course....when do we pick her up?
You know the ending. A week later I called to say, "This pup isn't going anywhere."! Honestly, I was the last to be convinced. You can see from these photos that our girls didn't need ANY convincing. For me, it felt disloyal. But I can see now how wrong I was. Opening your heart to a new dog doesn't erase the pain you feel in mourning your previous pups. Not at all. She doesn't take away from how much I loved Hubbell & Kenzie. When I feel down because I miss them, I hug her tightly and I always feel better. The truth is that, if I'd waited to be ready, I would have never been ready.
When I told a friend about our new family member, she said to me, "Good! That dog will heal your heart." How right she was! "That dog" is named Millie and she is definitely doing some heart healing. I stepped outside my comfort zone and a new life/new love began. I am so thankful.
I think Kenzie & Hubbell would be very proud of us.