I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my very raw heart for your kind notes, comments, e-mails, book recommendations, poems, and personal stories. Every single comment, short or long, was supportive and encouraging and compassionate. I realize I only “know” a small number of you personally, but I do want you to know that each of you helped make a sad period a little easier to bear, and I thank you for it. Sincerely and honestly.
The kids are doing …… ok. Not great, but as expected. They have run through the appropriate stages of grief:
6. Acceptance, and
7. When are we getting a new dog?
They keep dipping back into numbers four and five quite often, especially at bedtime. It helped that we left yesterday for Texas, to have Blaine’s family Christmas get together, and that we also got to spend time with dear military friends who recently re-located to Texas. Even better was that our friends have a new-ish puppy, quite lively (understatement of the century) and the kids got to run and play and laugh with him, which I do think helped them find a little joy amidst their sadness. So Renee, thank you, the boys, and Bobo for hosting us last night. And thank Duke for being such a good sport.
Our first dog, a golden retriever named Fosters (why yes, we named our first dog Fosters and our second dog Lager. No, we’re not alcoholics, just white trash who name their dogs after beer) passed away when she was twelve. She and Lager had over eight years together, and were the best of friends. I don’t give two hoots about theology or proof or reason or Biblical application, but I believe in my heart that our pets go to Heaven just like we do, and I have no doubt the two of them are having the biggest game of chase ever run on clouds. Call it corny if you like, but the thought of their reunion has given me great comfort these past few days.
I’ll tell you the full story of how Lager came to be ours some other time, when talking about him no longer makes me cry. Suffice it to say I have no doubt that coming to live with our family extended his life by about fifteen years. Although he wasn’t technically a “rescue” dog, the knowledge that his life with us was better a hundred-fold than the life he had been living, also makes me feel happy and proud he was ours.
In the meantime, we grieve, and we wait until the time is right to get another dog. We will most likely get two -- one hunting dog for Blaine, and one pound dog as well. Having two worked well for us previously and I’d love to do that again. And yes, we’ve already informed the kids that the new dogs will be named Sam Adams and Miller.
White. Trash. (we are)