Anytime we decide to bring a fur baby into our lives we are signing ourselves up for heartache. We know that in just a few short years we will have to say goodbye; long before we will ever be ready. If we are honest, we would never be ready. I was never ready. Some of us continually sign up for this heartache. Maybe because of the lonely echo of the campfire without a dog laying beside it. Or maybe we think we’ll beat the odds this time.
And each time (because we never beat the odds) we have to ask ourselves: How will I know I’m ready to move on?
For us, and many others, this situation is compounded by having children involved. I have my own selfish needs and emotions that I’m trying to meet, while balancing what my husband needs, and trying to keep our two little boys needs first.
Our oldest is such a gentle spirit. He talked of Mauer often and still does. He talks about Mauer being in Heaven and looking out from the clouds to check in on us. He will cry with me when we come across pictures of Mauer that bring us happy memories. And for the longest time he told me he wasn’t ready for a new puppy – he just wanted him Mauer back. And I wholeheartedly agreed.
Then, about a month after saying goodbye to Mauer, Max wanted a new puppy as did his dad. So we set out to find a new puppy.
I will be the first to admit I was not ready at this point; and most days still am not quite there. The idea of a puppy is always a fun one – puppy kisses and snuggles. What’s not to be excited about? I convinced myself I was ready for a new puppy and truly thought I was. We did our research and found a breeder that seemed to fit all of our specifications and went to meet their puppies. The sire came bounding up to us as we pulled in the driveway and my heart skipped a bit because he reminding me so much of Mauer in he way he moved and acted. I knew, and still do, that this is where we were getting our new puppy.
We played with the litter of pups and I chose the one that most reminded me of the sire, or apparently Mauer.
A few weeks later, Kirby came up with us and we were beyond excited, but I felt an empty excitement. An empty excitement that I fight with every day. She’s a good dog and does try to please, but she reminds me that Mauer is gone. Every time I reach down to pet her I realize I have to bend down further than I did with Mauer, and each time I pet her, her fur feels different.
In my case, the right time to get a new puppy was when my family was ready, because if we waited for me to be ready we may never have another dog. My boys deserved the puppy they so anxiously wanted. In some ways, getting Kirby was the best coping mechanism for them.
My oldest and I still talk about Mauer on an almost daily basis. Happy thoughts and memories. And Kirby does remind me of him sometimes; we joke that Mauer sent Kirby to us to keep our lives exciting and because he knew some of the antics she would pull. It is comforting to think Mauer is still a part of our lives through Kirby.
Oh, Kirby, Kirby Kirby…..you have some big paws to fill. You make my boys happy, you are on track to be a good dog, and you and I will build a relationship based on our mutual love for those boys.
Don’t let her cuteness fool you – she’s as crazy as they come. Stayed tuned for more tails on the Krazy that is Kirby.