Canine Contemplation

Anyone who has known me for a long time also knew my four-legged soul-mate, Deejay, a shepherd/collie cross who came into my life many years ago after my family rescued her and her mother and two sisters (four others had been killed by wild things before we found them) from under a bench in Florida. We found homes for two of the puppies, Mom-dog went to live with my parents, and Deejay romped into my heart for the next 14 years. She died peacefully in my arms in July 1995. There has not been another dog in my life since.

I am contemplating changing my dogless existence. Truth to tell, it’s been a longing for years, but now the idea is changing status from longing to maybe-I-can-do-this-how-long-am-I-going-to-live-anyway kind of thing. Ken and I even measured out where a fence could be installed in the backyard so dog and I can romp around and hang out. Fond memories not yet created drift across my mind. I envision long walks around the lake on evenings like this one…cool and companionable and happy.

But I am also aware of the flip side: The hard facts of how much it would cost for a decent fence, vet and feed bills, potential training and compatibility issues. And what if our cats, whose ages range from 4 to 16, can’t adapt? These guys are precious to us too and we do not want them to suffer irreversible stress. You think love will be enough to get through it all, but I have learned this about loving: it can get you in a lot of hot water.

I just don’t know.

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This entry was posted in contemplation, dog, fence, loving dogs, shepherd collie. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Canine Contemplation

  1. Diane,

    Wow. Great post – as always.

    There was one point in my life that I went dogless – it was a span of one and a half years after my beloved Jandi died. Knowing that no one could replace her, I pushed away anyone and everyone who suggested I needed a new dog.

    I never said to myself that it would be a certain amount of time before I adopted another dog… it just happened. And I knew it would be that way… I knew that another dog would find ME at some point. And she did… that was Enzi.

    Bottom line, I think you just know when and if it's right. If the right time comes and it's the right thing, you'll know somehow. And knowing without question that that particular, beautiful creature belongs in your life is such a wonderful thing. 🙂

  2. I would not be the person to help with a decision like this. I've never been without a dog or two or three my whole life. I can't imagine not having a dog. I do find that the other animals in the house, be it cats or another dog will adapt and accept after a while. Good luck with your decision.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Do it!!

  4. I wouldn't be a good person to ask. I tend to make decisions completely with my heart when it comes to animals, throwing caution to the wind.

  5. Wonderful reflection — of course, it would be important to remember that the newbie
    is not a second string DeeJay but a creation with all its own power, idiosyncrasies
    (sp?), ability to love and surprise you. I know you know that but just thought I
    would appear to be wise and point it out.

    There will always be a special place in your heart that is DeeJay-Shaped and no
    other dog will fit there; however, that doesn't mean your heart will not wrap itself
    around another little canine soul and carve out another doggie shaped space all its
    own. There is always room enough for more love in the world.

    Go for it — hopefully the kitties will come around. They might surprise you as
    well. Besides in five years, how old will you be then and still wishing/hoping?

    Git out there and find her/him or be open to let him/her find you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful dog you had!!

  7. This is the first time that I've been without a dog in 20 years and it's making me appreciate every wonderful little doggie thing about them. I am so anxious to get a puppy that I can hardly stand it. So, I vote YES – do it!!!

  8. D, I didn't notice the ads at the bottom of the youtube video. Yikes!

  9. dlg says:

    Insightful comments…that probably just confuse the issue all the more! My history with animals falls into the spontaneous category — my beloved golden was purchased from a pet store during a stroll through a mall (can you believe?!) My cat was literally dropped on my doorstep. In both cases, I clearly remember the panic that rose in my chest (what do I know about litter boxes?) The abject terror at the thought of all that could go wrong (do vets have emergency hours?)

    And yet somehow, miraculously, nothing did. Everyone adjusted. The bills got paid. And these beautiful creatures wormed their way into my heart. Something tells me when you are ready and open, your dog will find you.

  10. Lois VH says:

    I was afraid of dogs for most of my childhood. I would go BLOCKS out of my way to avoid a dog who was tied up! I had a neighbor who would chase me with his dog so every kid in the neighborhood knew about my phobia. Then, one day, my uncle came to visit bringing with him his 2 standard French poodles, (“Demi” and “Boulet”…can you imagine!). He had secured them to a tree in our yard and went into the house to visit with my grandmother. I came home and, for some unknown reason, sidled up to the dogs….even trying to pet them. I turned to go into the house and saw my whole family standing on the front porch staring at me in shock. I won't lie and pretend that my attitude towards dogs changed, (as if by wizardry), overnight but I gradually began to be able to approach dogs that were calm and friendly….I still hesitate to go anywhere near some dogs but I have been able to open up to the sweetness of a few and can fully understand how you must have felt about Dee-Jay. My sister had a lab/retriever mix named Rocky and, to my amazement, I fell in LOVE with that dog when we vacationed with them in VA. When he fell ill and they had to make the difficult decision to put Rocky down, I cried. My heart broke a little so I guess it's a good thing that I live in apartments where I can't have pets.

  11. Nick says:

    We've only been “dogless” for short periods – always a miserable time. We recently lost one who was 15 years old. A few days later, a stray turned up on the doorstep, and adopted us.

    Yes, do it!

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