Lately my life has been pretty much all about dogs. I volunteer at the local animal shelter, I donate monthly to the ASPCA, I read tons of articles about dogs and things that are happening to them around the world–don’t worry; I won’t go into that here. Even my day job is about dogs! The company I work for builds online pharmacies for veterinarians. Then I started dog-sitting because obviously I wasn’t around dogs enough. Day in and day out it’s dogs, dogs, dogs.
Naturally people ask me, “So when are you getting another dog?”
It’s a logical conclusion, I guess. You have one dog that you love with all your heart, you surround yourself with dogs every day in one way or another, people keep telling you that you have a way with dogs, so it’s inevitable that you get another dog, right?
The truth is every dog I see on the street, or in the shelter, or dog-sit for, or see online begs the question, “Am I ready?”
My heart still breaks every time I come across something that reminds me of my baby, Carmela. Whether it happens naturally like seeing another Yellow Lab on the street, or intentionally like digging up her old veterinarian records to pour over, I am overcome with emotion and loss.
At this point it would feel too much like I was trying to replace her. Carm was one-of-a-kind and every dog I interact with is a painful reminder of that. I still compare everything a “new” dog does to that of Carmela. I’m just not ready to open my heart up to the one who comes after yet.
The silver-lining in all of this is that I’m really enjoying my freedom. I’m reminded of it whenever I have a dog staying with me for a few days, and I’m thrown back into the world of “doggy care.”
I like not having to run home at lunchtime to take a dog out, or run home immediately after work. I like not coming to any surprises like an accident on the floor, or a chewed up front door. I like having my weekends free to get up when I want and explore at my leisure without having to work around someone else’s bathroom schedule. I enjoy having a clean apartment. For the first time in my adult life my days revolve around my schedule, and that’s a pretty cool feeling.
I know I will get “another” dog some day. Like everyone tells me, one day I’ll meet the right dog and I’ll just know. Sounds a little too Rom-Com for me, but I’ll take their word for it. For now I’m okay with missing my girl, and enjoying my newfound freedom.