Labor day weekend was supposed to be filled with me reading a few chapters of my textbook, chilling out on the couch with my dog and seeing the boyfriend. Instead, it turned into a labor of love that ended in a new addition to my household and a decision that I had put off for a long time coming.
As many of you know I moved this summer. I had left my dogs with my parents as I transitioned into the new place with all intent to bring my dogs to live with me as soon as possible. This weekend was that time. But as I spent the night taking care of a very sick dog I realized my life style was not going to benefit him any.
Charlie is my heart and soul. He’s the one who helped me through Chemo, knee surgery, extreme depression after the death of my horses and dog Cassie. He’s been attached at my hip since the day I adopted him, but recently he started to get extremely sick on car rides. He has a tumor that is inoperable near his stomach which is our guess on why he gets sick in the car and for hours after. Charlie used to love car rides, he would jump up and down to get into the car before the door even opened, but now he hesitates to the idea. After being sick all night with the move to me, I realized that if he stayed with me for the rest of his days all I would do is be keeping him sick.
The reason for this is because I travel a lot. About 3 times a week and I would be taking him with me. That’s 3 trips each way for him to get sick. That’s 6 days a week he would be sick. That’s 6 days I would be killing myself inside at the idea of what I was doing to be selfish. Through sobbing tears, I called my mom and asked her if she would like to keep Charlie for the rest of his life; which we don’t know how long it is.
A few hours later we were back in the car. I cried the whole ride to my parent’s house where I dropped him off. I wasn’t saying goodbye but I was letting go of the part that has loved me unconditionally in moments I couldn’t even pick my own head up off the pillow. But he was happy, it’s all he knew being at my parents. And Andy missed him like crazy.
To my surprise, my mom had already started to develop a plan of filling that gap in my life. I thought about just continuing to live without a dog, but it’s foreign to me. I’ve never gone without a dog except in college. But as I sat in her living room sobbing over the decision to leave Charlie with her she told me she wanted to take me out and go see what the SPCA had available. I didn’t know it would be a 45min drive to a shelter that was overloaded with dogs and that she had one in mind already. There was a tiny little girl in a cage that my mom wanted me to see, but it turned out she was already “adopted”. My mom informed me that this was the dog she wanted me to see, but since she wasn’t available anymore that we could just leave. I walked around and saw another dog who peeked my interest. I walked around with that dog for a good half hour and decided to take her even though I had some reservations.
As I went to fill out the application I went back and looked one more time as the reservations were becoming bigger flags with my life style. As I was walking out the tiny little girl my mom originially wanted me to see was suddenly available. I knew instantly I needed to meet her.
Without hesitation, I got someone to pull her out of her cage and we went for a walk. She laid down in the grass a few times until we went to a section that had chairs. She sat down in one and when I sat down next to her she climbed into my lap. I knew instantly who I needed to take home.
With a covert operation between my parents and boy friend. Maggie came home with me the next morning.
I miss Charlie and Andy to no end, but Maggie fits my life style. I can’t keep Charlie sick because of my career. I’m thankful more than ever that my parent’s love them to death. And I know that since my mom’s dog passed away at the beginning of the summer that they are fulfilling that void that was left for her.
Many people would think I should have changed my life style for Charlie, but it wasn’t possible because otherwise, he wouldn’t have had the roof over his head if I did that. Sometimes we have to make the best decisions for the dog, even if it’s one we hate.
The question of who rescued who is completely true. For I owe Charlie my life and sanity from the past few years. Retirement seems to be the best thing for him at this point and I can go see him anytime I need too. Maybe it was a two fold plan because now my mom has reasons for me to come home, I’m joking mom 🙂