From the day we lost Diamond on Tuesday, June 17, until Saturday, July 26, had been the longest time my wife and I had been without a dog. From the time we began dating in the spring of 1972, our relationship had not been without a dog that length of time.
So we missed it.
In the aftermath of letting Diamond go, her “ghost” would appear. In that I mean in all the activities in which she was included, her absence magnified itself. For example, at the end of my cereal-and-fruit breakfast, I always left a teaspoon of milk in the bowl for her to lap. I paused briefly the Wednesday following her death and thought she’s not here for that last lap.
In the evenings if we were watching TV, we’d often eat an ice cream cone. Diamond sat on the couch with us and watch me as I licked the scoop of ice cream then bit on the cone. The very butt-end of the cone would then be offered to her, which she crunched gently, mine first, then my wife’s. Now we had to eat it ourselves.
Places around the house I would look to see her, but she was not there. When I made my lunch for my next day’s work, she always sat and watched. I was the only one in the kitchen.
Kathleen took to cleaning the house thoroughly. She noticed as the days between Diamond’s death and the present lengthened, the amount of “dirt,” read Diamond’s shed coat, diminished. By two weeks, the hair that had gathered along the edges of the hallway and in the corners of the kitchen were completely gone.
Rugs which had been cleaned months before, but held in storage because of Diamond’s incontinence, were rolled out and put in place.
But what dog would we adopt to take her place?
Our family jumped aboard and helped in the search. We were determined to adopt another rescue canine, one which may have had an unhappy beginning, and give it a loving, happy home. We searched Petfinders.com for that next pet. We entered the information of what we desired in a pet canine and let it sort it out for us.
The first search led us to a site which pictured a hound mix of medium size. She looked sweet in the photo so we contacted the foster parent. Long story short for two weeks the person held us at arm’s length. In that time, Kathleen had purchased a new doggy bed, some toys and became psyched up for a visit to Southern Ohio.
That visit didn’t happen and we were both very disappointed. We were eagerly looking forward to making the trip and when arrangements fell through, we both ached. We’d been so pumped. The disappointment augmented our grief.
Then my sister-in-law found Lotus. She is a Jack Russell terrier/boxer mix of about a year. Potty trained, with some obedience training, very sweet nature.
Sounds like a potential adoptee.
The young woman fostering her is training to be a vet tech and lived in Dublin. She agreed to meet us at Cowling Park in London on Saturday, July 26.
Our visit with her and Lotus was brief but pleasant. She was more cute in person than on the internet site. We agreed to take her home for a one-week trial.
Lotus exuded friendship and trust from the start. Naturally she had some anxiety at the change of living area, but she loved running full speed in our big back yard. She had one urinary “accident,” but the clean-up was easy with no damage done. Totally forgivable.
The trial week ended and we agreed to keep Lotus. She’s an absolute joy and has amply filled our canine void. She now eats the butts of our ice cream cones.
Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1617 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.