Wednesday, May 29, 2024

There's No Biting on Tuesdays - Part 5 (The Anniversary)

A mini series about losing my beloved dog and getting a new puppy.

Willow at 22 weeks

Tomorrow will be one year since I lost Hadley and I've had a chance to gather my thoughts. She was my first dog so everything about the process, including losing her and getting another, is new for me. The decision was not an easy one and I passed up several opportunities during the year to have another dog. But I felt like I would know when it was right and I needed time to make sense of all my feelings.

I missed Hadley so damn much. But I also missed having a dog. Having Willow does not help with the first part at all, no matter what I hoped. But she does fix the second part. Before getting her, I had gone out of my way to pet every dog I met but it didn't fill the void. The first time I held Willow in my arms, though, knowing she was mine, I sobbed.

I debated different breeds, colors, etc. But none of them moved my heart and I knew I wouldn't be happy without another Cavalier. I had some concerns about choosing another Blenheim colored girl like Hadley but in the end it was not an issue. While I appreciate that to everyone else in the world they probably look identical, the two look totally different to me. They also do not act the same. Cavvies are sweet and friendly and both were and are. But apart from that, they have quite different personalities. I have had to get to know Willow the way I once got to know Hadley.

I still think about Hadley almost every day. And I still cry over her. Time and the need to chase after a rambunctious young puppy have lessened the tears but they still come.

Puppyhood is hard. I'd wondered if raising my second would be easier now that I had some experience. Possibly, in the sense that I have timelines down a little better. But in the end, puppies are hard. I had suggested to my vet, who has taken both these journeys with me, that Hadley was an easier puppy. He assured me that 15 years have erased my memory of how terrible she was as a pup. And I know he's right. But it was worth it then and it will be worth it now.

One of the last photos I have of Hadley, taken a couple of weeks after her 14th birthday and about 6 weeks before she passed. Her sweet face was so gray.

So, in the end am I happy I did it again? Yes, absolutely. Willow is a sweet, happy, affectionate puppy and she will grow up to be a wonderful companion. I can sense it. And for all the times I've been frustrated that she keeps peeing on the floor, when she climbs into my lap, puts her paws around my neck and her head on my shoulder, it fills my heart again.

Go to Part 1

Go to Part 2

Go to Part 3

Go to Part 4

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