Thursday, June 19, 2008

And Then There Were Four


We suffered a loss last night.
After 13 & 1/2 months of living with us, my mom's dog Poppy finally went home.

For those of you that don't know, let me give you the "Claire's too tired to go into the whole thing again" version - my mom broke her ankle in 2 places on May 4th of last year, & after laying in her hallway all night with the phone in her hand, finally called for help. (Ugh - just revisiting that whole experience so briefly drains me of what little energy I possess!) Mom had 3 surgeries in a year, & there were a lot of challenges - some what you'd expect, & then others that could only be brought about by the mind of my mother.

(Doug's really, really happy that I'm adopted.)

Our time with Poppy was not without problems. You see, Poppy knew our dogs well, but had never stayed with them for very long. She came into our home & found herself living with a pack, & that was new to her. There was a hierarchy & Poppy didn't want to play along, so there were many scuffles & lots of posturing & pouting. Doug & I lost a lot of sleep because of these flare-ups, & neither of us operate very well after such nights. Yes, little Poppy had a hard time fitting in for a while, & everyone struggled because of it. There were times when we couldn't wait for her to go home so that we could have our peaceful house back.

Eventually, Poppy's behavior made a big turn for the better, & suddenly she started acting like she was one of our dogs. Happy day! She returned to the cute, bouncy, sweet Poppy that we knew & adored, & gained the nicknames that come with living at our house - Pops, Pop-Pop, Popster, Pop Star, etc. The fighting had stopped & she started to enjoy living at our house. If I were a dog, I think our house would be a great place to live! We have a big fenced-in backyard (complete with squirrels to chase), 4 other dogs, & what seems like constant petting & scratching. Sounds pretty good to me, although I'm not big on squirrels & I like indoor plumbing. A lot.

Neither of us wanted to, but we both came to love Poppy as our own. Yeah, yeah, we knew the time was coming for her to go home, but after so much time had passed, it was impossible not to! The thought of her leaving our home made us both sad & stressed us out a bit. My mom had some crazy list of things that needed to be done before Poppy could come back, & admittedly, we took our time in doing them. But finally, it was time.

Poppy went home.

We couldn't let my mom know that we were sad. I mean, Poppy is her dog, & we do want my mom to be happy. However, after seeing Poppy hooked up to her dog run & looking confused, it was impossible to not feel bad for her. I know my mom will take great care of her & that she loves her, but we just can't stop feeling that Poppy's happier with us.

So now, we're down to 4 again. Our girls are very out-of-sorts - Piper's very sad & Bella's fervently searching for the missing member of her "herd". It will take time for all of us to adjust to a Poppy-free life. Sure, she'll come back for visits, but it just won't be the same. In the meantime, we're just hoping that it all works out.

Our days of being the guardians of the family dogs are very likely not over. One of Doug's brothers - who is just a big unhealthy mess, to put it mildly - just asked Doug if we'd take his dog Queenie if something should happen to him. Doug said yes, fully realizing that something always happens to Randy to incapacitate him in one way or another.

Queenie is a St. Bernard.

12 comments:

LucyinStLou said...

I'll miss Poppy when we come over the visit. She was always wonderful about chasing the whippets.

A Saint Bernard you say? They are great dogs. I'm sure it will make for interesting times at Chez Uncorked. Are you sending Doug's brother health supplements already?

Claire said...

Yeah, Poppy's going to be missed by everyone. (sniffle)

St. Bernards may be great dogs, but they're just so....ENORMOUS.

Oh, he's waaaaay beyond health supplements. I had to ask Doug if his request had been prompted by worse-than-usual news at one of his brother's 10,000 recent visits to the doctor. He said no, but my question was reasonable!

LucyinStLou said...

Oh yes, I know how that goes. Our cats are getting older and Mr. Luce & I have decided that if one should pass away, we will not get another because my mother and aunt are both getting older and there's a chance we'd need to take their brood in. Ah, isn't it fun being the family's ASPCA?

Kristal said...

Oh, that's sad. :( The worst is when the other doggies are walking around looking for their lost friend.

But good luck with the St. Bernard. Beethoven is all that comes to mind...

Claire said...

Lucy, NO. It's not. I like to choose who lives with me! But if it comes down to it, I wouldn't want to trust someone else with their care...Maybe we should look into robots?

Krystal - ACK! The St. Bernard doesn't live with us yet!! My gracious, I hope she NEVER does, but it's the possibility that wigs me out a bit!

Yara said...

That is so sad Claire...I am sure your Mom is happy to have Pops back though...

St Bernards are pretty cute, but i hope you don't end up getting it...way too big of a dog!

LucyinStLou said...

Robots! Now that's the ticket!! I keep reading about how the Japanese are inventing child robots, girlfriend robots, pet robots, etc. When is this technology coming here!?!?

Claire said...

Hi Yara, thanks for stopping by! It IS sad, but of course we do want my mom to be happy. I just hope that both of them will be! And yes, we're also hoping that we don't end up with Queenie, but I guess if we do, we do...

Lucy, I think robots are just going to be our solution for everything from now on. We'll have to get them specially programmed with the Haitian accent though, for the effect. However, I would never want a robotic dog or husband (eew). The robotic kid is a definite NO for us, as you know. =)

LucyinStLou said...

Mr. Luce is always looking for that brilliant idea that will make us bazillionaires so we can retire with the whippets and tabbies to a lovely Carribbean island. I'll have him get right on it!

Explosive Bombchelle said...

My heart would be absolutely broken. It's why I couldn't foster or raise a seeing eye puppy; there is no way I could let it go. We're about to take on a cat for an undisclosed period of time. We have two dogs, the cat has never met a dog and the cat has claws. Oh yeah, and I'm allergic. I don't think I'll be getting attached...

Mo said...

Hi Claire,

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

We have a lot in common. Besides the "paws" and "pours", my middle name is Claire, and I am also adopted. I wonder what else... :)

Does it count if our dog sheds enough for 4 dogs?

Claire said...

Mo, that's just crazy, but I think it's safe to say that we're both very cool! =)