I didn’t have much time for writing this week, there was a lot of life happening in a busy home. As I wrote two weeks ago, our dog, Rufus, died. He was 13 years old and all the younger kids have grown up with him. He wagged his tail until the very last day even though he had bone cancer and must have been in pain; he never even whimpered.
He just loved being with us, and it taught me a lot. If studying about angels helps us to understand our souls, intellects, and wills better, then being close to animals helps us understand our sensitivities and natural corporeal needs better too. Loyalty, for instance, is as much a physical yearning as it is an intellectual or loving choice. That dog was loyal to my family in ways I have yet to comprehend, and should my fate be death in my bed at home, succumbing to cancer with my family all around, I hope I behave as nobly as that dog did.
Then, the pregnancy I never announced, ended on the day before my 44th birthday, the fourth loss in four years. This time I was at peace. I think I finally really and truly believe – believe – in life everlasting and a goodness and mercy in God that is, simply, beyond anything I can ever comprehend, so far beyond that all I can do is thank God for everything I have been given, and entrust it back to Him.
So, in the spirit of love and life, I suggested to my husband that it was time for us to get a new puppy.
He wanted to wait until Spring because, let’s face it, training a puppy in the winter can be difficult, and our lives are pretty hectic already with five little kids running around the house. We moved to paradise last summer, and we have the perfect property for dogs. There was never any question about getting a new puppy. The question became about when.
When I said, “I’ve had enough loss, I need some new life in this house,” my husband started to give the training-a-puppy-in-the-snow-thing some more thought. When I sent him some pictures online of puppies that needed homes, he called me from work and we browsed for an hour over the phone together, laughing for the first time in weeks. By that night, it was settled. The Trasancos family was getting a new puppy immediately. He’s always wanted a German Shepherd…
…and I found him one. A little female with big ears, 10 weeks old and an hour away from us. I arranged for us to pick her up last weekend. We named her “Benny” after our loving Holy Father and literal German Shepherd, Pope Benedict XVI, who just resigned.
Then we learned that Benny had a sister who needed a home too. She went with a couple, but the older dog bit her, and so they returned her. We promised no one would bite her here (I crossed my fingers), and when the owner sent me a picture of that little black face, we nodded our heads in agreement and the Trasancos family decided to bring home, not one, but two new puppies. We named the black one Pongo because she jumps more than runs. Boing, boing, boing…
Since we homeschool the kids, little things like brushing my teeth took on new complexity, think of that old Sega game, Frogger, only the cars were kids, and the logs were puppies and the goal was one frazzled mommy just trying to hop her way to the bathroom. I think I burned a million calories a day chasing kids and puppies, and trying to keep them all on task, the puppies learning to potty outside, the kids learning to do their schoolwork at the table instead of in front of the fireplace where the puppies can eat the pencils and paper, and in between it all, I still managed to keep the fire burning and the house warm, and somewhat clean. Just when I was so proud of the puppies for signaling when they need to go out to potty, my 2 year old decided he would get some attention by peeing in my boots, so in many ways, we are all still settling into a new normal. However, I don’t think any of us have laughed as much as we laughed together this week, as life just kind of happened and a new chapter began.
Enjoy the pictures! Have a great weekend.
See you next week! I’m still reading and studying about angels and, also, the history of science.