As I get older I understand you so much more, and wish you were here to tell you that. I was only 33 when you died. At the time I thought I was grown up enough to deal with it, but now see that I probably wasn't.
A few years after you passed away, Tilly arrived. As you were THE mama to little white dogs I often wondered if there was a connection. You knew the power of having a little white living stuffed animal in your life. Andy the poodle was one special pup. We won't talk about Alfie, although I did love him even though his habits were...ummm. Ok. Back to Andy. If you pointed your finger at him and said BANG he'd fall to the floor and roll over. This was the late 70's and it was okay to do that kind of thing. Pets were not raised the way they are today, as family members, but you were always ahead of the cultural curve on that one. Remember cooking London broil for Maggie the Boxer every night? I do. I know where my animal sensitivities came from, for sure.
So last summer was pretty tough. Losing Tilly was more devastating than I thought possible. I mean I know he was a dog and not a kid. Really! And I know all good dogs must die. I know this all cognitively and lived it multiple times in my life. But this was different, and it hurt me more. I think that is why my body got so sick the day after he died and I was in the hospital with a septic infection. Scary stuff. I knew over time I'd get over it, through it, around it, whatever, by putting one foot in front of the other like we do when things get tough. But I was tired, Ma. Very, very tired. Tired of being in pain all the time, tired of being tired, tired of just trying to make life work. I loved my job, I loved my dogs and birds, I loved my friends, but was too tired to see much more than loss and be tired and feel pain. What a bummer.
Then, my amazing friend Anne supported my babbling conversation about all this and suggested I get a puppy. I thought there was no way in hell could manage it in my condition. I thought it would be so unfair to a dog to bring her in to my world. I thought there was no way I could do it. Nope. Then the magic of life conspired to connect a few surprising dots and along came Teddie. She has fit into my home and heart with ease, and returned a sense of joy and love to my life that Tilly took with him. I wonder if you had a hand in facilitating another little white dog in this house, because she is so perfect? She is just what I needed to get back on track. Thank you.
So yesterday, Ma, I learned that Teddie's mom and dad are expecting puppies again. The breeder was trying not to have this happen, but it did. Teddie's mom Mia is a great momma dog and she and her hubby Finley make amazing pups. Because they are in such demand, I had to decide quickly if I was interested in getting dear Teddie a sister. It is earlier than I want, but nature is what it is, I guess. I signed on for a girl.
Because Teddie has been so amazing and brought a spark of light back to my life, I feel like I can handle the challenge of a second puppy. Yes, more grooming bills, more food bills, more vet bills and insurance bills, but more laughs, more joy, more smiles, more puppy kisses, and love. Every day. It will mean three pups for a time again, but that is okay. As long as Mia has at least two girls in her litter, one will be coming north from Pennsylvania to be Teddie's sister. If not, wasn't meant to be.
So Ma, I leave it in your hands. I think of you singing to the radio in the kitchen "Que Sera Sera." As it will be. Happy 90th, Ma. May you be at peace.