Monday, April 18, 2016

Loving a New Pet after Pet Loss | Embracing My Malti-Pug (Maltese/Pug Mix)

Recently I have been reflecting on the last couple of years and how much Loss I have had. Loss and Grief has been a pretty big constant for a few years, and it has made it very difficult to focus on any of the real positives or things that I have actually gained in my life. Lessons, people, relationships, and well my beautiful Malti-Pug Gordito! 

Today I was looking at my Amazing dog with so much love, that I was so drawn to looking up information on his life span. How long will my dog live? Well, Malti-Pug is a newer breed and there is not much information, but that got me thinking.... Why is it so important for me to know how long he is gong to be here? 

I grew up with Cats, always have been a cat person, and liked Dogs but never had much experience with them. We lost a few family cats a long the way in my life. It was not the same though as when I lost MY cat a few years ago. It was the first animal that choose me specifically and it was the first animal that I had to decide that him crossing the rainbow bridge was the best thing for him. It hit me amazingly hard. 

Shortly thereafter I lost 2 family members quickly and unexpectedly. 

Then, another devastating loss, the loss of my Beautiful and Amazing Husky Dog Nikita. At this point, I was pretty dead set that I was not going to get anymore animals than the couple of cats I still had and once they were gone, I was not going to open up my heart anymore to animals. My heart was broken. Maybe I was never meant to be a dog owner? 

My husband was also devastated. I never saw so much emotion from him about the loss of anything until Nikita left us. I imagine it was very similar to a couple losing a child. We posted blame on each other, we showed our emotions together and apart. 

Up until this point in my life, I have yet to have living child. Infertility and hormonal reasons are the cause, and I have grappled with it possibly being part of my life plan to not bare children of my own. So, I settled quite some time ago that I was a fur mom through and through. So, being so heart broken that I was closing off any new animal from entering my life, was almost like rediscovering my infertility all over again.  

My husband knew for a few years that I wanted to find a "friend" for Nikita as I did feel a bit bad for her that her days consisted of playing with my cats or her letting them sleep on her while you could tell she wanted to get up, but didn't want to disturb them. Nikita was a rescue and we could never ever get her to play. She spent the majority of her life outside tied to a fence and forced to breed. So, since all the tips, tricks and methods we could find did not help to pull out her "inner puppy", I always wanted to see if maybe a puppy playmate would help. We never did because we have other animals, and our plate was a bit full and our place was small. I was pretty insistent on it being a husky as I never really cared to be the pet owner to a small dog. 

Little did I know that before Nikita had crossed over, my husbands best friend's dog was pregnant with puppies and my husband already had dibs on one to hopefully be Nikita's playmate. I didn't find out until later, that the puppies were actually born the day that Nikita went to the rainbow bridge. When Nikita passed my husband gave up on the idea and told his friend to find a new home for whatever one he would save for us. Hubby never told me about the birth of the puppies or even their existence. So, the day he came home and put this tiny little baby puppy in my arms, I was pretty shocked. I started to cry, handed the puppy back and told him to bring it back, that there was NO possible way that I could have another dog. 

He asked me to hold the puppy while he got ready to bring it back to his friends. Now, maybe this was my imagination, but I believe it was honestly a sign from beyond. Because as I held him in my arms he crawled up under my neck and put his arms over my shoulder and kneaded the back of my shoulder the exact way that my cat Botitas who crossed over did. I never had another cat or any animal do that before or after, so it was quite a shock that made me burst out into tears. Literally 5 Minutes later the phone rang, and it was the Vet telling me that Nikita's Ashes were ready for me to pick them up. It was too many coincidences at once. So, when hubby came to retrieve the dog to bring back, I reluctantly said no, let him spend the night. 

Forward a year and a half later, and I realize that the cutest fat little malti-pug we named Gordito which is a stuffed Taco in Spanish, was my gift from beyond. The last year and a half was again filled with Loss, just different kinds. Losing 2 homes to devastation, a long lost friends passing, moving, job loss, marital issues, losing my best friend of 25 years, and just life changes in general. When I look back Gordito was there for all of that, and went through it with me, and showed me the joys in life. Forced me to get out of bed when I didn't want to, loved me when I didn't think I deserved it, and most of all he represents my realization that there is a silver lining to everything. 

No matter what or who you have lost, there is always a pot of gold (or in our case a fat little multi-pug) at the end of the rainbow. However, if you don't watch for the signs, you could miss out on those gifts. I could have easily, very easily told myself I was crazy and there is no way my animals reached out to tell me Gordito was a gift, and I would have missed out on one of the best things, that has ever happened to me. 

For those of you who have lost your pets or anyone in your life, I am so sorry and I feel your pain <3 When it is the right time, your heart wont heal, but it will open up enough to let someone or something in again, as long as you let it. Life is too short to live without love.