Thursday, July 2, 2020

You can love again.


First of all, let me assure you she isn't Ginger.

She is most decidedly not Ginger. Ginger didn't exactly realize she was a dog. This dog is the most doglike dog I have ever encountered. Sniffs her own poo. Mouths like crazy. Absolutely zero social distancing. Love squirrels (wants to eat them). Chases birds. Is extremely alarmed by her own shadow.

I was determined not to like her that much.

I mean, I need to be honest here. I didn't really feel I was ready for another dog. I miss Ginger a lot. Every day.

Jason really wanted another dog. We were ready. He was determined. We went to a shelter and looked at dogs two days before I flew to Florida for a work meeting in February. There were very sweet dogs there, dogs I liked very much, but none of them were right for us. I told him we'd look again when I came home.

Then...Covid-19. Coronavirus. The world shut down.

Months went by and Jason called a shelter about an hour and a half away from us to see if we could get an appointment. We had to do all the things: the handwashing, the masks, the social distancing. They would only let a few people in at a time.

It didn't matter. I wasn't ready for another dog.

Then there she was.

Her name was Duchess. She had previously been adopted from that same shelter, when she was only two months old. Ten months later, they brought her back.

They brought her back.

We asked why and the technician said they told her that she wasn't good with their other dogs, but they hadn't noticed any issues at the shelter. She got along fine with the other dogs.

She was wild. Wild as Hell.

Jason fell madly in love with her.

He asked if she was housebroken. They said no. They laughed.

She jumped on Jason, repeatedly. Wanted to play. Wagged her tail excitedly.

Jason said, "She's our dog".

I said, "Eh....she might be your dog."

He insisted. She was OUR dog.

The technician said, "Woo boy, ya'll are gonna have your hands full".

And oh.

OH.

She was very, very correct.

The first week I thought to myself approximately 150 times, "What have I done?" She was wild. Excited. Ran full speed everywhere. Did not listen. Made a mess. Peed in the house. Pooped on the carpet.  Threw her food everywhere while she ate. Did not want to get in the crate.

Was scared. Was timid. Was afraid. Didn't know if we would love her.

We took her to the vet. Social distancing and all, and we had to stay in the car. The vet called me from inside.

She's in great shape, he said. She is very healthy. Her teeth look perfect. She's good.

She's a good girl.

The vet technician told us that they put her in a crate while they filled out paperwork and she was devastated. She didn't know where we were. She cried and whined and moaned. She was so very sad.

But she hates me, I thought. Why would she be sad?

She didn't know if we would love her. She didn't know if we would leave her.

She bolted to the car when she saw us. Timidly licked our faces.

She loves to go for a ride in the car. She loves to go to Starbucks. She's stopped peeing and pooping on the rug. She has a routine. She loves her crate. She has calmed down a lot, but still loves to run and play.

She likes to lay on my leg in the mornings and sit by me while I work.  She is extremely alarmed when I go to the garage for any reason.

Her name is Macie now and she's our dog. We won't bring her back. She's ours for good.

She's not Ginger. She is MOST DEFINITELY not Ginger.

I still miss Ginger and I still love Ginger. I think about her every day of my life and some days (like today) I shed tears about how deeply I love and miss her.

She's Macie. She's our girl. She's funny and smart and sweet and the most beautiful, perfect balm to this hellscape of a year.


I think Ginger would be okay with this. I really do.



 

No comments: