Friday, April 27, 2012

Riding the Roller Coaster

Thursday it finally happened. My beautiful, old Nelson couldn't get up and down the stairs any more. His hips had passed the point of no return and even standing was a huge struggle. After he'd collapsed for the umpteenth time, I did what I had to do. I called Iven in tears and told him that it was time. Actually, I really didn't say much for the first little bit - I just couldn't get anything intelligible to come out of my mouth. He said he'd deal with it when he got home. Sometimes it's really nice to use the 'emotional female' card - especially when you are.

It was the longest afternoon. I kept bursting into tears. Luke was home and it was really tough on him. I found him lying in the hallway with Nelly just stroking his ears and cuddling him and that set me off again. My BFF texted wishing me a happy day and I had to text her to say that it wasn't so happy. And then she rang to have a conversation with a sobbing woman. I have mentioned that I'm not a crier haven't I?! There are some exceptions.

I had intended to bake but just couldn't do it. Baking is supposed to be done when I'm in my happy place. I'm sure that if I'd baked on Thursday my tears would have made it bitter regardless of how much sugar went in.

Iven came home at 3:30 and rang the vet. He was holding it together so well. He took Nel down to the car and I wished him a final goodbye. I just couldn't go. Fifteen minutes later Iven was home again in tears. It's just so hard to say goodbye to a family member who you've loved so much.

I pulled myself together a bit and cleaned. I polished and vacuumed and scrubbed. It helped a bit and no one can hear you crying over the noise of the vacuum. Then Luke's girlfriend Becky turned up. Having her there was wonderful. We could talk and laugh and cry if we had to but as the evening wore on the tears became less.

At 8:30 there was a tap on our glass door. My BFF had driven all the way from the coast (an hour away) to give me flowers and food and a big hug. Her kindness was humbling. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful friend.

Eventually the awful day was over and I managed to get a good night's sleep. When I woke up my first thought was to do the baking that I'd wanted to get done the day before. But when I'd scraped the mixture into the cake tin I went to put it on the floor for my bowl-licker and that heavy empty feeling came back again. I managed to hold it all together, though.

I've had a few dogs in the past and it's always been the same when they go. And I've found that the only way to fill that doggy-shaped hole that's left in your heart is to get another one. So Friday I was a woman on a mission. I scoured web-sites and made a few phone calls. And this morning we went puppy shopping.

Meet the first aid kit for my heart.

We went to a pet shop (I know - I should go to a reputable breeder but I couldn't find any that had puppies and this pet shop is run by a vet). They had three little boys but when we walked in we could only see two. The third was in another cage behind the first two and his sister had just been sold a little earlier. It was love at first sight. I was allowed to hold him and he just snuggled in and I knew that I couldn't let him go. Luke was in total agreement with me and Iven was happy to let us make the decision.

When I finally got him in the car I sent that pic to Josh who rang me back instantly. I suggested that he might like to start thinking of names. It took him a millisecond to come up with Tobias. It fit - Toby it is!

Did you know that puppies have a strong gravitational pull? We keep being drawn to him and can't seem to leave the room that he's in. It took me two hours to make a batch of cupcakes!! It usually takes 30 minutes including the cleaning up.

And how stupid did we all seem to our neighbours when we took him outside for his first wee and cheered loudly when he performed?! Puppies can make you lose all sense of dignity and decorum.

We're still sad about Nellie - that's a given. But Toby has given us a some laughter and lots of smiles. Well all of us except for Bubbles - but he's working on her.

So I must apologise in advance. There will be lots of posts in the near future that are about puppies and are filled with pictures of his total cuteness. I'm sure you won't mind ... too much.

And the baking that I did - Becky's birthday cake. Happy Birthday Becky!!!!


  1. Ah, sorry to hear about your dog Char. :( So hard. And what a great BFF you have! I have yet to want a dog. Mostly because we were raised having dogs and I get so sad when they pass on. I know my kids would just die out of joy if we got a puppy. Your post makes me want to just bite the bullet.

  2. So sorry to hear about the loss of your dear friend Nelson. We've recently been through the same thing and I know the heartache all too well.
    Toby is a beautiful little puppy so here's to the love and friendship that Nelson gave in the past and all the happiness and laughter that Toby will give in the future.

  3. Putting down a pet is the hardest thing to do. Poor Nelson's time had come. Toby is just adorable so post away with lots of pictures.

  4. So sorry for your loss - that's such a tough decision to hae to make :(

    But Toby just may be the world's cutest puppy! You chose well - looking forward to more cute puppy picture posts.

  5. Life is a rollercoaster, isn't it? :)

    Tears and smiles as I read your post.
    Toby will have a good home. I know that!

  6. So sorry to hear about your dog-friend. I hope you have much love and laughter with your new addition, Toby.

  7. Oh man! What an emotional post. I am so sorry about your Nellie. Losing a pet is hard. I am glad you found Toby! Puppies are an adventure!

  8. I don't usually post or check blogs on the weekend, but something made me check on you - strange, because you live across a vast ocean and we've never met. I'm so sorry about Nelson. It is such a loss.

    Toby is so precious, and I look forward to more adventures with Char and Toby!

  9. I've never had a pet so I've never known this awful situation, but your post was so sad and beautifully written, it really touched me. It must have been so hard to say goodbye.

    I hope you have some wonderful times with Toby, he looks lovely!

  10. Very very sorry for the loss. I also love the pets and they become part of our family.
    Welcome Toby!

  11. Sorry to hear about your Nelson! I can understand that situation although I have never had a dog. Great post!

  12. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. I've been through it before and it is so hard. My heart was broken for months.

    Hopefully that new furry face brings you some smiles.

  13. OHH this makes me even more excited for our puppy pick-up day on Wednesday! WHAT a cute little guy. Congratulations.

    So sorry about Nelson. :(

  14. So sorry to hear about Nelson but glad you found Toby...

  15. I am so sorry to her about Nel :( I am sooooo sad. Especially b/c my dog Bo went like that too! He was so sound of mind but a malamute/shep at 130 lbs that can't get up just isn't in the cards for us to lift :( poor guy.

    I won't even comment on my EXTREME dog views. b/c I know everyone deals with things in their own ways but if I may - NEVER buy a puppy from anyone (even a vet) just go to a breeder OR the shelter and save a life ;)

    ok that's all...

    oh and one more thing. b/c I'm a dog whisperer fanatic - please remember that you are grieving but new puppy (who is a doll btw) will see that as weakness - don't let your guard down as pack leader when you are with that pup or he will own you ;)

    ok back to being supportive - I am truly so sorry for your loss. Animals are such a part of our lives it;s so hard. I hope you and your family feel better :) xxoxo

  16. My heart breaks for all of you and Nelson. It's beyond sad when 'it's time'. Pets are such integral parts of our lives.
    But oh what a cutie Toby is. Please post generously. Honestly I cannot get enough.


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