Settling in

I picked up Sadie’s ashes tonight. It’s hard to believe that such a vibrant dog could be reduced to this small amount, but there it is. I was talking to Mark a few days after Sadie died and he said something about what a big personality Sadie had, and that just seemed right.

The household is quieter, for one. Despite my worries that I’ve lost my guard dog, Hannah has been filling in quite nicely. She sounds the alert when the mail carrier comes and when anyone else comes near the house, too. There doesn’t seem as much of a racket, though, since there is only one dog barking now, and Hannah seems to reach her threshold much sooner than Sadie ever did.

One of my friends that works extensively with greyhound rescue and has adopted and lost a few dogs over the years advised that I’d see Hannah’s personality change, as well as my relationship with her. I’m certainly seeing that already.

Tonight, for example, I took Hannah out with me as I visited B for dinner at his condo. Hannah has some behavioral issues, one of which is that she can get very anxious in the car and the other — more critically important one in this situation — that she has a fear aggression issue with strange dogs. I was worried that we’d run into another dog in the lobby or the elevator, but that didn’t happen. And her behavior on the drive home was much more subdued than the steady panting and whining as we drove to B’s residence.

I’ve been taking Hannah out for more walks, as well. Since Sadie has died, Hannah has been walked every single day, either by me or another caretaker like the dog walker. Even today, as the first powdery snow of the season fell, I put on her leash and took her out for a walk at midday.

In the depths of my sorrow over losing Sadie, I told B my guilty secret: that I loved Sadie more and that Hannah was not as important to me. He advised me to give her a chance, and it seems that I am.

I’ve known for years that she is smart and capable, although she’s prone to anxiety. I’ve even noted that she seemed smarter than Sadie, as I watched her trick Sadie into giving up a coveted toy over and over, using the same technique each time. Now that I can’t let the dogs entertain each other, I’m challenged to interact more with Hannah and perhaps help her be a little more functional around strange dogs.

As a behaviorist we consulted said, she may never be a dog park dog. But she can still be a good dog, nonetheless.

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4 thoughts on “Settling in

  1. Hannah is a good girl – I know Sadie had a special place in your heart, but I agree with B and am glad you are giving Hannah a chance – you will see some changes in her, particularly as she is a now an only dog and will not have to fight for your attention.

    We learn from everything that happens to us – and losing a beloved pet, as you already know, is one of those really difficult transitions. I’m glad you have Hannah – and I am willing to bet that you will grow to love her in a whole new way as the days progress.

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  2. When I was 14, I was visiting my godmother, who at the time was in her 60’s. IT was my first time spending time with her face to face as we lived thousands of miles from each other. Anyway, she shared a story of the dog she had as a teenager that died when she was in her 20’s. She told me that she loved that dog so much that she swore never to have another dog again because it hurt so badly when he died. I mean here we were 40 years later and she was still thinking about her dog.

    I’m very glad you have another dog and I’m afraid that this little story has had a lasting impact because I’ve never had a pet. Given my allergies and my selfishness, I don’t think I could handle what you are going through right now, especially when the loss was so sudden. I’m very sorry that you are going through this and I hope every day gets a little better for you.

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  3. I’m sorry to hear about your loss… my girlfriend’s childhood pet dog of close to 15 years passed away a few months ago, and the memories still make her sad. We only recently spread his ashes… to some people it might seem strange, but when it’s your own pet and you grew up with them, they are like family!

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  4. I’m sorry to hear about your loss… my girlfriend’s childhood pet dog of close to 15 years passed away a few months ago, and the memories still make her sad. We only recently spread his ashes… to some people it might seem strange, but when it’s your own pet and you grew up with them, they are like family!

    P.S. This is Invest It Wisely. I am getting caught in your spam, so I had to adopt a pseudonym in order to get through. 🙂

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