I will never stop grieving the loss of my Keagan. Let me make that perfectly clear. I’m not leaving him behind. I’m not forgetting him. I could never replace him. No one could ever mean more to me than he did. To that end, I wear a picture of us on a silver necklace every single day, and intend to wear it every single day, forever.
That being said, one must live. So, I’ve began to do a number of rash and spontaneous things. For once this is not binge eating or drinking too much… instead I started by whacking off my hair.
My hair dresser, quite correctly, was terrified this would be a bad idea. I’d gone quite short once before and hated it, but this time… I think I have it on lock this time. I just needed change. I needed to get rid of the baggage I was metaphorically carrying around, and nothing quite feels like lifting that, than whacking off a good 7 inches of hair.
I didn’t stop there, though. My next feat was to SPIKE that do up into a mohawk, much to the dismay of my mother. I loved it. I relished how much she hated it, but smiled anyway, in that way she does when she doesn’t like what I’m doing but supports my choice to do so. I enjoyed the feeling of doing something I’d yearned for since I was was in high school, but didn’t have the courage to do. I liked feeling edgy, even though I’m nearly 30. I liked the stares, in particular a little girl with tight, kinky hair piled high on her head. She stared at me like something she couldn’t even fathom existing, and I bent down to tell her I liked her hair. I wallowed in my mixture of self-consciousness and pride in my appearance. It was a wonderful day, that was only to get better.
On Thursday, I’d gotten an email about a puppy. I’d setup an alert email for shelter corgis within 50 miles on PetFinder. I didn’t expect to find one, or that if I did that I could even afford to adopt it, but I liked the emails full of furry faces with big ears just the same. But, Friday morning I was sent this sad little face. I can’t say why, but I fell in love. That face made me want to cry and all I wanted was to hold this puppy.
The shelter, Moms and Mutts, is specifically a shelter for pregnant and nursing strays, as they’re often put down in other shelters because a litter of puppies takes up a lot of room. I had arranged to head over and just LOOK at this little ball of joy with Mom after work, but it turns out this isn’t really that kind of shelter. Instead, I was directed to fill out an adoption application. They wouldn’t tell me how much the adoption would be, but I filled it out anyways. I expected to be rejected, because I have so many animals already, and I would be kenneling the puppy while I went to work. At least, I thought, I could say that I tried.
Obviously, I got approved.
I was waiting for a phone call from the shelter, letting me know if I got approved, and Saturday afternoon after Mom and I went to see Incredibles 2, I was idly checking my email. There it was… an email saying I sounded like a great home for a puppy. The puppy I’d applied for would be at an adoption event on Saturday from 11-5 at the nearby mall. It was 3pm. I thought very hard about not going, because it was already so late in the day. At the end of it, I wanted to know the pup went to a good home and wasn’t still sitting there, though. So, I rang up Mom to see if she wanted to go look at puppies with me, just to see if my puppy was there. She wasn’t excited but she came. I figured she’d take me to dinner as a consolation prize after we discovered my puppy adopted.
Imagine my surprise when Mom and I arrived and there she was. The only one of her litter left. I asked about the price… It was a lot. A very lot. I was disheartened. I am used to the Dumb Friends League’s prices, and usually I don’t get actual puppies. That was when something unexpected happened. My mother asked if that was the one I wanted.
My mother is against us each having five animals. Four dogs and a cat is a lot, and while the passing of Keagan broke her heart as much as mine, for she’d bought him for me to take care of me, and he’d done a very good job of that, she was glad to see we were at least going down in numbers a little. So, it was much to my surprise when she had me go ask what the price included, and when I reported back it included the first round of shots, puppy deworming, microchipping, a month of pet insurance, and her spay. Mom ran the numbers in her head, determined that was an acceptable price for all that, and if I wanted the puppy… she’d put it on her Amazon card and rack up some points.
I cried. Like a lot. She got mad at me for crying about it, because it made her also cry. I was just so grateful, and then she took me to Petco and helped me buy my new little bundle of joy some sweaters, puppy pads, a collar, etc. I have a really good Mom.
“I would do anything to make you happy.”
-My mom on why she helped me get a puppy
So that’s what I’ve been up to.
I named the puppy Frankie. As the smallest in her litter, she’s a whole 2 lbs 3 oz, and in great health. I took her to the vet and they looked her over for me, and decided to de-worm her again, just in case, but didn’t charge me for the exam. She came out of a corgi, but we don’t know what the father was. I’m guessing it may have been a chihuahua, but it’s hard to say. Her whole litter all look different. One looks like a teddy bear. It’s crazy. So we’ll see what she grows up into.
I was worried the dogs wouldn’t like her, especially Kira since she is oh so possessive… but much to my surprise, Kyrie and Kira LOVE her. They play with her in the house and in the yard, and they’re not that put off by her except that she’s very loud when she wants to be. It’s pretty cute since they’re both 45-ish lb dogs and she’s so very small. I was surprised Bdo isn’t into the puppy… he seems to feel like she’s infringing on his territory of being the baby. I’ve gone to great lengths to try and keep almost everything the same as it was, but he is still offended. She tries to play-bow him and he blatantly just walks away from her. It’s sad, but funny. Kato… I was really hoping Kato would like Frankie, but she’s hissed at her a couple times and I caught her swatting at her once. I guess it makes sense, since the ONLY dog Kato liked was Keagan, but it’s still kind of sad. I thought they could be buddies.
The first couple of nights were bad. She’s 11 weeks old and it shows… she cries at night, she didn’t like sleeping in the kennel, and she has to potty at night… but I went and bought a baby toy that makes a heart beat sound… and she’s sleeping better than ever now. She still has to pee at 1am, but getting up once is better than 6 or 7 times.
Also… I’m seeing a dude.
We’re not serious or anything, but he’s super nice. His name is Chris, he’s 32, he used to own a game shop that went under, and he’s got 2 kids, 10 and 5. We talk about books and music a lot. He took me to tacos. I took him to Pathfinder and burrito. Yesterday we split the bill on some Korean BBQ.
I haven’t met his kids, yet. He asked if I wanted to and I told him no. It’s too soon. This could all crumble into little pieces at any second. He understood that, but he goes out of his way to text me on the daily if for nothing else than to say hi. I like him, but I want to go slow. He asked if he could kiss me when he dropped me at home yesterday, and I told him not yet. He was not offended.
I like that he’s patient with me. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not putting my metaphorical eggs in that basket, but it IS nice to have someone I look forward to hearing from… and he was excited about baby Frankie… so… hard to complain.
Things are still hard. The house is still a total wreck. I’m still not exercising. I still miss Keagan. I’m still not up on the housework.
Still, things are better. I’m not HAPPY, and I’m not even quite back to where I was before Keagan passed away, but I’m working on it. I’m on the road to it.