Back in December we had our second litter of puppies. Not that you care, but you can read about that here (birth) or here (1 week old). We did really well placing them all. I was proud. As most breeder’s go (I am not a breeder for the record), we usually keep one. We also have a standing rule, that should ever one of the puppies need to be re-placed, we always take our own puppies back and will place them again – this stands for the life of the dog. No questions asked, ever. It’s never happened, but you never know when it will.
So began the selection of which puppy to keep. Ryan, my 16 (at the time) year old son – immediately took to the little girl with the green ribbon. He loved her. Once she was up and moving around, she followed him everywhere. You would often find them in the bathroom together – it was ridiculous, but sort of sweet. When it came time to place them, it was an easy choice on who to keep. Nobody wants to separate a boy and his dog. She was named Lulu and she became Ryan’s best companion.
But then something happened. She began fighting with my other three dogs. Her mama and her two older sisters (from the first litter). It started with just some growling. Then it turned into snapping but not actually biting, but eventually that is what happened. I’m pretty knowledgeable about dogs, and some come with personalities that suit them better as the single dog in a household. After several weeks of watching this behavior continue to escalate no matter what we did, we had to make a difficult decision to place her in a new home. That in itself is a long, and drawn out story in which I don’t even want to remember. It involved a lot of begging, tears and just general hatred towards me. I don’t blame my son in fairness, I really don’t. But I had to protect the dogs that were here first. So began the search.
After a lot of interest from a lot of people, one lady contacted me and you know how you just feel it immediately when something FEELS perfect? She met every single criteria that I had laid out (including fenced in yard, which is a lot harder to find than you think!), but she went a step further. She was located in a house that was near to a place we spend a HUGE amount of time during the week. We knew we’d be able to see her often and that was what Annie (the woman) wanted. After a lengthy conversation, she admitted to me that she had prayed just before she contacted me. It’s interesting to me that I had prayed earlier that day when I placed the ad, that the right person would stand out to me. Thirty some contacts and one lady was the one I chose almost immediately. Coincidence? Probably not. Amazing? Oh yes. A gift? Most certainly!
Not to get t0o personal into Annie’s life, it is not my story to tell, but she was going through a separation and Lulu was exactly what she needed. That’s all you need to know, there.
So the past few months have been awesome. We got a new friend out of the deal and we have been seeing Lulu and Annie regularly. Lulu has never forgotten Ryan. Annie has turned into part of our family. Her grandkids actually go to school with my kids, which is crazy and funny. Things in our world have been perfect being able to see her whenever we pretty much want, and it always helps to get a new friend.
So I was pretty shocked the other day when I got a text from Annie, telling me she had good and bad news. I stay in touch with most of the families who have my puppies – so I have received texts and phone calls like this before, and they usually turn out okay when there is both good and bad news. I couldn’t help but still be a bit nervous as the 2nd text came through. The good news is that she is getting back together with her husband. As I told her, 35 years of marriage is nothing to throw away lightly. That is more than fantastic news, that is worth screaming it out to the masses, news. They are moving about a half hour away into an amazing, beautiful community and while she is still just a little bit hesitant, and praying she is making the right decision – I do think she is happy. Except it has it’s drawbacks.
The bad news, drum roll please (as if you don’t already see where this is going) – they cannot take Lulu with them. They have two other dogs together, and they’ve been with them a long, long time. I really do understand, obviously. It was devastating for Annie to lose Lulu and I could see it in her eyes when she brought her to me. This was not what she wanted. The drop off happened yesterday afternoon and we both were crying and pretty emotional. For the connection I feel to Annie is so super real and amazingly powerful – but the connection that Annie has with Lulu might even far outweigh that. It was so traumatic to watch them say goodbye to each other. And of course Lulu has no idea what is going on. My son arrived home in the middle of the exchange and even he had teary eyes. He may want his dog back, but not this way. Never this way. Not at the expense of someone else. It was hard for any of us to see Annie in such pain. I was a huge mess.
So, here we are – almost 24 hours later. Annie has checked in, she seems to be doing okay. I can tell she is still hurting and she wants to see her in a few weeks, and of course we will completely oblige!
I can’t necessarily say the same for Lulu though. She is so sad. At least she is eating. She seems so confused. She stuck to Ryan like glue from the moment that Annie left yesterday until this morning when he had to get on the bus. The look on her face as he closed the door behind him, said it all. Now she is so lost, I’m trying to do what I can, but I’m definitely not who she wants. Thankfully it’s a Friday, and we have an event this afternoon – they are getting picked up early and so he will have about an hour to get ready before we leave – so that’s helpful, but it doesn’t negate the fact that she is missing Annie fiercely.
So that’s my wonderful story. Sorry I poured it all out. But you know, somehow writing about it all makes me feel better. Back to your regularly scheduled recipes after this.
And on that note, here are a few Lulu pics.
First two pics are at about 45 minutes old:
These are at one week:
Three Weeks Old: