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Tag: travel

When You Choose New Family

In May I unexpectedly lost one of my chihuahuas. Louis was an independent little soul, and he came into my life seven years ago with a big attitude and a strong desire to be left to his own devices.
Louis, center, with Jake (left) and Chelsea (right). My sturdy little guy.
Between Jake with his incessant health problems and Chelsea with her overwhelming personality issues, I came to consider Louis my utility dog. Didn't need a lot of attention, didn't cause a lot of problems, and likely to be the background noise in my life for a long, long time. When his heart unexpectedly failed I was devastated. Both because I felt as if I should have paid more attention to his symptoms (chihuahuas are prone to heart problems, I'd been through it with two others before him.) and because it was just so sudden. One day he was rolling on his back in the sunshine in the yard, and then later that day he couldn't breathe, and I had to say goodbye to him. Having just lost my Jake the year before I was suddenly down to a one-dog household, something that I hadn't experienced in more than ten years. And I was not expecting that my tiny, cranky octogenarian Chelsea would be with me too much longer.
Happiness is a warm puppy.
— Charles Schulz So a week or so later (much too soon according to any recommended timeline but the one of my heart) I was on looking for some new chaos to bring into my life. Mornings without a riot of chihuahuas demanding attention and feeding? Empty. Walking around the house without constantly tripping over tiny animals? Pointless. I needed more big-eared creatures running around my life. I had the idea to adopt two animals at once, a bonded pair. Both because I knew they were typically harder to home, and because I wanted to ensure they'd get along well. My last set of three dogs had what I'd describe as a polite detente. They co-habited, but without joy and absolutely without snuggling. When I'd sit down, they'd triangulate equidistant from me and each other, and settle in with baleful, untrusting glances at the others. I wanted a god-damned cuddle factory this time. I wanted joy and love and ear licks. Boy did I get what I signed up for.

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