I haven’t written really personal posts yet, but I’m about to get personal.
Yesterday we adopted an adorable baby blue Doberman boy that we named Otto. I am already so smitten with him it is ridiculous. I also immediately remember all those things you forget about having a puppy – like how they have to go outside every 30 minutes and how they will find that one tiny piece of plastic in the corner and think it’s a toy. Or basically how they think everything is a toy, like bath mats and Yorkies.
Otto wasn’t a spontaneous decision or a frivolous one.
Many of my friends don’t know this yet, but my Yorkie, Riley, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and doesn’t have long to live. That is insanely hard to type out. He has been my little buddy for 8 years and I can’t imagine life without him. Anyone who has met him undoubtedly remembers him.
Mark and I will miss Riley intensely. That part can not be understated. But here’s where I’ll probably get some dissenters.
We decided to adopt another dog before Riley passes for a very intentional reason. Our Weimaraner, Elsie, is very attached to Riley. Weims have the tendency to attach quickly in general. I am very worried about her and her health when he suddenly goes away. You can’t exactly have a conversation with a dog about why her friend is gone.
At this point Riley is still behaving normally. The vets have him on medicines that are controlling his symptoms very well so it’s almost easy to forget he’s sick. That’s probably the hardest part because I frequently do forget he is sick.
Some may disagree, but we decided that it was best to introduce a new dog into the pack while things were still “normal” and they could acclimate. It won’t cause Riley stress at this point and Elsie can attach to the new dog well before Riley goes away.
And I’m not going to lie, I hope it will help ease my pain as well. No one can ever replace Riley, just as Riley never really replaced my old dog Champ, but you find new love in a new face. I hope my friends understand that during this difficult time.
With that said, welcome home Otto! We will love you with all our hearts. And Riley, you will never leave our hearts.
UPDATE: It’s now May 2015 and Riley is still with us. A couple of months ago we took him to the vet for a check up and got a huge surprise – the cancer diagnosis was wrong! It turns out he’d had an infection with symptoms that mimicked prostate cancer. The vet said that 98% of the time dogs come in with those symptoms, it’s cancer. This was just one of those rare things. He’s completely`healthy now! People have said, wow, that sucks! I completely disagree. I am so thankful for more time with my little buddy. And yes, now we have 3 dogs. 🙂