Puppy Love

This summer’s traumatic loss of Millie led me to a place I didn’t think I’d find myself – grappling with the notion of “replacing the loss” which up until Millie grief took over, I never thought I would succumb to. “Replacing the Loss” had been one of those warnings I read about in the grief books I picked up after Arron died, a warning that particularly applied to pets, though at the time I read it as applying to head husbands and was sort of appalled. “Allow yourself time to grieve,” they said, and “don’t try and replace your loss.” Um. Duh.

We should have called her FEDEX!
We should have called her FEDEX!

But I ignored the warnings. Just 6 weeks after Millie’s death, Chloe became a part of our lives.

I was nervous about her from the beginning. I could tell she was going to be a much more rambunctious dog than Millie, and a big part of what I missed about Millie was her cuddleability. She was totally mellow. This puppy was not. She was a little demon. I knew a lot of it had to do with the fact that she was only 10 weeks old when we got her.

It was immediately obvious that she would not be able to sleep in the bed. Where Millie had been a sweet little ball curled up behind the knees, Chloe was a flopster who liked to lie on her side, legs akimbo. She liked to lie on hair. And lick. Places that one doesn’t want licked by a dog. She quickly learned to sleep in the crate.

Toilet training was also new territory. Boston females are notoriously bad for not getting the whole potty thing. That’s been a very slow process, but I’m finally seeing some progress.

Many times, I have wavered on whether or not I made the right decision in getting a new dog so quickly. I probably wasn’t ready. I continued to mourn Millie and having a dog so different made the negative comparisons a little too easy. I even had a chat with Millie’s breeder who commiserated and suggested I call Chloe’s breeder and talk with her about it. But what would that result in? Giving Chloe back?

I contemplated the idea over a weekend, sort of, but I knew it wasn’t something I could do. I would forever feel guilty. The kids quickly agreed.

And the funny thing was, that after going through that thought process, I finally woke up to Chloe’s charms. She is pure dog (where Millie was something more akin to cat/human). She’s independent. She loves her toys which cover the living room floor. She plays fetch and can actually hold a tennis ball as big as her head in her mouth.

Chloe Makes Hulk ANGRY! (Video)

It’s taken a while to get Millie out of my system, but Chloe and I have fallen into our little routines. She now gets a little pre-crate bed time where she tucks herself under my arm and snores. When she gets too loud, I carry her little floppy body over to the crate and she settles into her noisy slumber. She is learning to walk on my left side and acts like she owns the neighbourhood with her confident little stride. She still goes ballistic when she meets both people and other dogs, but hopefully that will mellow out over time.

As I write this, she is asleep in my lap, on her side, legs flopped down around my knees. I’ll have to catch her when she tries to roll over which will make me laugh. OK, I’ll admit to a case of puppy love.

7 Comments

  1. Diane October 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Good grief Abby, quit the comparisons and just love her for who she is. You can always send her to New Jersey…we’d take her in a heart beat, and I’m sue the pugs would even out snore her! lol

    1. Abigail - Site Author October 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      Diane, Actually, stopping the comparisons was the point of the essay… Maybe I didn’t make that clear enough.

  2. Jennifer Karn October 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Comparisons. The one thing I SWORE I’d never do…and yet it’s the thing that is causing me unhappiness and its preventing me from fully allowing myself to give it the chance it deserves.

    1. Abigail - Site Author October 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      I’m sorry Jennifer. It’s such a hard road, this grief thing. As cliché as it is to say, I think sometimes these things just take time and we have to just relax into it and let time work its magic.

  3. Doni October 21, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Dear Abby,
    Glad to see that Chloe is doing just what puppies do, she is just like her sister and brothers, very full of it. Puppies are like that till they about 2years old. Love seeing her play with the hand…. You can’t really compare one to the other, all my “KIDS” are so different from each other and I love them so so very much. I know that Chloe will get into your heart so deep you’ll wonder where she has been all your life.
    Please don’t think of sending her anywhere but back here if she is too much for you, but I don’t think she is.Love her and give her some extra love and kisses from me. Love you all, take care. Doni

    1. Abigail - Site Author October 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Aww, Thanks for your comment Doni. She truly is a darling but I realized I hadn’t done quite enough grieving of Millie before we got her. It took the idea of giving her up to make me realize that and to fully let her into my heart. She grows up a little every day and as I noted, never fails to make me laugh with her antics. Sweeping has become quite a challenge! 🙂

  4. Crystal October 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I have two female Bostons that are sister from different litters. They are 7 years old now and I really think they will never mellow out. To this day they go ballistic when they meet humans and especially other dogs but I love them completly. They do curl up beside me and fall asleep. Thay is where they are now. We are blessed to have a dog thats loves us so much.

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