Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ready or not!

I haven't posted since March 10th. I couldn't bare to come and erase my post with the sweet face of Teyla looking at me. I couldn't bare to write about the fact that despite all our attempts, Teyla passed away on March 14th.  The basic summary is that Teyla was diagnosed with advanced liver disease and it wasn't treatable. I will never forget sitting in that ultrasound room with the veterinarian and technician looking down at Teyla's scared little face while they showed us the scan where her liver was all shrunken small and jagged edged. And then they said "even if we try laproscopic surgery to pinpoint the causes of disease and try supplements to help ease her pain, she won't live to see 8 years old". Teyla was only 7.5 years old. She was the most awesome dog ever. But she was in a lot of pain and basically starving to death. There was nothing left to do.

The next few days were a nightmare because you really get used to the pitter patter of little dog feet all over the house. They followed me everywhere. As soon as I wake in the morning, Teyla would be up at my side nudging me with her nose wanting a belly rub. And she just wasn't there. And there were so many reminders of that...
  • Little dog toys on the floor where she left them. 
  • Finding tennis balls under the couch weeks later. 
  • Untouched water and food bowls sitting in their little spot on their pink mat in the corner of the family room. 
  • Driving past the animal hospital where she died on the way to scouts
She is just a dog, right? But to me, she wasn't just a dog. Only a few days past her death, Joe and the kids were pushing for a new dog. But I'm mom and I know very much so that I'm the one who deals with a puppy and all the training that comes with that. Besides, no dog will ever replace my Teyla. I looked at the links to breeders that Joe sent me and even spoke to the breeder in Oregon where Teyla was born. I looked at shelters for non-shedding dogs. I was torn between missing having a dog and feeling like it was a betrayal to Teyla to be just replacing her in a way.

Only 1 week after Teyla died, the kids and I crossed paths unexpectedly with a litter of goldendoodle puppies. A little black one with this scruffy little white patch a fur on her chest and on all 4 paws caught my eye.

I'm sure she was an impulse choice. My arms ached for Teyla. She was 9 weeks old and laid in my arms like a baby. She has this cute white little hair at the tip of her tail. She doesn't shed which is a requirement in my house with Ben's asthma and allergies. I'm not sure I was ready for her and I even walked away for a day...

Joe went to meet her and the decision was cemented. We welcomed our new family member home on March 22nd. "Ellie" was a 9 pound fur ball - a goldendoodle like Teyla who wasn't golden at all and could definitely not be a lookalike replacement of my sweet Teyla. She would be her own dog.

It's been easier on me to have a new puppy in the house. It just isn't so quiet. Of course, I do often miss my well trained Teyla! But Ellie will get there. It just takes time and reminders to myself that the puppy stage will pass. She will be housebroken. She won't dig holes forever. She won't nip at us forever. There was a time I remember well of wanting to send Teyla back! With hard work comes rewards!

Besides, how can I resist my little shadow who follows my every move?

Dogs just help you deal with life's curve balls. And with Alex's A1C not so hot at the most recent appointment and slews of crazy highs and a few crazy lows, I need the distraction!


  1. Congrats on the new dog, she's a cutie! We have a Basset Hound who sheds like crazy, but who I love unconditionally, like he's my 4th baby. He is turning 5 in August. I don't even want to think of going thru with him what you and your family went thru with your Teyla. Sending hugs and happy wishes!

    Sorry about the yucky A1C and D-madness, it's a literal drag.... :(

  2. Thanks Amanda! I appreciate it. A dog really helps lighten the house when things are frustrating ;-)