Miss Merci's Guest Book

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thinking Back

Once again, sleep eludes me. All the years of being a mom and listening with one ear open, I've become a terribly light sleeper. We fell asleep watching the news and the TV woke me up at 11:30 p.m. Let this be my lesson to fall asleep without my ear plugs in!! As I left the warm covers, Chris was snoring softly and Merci was in a deep slumber on her chair nestled in her big blue blanket. She lifted her head as I got up, but I gave her a kiss on top of her head and told her she needed to go back to sleep. So I blog with a cup of hot tea hoping it will make me sleepy again.

I got a pop-up on my blog about adding gadgets yesterday morning. So I took a peek at those and think when I have a spare minute, I might try working some of those in to the blog to add a little more interest. I'm not the computer saavy person Gini or my girls are, but I'm working on it..... slowly.

I thought about Zoey a lot yesterday, and realized how far I've moved forward in such a short time. Part of this came from a conversation I had with a man that my mom and I met with yesterday to discuss the possibility of a reverse mortgage for her. He lost both his schnauzers last fall about the same time I lost Zoey. He is still greiving very hard, and while it was nice to hear him talk about his experience with life and loss, it conjured up all kinds of memories that I work hard at supressing because of the pain. We talked about how these dogs are our kids. He told me he didn't think he could ever love another dog and how did I learn to love Merci. I never really thought about how to love her. I told him that you don't love them the same much like anything else in life. I love my children dearly, but I love each one uniquely. It is the same with Zoey and Merci. I loved Zoey so much that when I lost her, part of me died. I never wanted to feel that pain ever again. I still don't. I was angry at my girls for finding her, contacting the breeder, saving money to help buy her, and making me feel guilty for getting divorced and feeling like I owed this to them! I told them that when I lost my first wire hair, Penny, at age 21 that I would never have another wire. But I held that 8 week old bundle of fluff in my hand, and smelled her puppy smell mixed with cedar chips and it was all over. I told them right there, and my mom was my witness - "You'll go off to college in 5 years and I will be the one to take care of her by myself and I will be the one heartbroken when she goes!" And so the story goes... They did leave for college, I did love and care for her, and in the end my heart was broken when I held her as she took her last breath. And somehow through it all, I found my way to Merci.

I'd sit at work those first couple of weeks after we lost Zoey, and look at the rescue website and read about all of Cheryl's dogs. I had them practically memorized. As I read all the bio's on the dogs, I kept going back to Merci. I admit that I felt sorry for her as I read about her Legg Perthies and the operation she had on 9/4/08 to correct it. You could see her shaved, shrunken leg with its scar and it pulled at my heart. BUT, it was that look in her eyes with her head slightly cocked that did it. It was the face of an angel and I swear it looked right at me and this little voice said - she is the one! Well maybe there wasn't a voice, and I tried to be fair and open minded. I forwarded the link home, to the girls at school, and to my mom as well. I just said in the subject line: CHECK THIS OUT!!

I came home from work 10 days later and heard that music "I'm in Love with a Girl" playing on the computer downstairs. I walked downstairs, and found Chris at the computer looking at the website, wiping tears as he did so. I didn't say anything to him right then. Just walked back up and starting fixing dinner. He came into the kitchen and looked at me and said, I think I'm in love with Merci.

Sarah, my youngest, called me and we talked about all the dogs. I told her I was quite smitten with Merci. She told me NO!! You need a younger dog, one that is in good health. You just went through too much lately with how sick Zoey was and you don't need anymore vet bills right now. She had a point!

Laura gave me her two cents worth as well. This is what I wanted. She thought they were all adorable, but agreed with her sister that if we did get another, it should be a young, healthy one. Not a crippled almost 6 year old. She felt sorry for Merci ,and also brought up the point of how you could adopt Merci and not Nolan. They were mates and the best of friends. It showed them together on the website and how could you possibly split them up! She had a point!

Mother called me and said she loved looking and reading about all the dogs on Cheryl's site but she felt that Merci was perfect. A little bit older, and she needed us as much as we needed her. She told me she keeps Merci's picture up on her computer all day. Her comment was, well when you drive to Iowa, I want to come along!

I didn't know I'd decided I even wanted to do this yet!! I still wanted to only love my Zoey girl. I wanted to hang onto that. Looking back, I was scared that if I ever got a different dog, it would somehow diminish what I felt for Zoey.

After many weeks of long discussions and tears, the application was filled out and submitted. Kathy came to visit and a week later we had an appointment set up to go to Iowa. So much for waiting until after the first of the year to make any decisions.. Nolan was adopted and Merci was all alone now.

Ike and Merci were the first to greet me as I walked in the door. It was nirvana!! All those precious babies I read about playing and running around. I sat in her house taking it all in. Ike was crazy and cute as a button. Danny Boy definitely the alpha male and crazy!! Ziva who had just been rescued took a shining to Chris. Chelsea was a bit shy and took her time to get close. Cassie was still recovering from getting spayed but she was so sweet and loving. Her last puppy was still there and was already spoken for. He'd be going to his forever home the next day. Little Lizzie was so pathetic. She was up to 12 pounds. Skin and bones and just had been back to Cheryl's for a couple of days and wasn't ready for adoption yet. It was an experience I'll never forget.

I tried to give each dog a fair chance for those next 2 hours. I brought bags of treats and new toys for all of them and they were excited!! Through it all, Ike was the most playful but Merci would come by to be scratched. I asked Cheryl if it hurt her to pick her up and she said nooo... Here you go and she picked up Merci and handed her to me. I sat with her, and pet her, and we got to know each other. She was very shy but in a sweet, polite way.

We had plans that night and a 3 1/2 hour drive back. So a decision was to be made. I wanted to take 2 home but Chris said only 1 for now.. I looked at Laura and said which one? ... Merci - Mother? .... Merci Chris was my wild card!! I didn't see him spend much time with Merci and he was quite smitten with Ike... He said, I really like Ike, but there is something special about Merci.... So Merci it was. Cheryl held her one last time and handed her over. She had been Merci's mom for 3 months and had given her a new lease on life. She had her leg operated on and nursed her back to health. Merci looked sad and unsure as we took her from the only person who had ever shown her any kind of love. I was as unsure as she was, and nervous as any new mom could be. And so the journey began and the blog was started shortly thereafter...

I'm sleepy once again, enough babbling for one night! I did good, only got teary a few times thinking back over all this - but it's good for the soul...

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