I will admit, I have been in a bad place since Daisy died.
The perks of spending most of your late teens/early 20s suffering from depression is that you get really good at it. I can go to work, I can smile and say good morning, I can laugh at your stupid jokes, I can come home and make dinner and everything can appear perfectly normal. But if you would look into my soul, you would see a barren wasteland. I feel somewhat dead inside. And in those quiet moments, when I’m driving home from work…when I’m getting ready for bed…when I’m sitting on the couch on a Friday night, I break down a bit.
It’s getting better. Time heals all wounds, right?
Dogs also heal wounds.
We started to look for another dog pretty soon after, probably too soon after. I just needed something to focus my energy on and we wanted to get another dog eventually, so it seemed like a good idea. It was a terrible idea.
We would search the rescue sites daily looking for a dog that would work for us. We wanted something medium-sized, preferably female, somewhere around 3-5 years old. We submitted application after application and half of the time heard nothing back. The other half of the time we did hear back, but we were 3rd, 8th, 45th on the list to look at the dog. I was getting discouraged, I was getting even more depressed. I wanted a dog, I will love a dog more than anyone else even knows is possible, why can’t I have a dog? We expanded our search from only females, we expanded from medium to all sizes, we even looked at puppies. I told Keith I would take any dog but a yellow lab. Maybe one day, but not yet.
I started to consider getting a puppy from a breeder. If any lab breeders had actually had available litters, it would have been a done deal, but none were up for grabs.
And then my friend Amber, knowing my plight, mentioned that a friend of hers was trying to rehome a husky puppy, were we interested?
Of course. I knew nothing about huskies, I did not want a puppy, but I needed a dog and it was becoming impossible to find one.
Amber hooked me up with Sarah and we set up a meeting a few days later.
We met Sarah, her boyfriend, and Meeko at a dog park in Murraysville. Sarah owned the mom and one female from the litter. Meeko had been given away as a pup but had recently been given back. He had been kept outside and she just wanted to find him a loving (inside) home.
I will admit, it was not love at first sight. He felt a little standoffish. He didn’t really want anything to do with any of us, he just wanted to run around with the other few dogs that were there.
But there were no red flags, this was a dog that needed love and a home, and we had a plenty of both. I turned to Keith, “I think we just got a dog.”
We took him home and in the car decided to rename him.
“Loki,” I suggested, “the god of mischief.” While waiting the few days to meet Meeko, I did a lot of reading about huskies.
“It’s your dog,” Keith said.
So Loki it was.
The next few weeks were very trying. Loki is very high energy, Loki is also a puppy. I have never been solely responsible for a puppy and it was a lot to handle. He wanted to play all the time, which fine, okay. But he is also 50lbs. And can fit my entire forearm in his mouth, a skill that he would demonstrate time and time again. And bruise and bruise again.
He wasn’t used to being inside. He wasn’t used to us. He did remarkably well with house training, though. Multiple accidents for about 3 days and then only a few here and there for a week. He’s now fully trained on ringing the bells to go out. (And that training, I totally half-assed, but he was smart enough to overcome my laziness.)
There were multiple times where he made me cry. He wouldn’t listen to me, he would get entirely too worked up, he wasn’t Daisy.
Things slowly started to get a little better, but not great, and then one night we had a turning point which may have saved me from my breaking point. I was laying in bed, attempting to write a blog post…something about life after Daisy and I started to cry. And then I started to bawl and gave up. There I was, on the bed bawling my eyes out with the dog somewhere on the floor.
The next thing I know, he jumps up onto the bed, and instead of biting me or pawing at me, he wraps one paw around my waist and curls into me. I was stunned.
And remarkably, after that, things began to get better. The bruises began to fade. The tears began to dry. And in the barren wasteland of my soul, something began to grow.
Loki is a totally different dog from the one we brought home 2 months ago. He’s now my buddy. He’s still very high energy, but he can focus that energy on his dozens of toys instead of me. He follows me around the house, cries when I leave him, we take naps together on the couch and curl up in bed each night before Keith comes up.
Loki is a totally different dog than Daisy. He loves other dogs, he loves the park, he will chew on squeaky toys for hours when Daisy never wanted anything to do with them. He does not let us sleep in and he has no fear. But I think his differences have helped my healing. I have not once felt like I replaced Daisy because he is her polar opposite.
I will never in my life stop loving Daisy, but there might be room to start loving one more.