Titan went home with his new mom yesterday.
We knew it would be bittersweet. Adoptions always are. While you are sad to see them go, that sadness is outweighed by the happiness you feel at knowing they are going to a wonderful home.
Although we discussed keeping him ourselves several different times, each time we came back to the same thing: two dogs were so much easier for two people to do things with than three. Especially when you have no idea how large the third one is going to be.
We couldn’t have chosen two better parents.
Peggy and I graduated from UNLV together, worked together, and have been friends since. Even our husbands are now friends.
We rode out the storm in Daytona with them. They are godparents to our own dogs, if something happens to us.
Peggy came down Friday, and we all had a great weekend together. She fell in love with Titan instantly. Like that was a surprise? 😀
He liked her instantly, and spent a lot of time snuggled up with her over the weekend.
Because this was Peggy’s first dog since she was a kid, we surprised her with a ‘baby shower’. She was thrilled, and we all had a blast. Where else would you have a shower for a black dog than the Black Dog Saloon? 😉
The cake that HyVee made was absolutely adorable. We all had blue lips afterwards. It was great. And so was the cake!
Peggy was so excited about adopting Titan that she had her nails painted blue.
Titan, of course, helped open gifts and especially appreciated everyone’s thoughtfulness to send tissue paper for him to play with.
But all that help was exhausting, and sometimes a guy’s gotta rest under his new woobie his mom opened for him.
The last day came too quickly, and before we knew it, it was time to load the car.
Since he doesn’t have opposeable thumbs and wouldn’t know how anyway, in the meantime he had a last play with Ekko and Charra.
Then Traci came by for a quick visit. In canine speak, Titan learned quickly that “Traci” means “treats”. 😀
And of course there’s nothing more appropriate to wear for a road trip than dirt.
Everybody went in to get a big drink and rest for a few minutes while we finished loading up.
Then, it was time to get in the car and go.
I’ve learned that sometimes we aren’t always the best home, which sounds hard to believe. We wanted him, but they needed him.
Like all of us, their life has been full of ups…and downs. Happy times, sad times, stressful times, stressful work.
Titan is their ‘first child’ together, and their only dog.
Titan is incredibly social. He loves people. He knows what it’s like to run free; he doesn’t need a big yard to make him happy. What he wants, and needs, is a family.
His life now will involve trips to Day Care, swimming lessons, the dog park, playing with nieces and nephews, and traveling with his new parents as much as possible. He’s going to go for long walks, visits to the golf course (where hopefully he doesn’t chase the golf balls), and for obedience training. And since Chicago is home to a number of canine dental specialists, he’s going to visit one soon, where hopefully they can take measures to prevent him having to eventually have all his teeth pulled.
And in about six years, he’s going to live on the beach in Gulf Shores.
For a little guy whose life got off to such a miserable start, it’s going to be a wonderful life. After everything Titan has managed to survive, he so deserves this. It’s as if after being so close to dying, he decided to make the most of every day.
Only two weeks ago, I told Jimmy that I was ready for him to go.
As much as I loved him dearly and am continually amazed at what a truly incredible dog he is, I was tiring of our house in a constant state of chaos with toys and shredded paper everywhere. He and Ekko loved to play, and our house regularly sounded – and looked – like a herd of small buffalo had thundered through it.
We had him seven weeks. It took us nearly that long to get him healthy. And while he had been feeling good the last three weeks, he had a skin barrier issue and only received a clean bill of health from the vet three days before Peggy arrived. By the time he was really and truly well, it was time for him to go.
When I got home from work last night, I felt a huge lump in my throat when I saw the red Santa hat he’d removed from the stuffed animal he’s holding in the above picture. He’d carried it around, left it outside in the rain, and had played with it again in the yard just that morning. I saw his food bowl that will never be his again. I picked up all the stuffed animals he’d dragged around the house. Wanting him to have something familiar, I’d sent his favorite toys home with Peggy. Now I was glad I didn’t have to look at them.
I walked back to the bedroom, and was struck by the emptiness left now that his crate is gone. Our room was empty, and so were we. I just sat for a few minutes in stunned silence.
It was like someone had died.
I prayed for guidance. While I had absolute confidence that we had made the right decision for Titan and that he and Peggy and John were a perfect match, both Jimmy and I wondered if we’d made the right decision for us.
Even the girls were quiet. Ekko looked for him. She went down to the basement, back to the bedroom, and around the living room and kitchen. She sat outside on the front deck for several minutes. Her eyes questioned me: “Where did he go?”
After Titan left, Ekko and Charra had their vaccinations, Ekko got a haircut, and they went to the shop with me. It was a big day for them. I think she’d forgotten Titan had gone with Peggy.
Feelings are a complicated thing.
Sometimes, those feelings can be intensified if you aren’t at your best. I was incredibly tired yesterday, and Jimmy just flat out didn’t feel well. Neither of us were really 100%.
Titan and Maggie were both big doofuses. (Is that the plural of doofus?) 😀 Titan had a lot of the qualities that we used to love about Maggie, and none of the qualities we didn’t.
It’s only been a few months since we lost Maggie, and I’m not sure we’ve had time to process that loss. Less than a week after she died, we left for Florida. Less than a week after we were home, Titan came into our lives.
When we had Maggie, her needs came first. It was Maggie who went to the shop, Maggie who went along for rides. Because three was too hard to handle, Ekko and Charra had to be left behind.
With Titan, his needs had to come first. He had to learn to enjoy car rides and to meet people so we could get a feel for his behavior in public, and we had to do it quickly. Once again, Ekko and Charra were left behind.
Now, it’s their time.
They will have an opportunity to blossom, and to have some fun. Charra has finally begun to play again for the first time since losing Maggie. There have been a lot of changes in her little life. And, Maggie was her hero.
Maybe it’s time to enjoy the girls we have, and, like Titan, to embrace life every day. Sometimes you just have to have faith in the process. We don’t always know all the answers, and we have to have patience until God reveals everything to us.
If we were meant to have kept Titan, both of us would have felt certainty about that decision. The fact that we were conflicted is an answer in itself.
Goodbye, Titan. We’ll miss you. We’re looking forward to watching you grow, to hearing about your adventures, and especially to seeing you and your parents in the fall. 🙂
Update: Shortly after arriving at his new home, Peggy sent me a picture of Titan lounging on the couch. We talked on the phone an hour or so later, and I heard a squeak toy in the background. He slept all night last night, and is really enjoying his walks. He made the trip fine, and is settling in well. Life is good. 🙂