Getting on with living when others are dying
This is a tough time for humans.
It’s an unbelievably tough time for humans in and around Iraq.
It’s not nearly as difficult for the rest of us – at least those of us who are in charge of our personal lives (as much as we can be, anyway).
But like a lot of people I know, I’m in a quandary. While getting ready to write this week’s column, I thought about the war. Of course.
I’ve had my say about the war in last week’s column, and in columns before that. Besides, I think people want to read about something, talk about something, hear about something, or watch something other than the war. So I decide to write about something else, maybe even something light.
Then I instantly start feeling guilty. People are losing their lives in Iraq, and I’m going to write about my dog? It’s almost like I feel guilty living a “normal” life, going about my everyday stuff, and keeping my routine.
But then I figure that a lot of people must feel like me – lost in this state of in between, of getting on with life when others are losing theirs. And no matter what my or your stand is on what’s going on in the world right now, we still are incredibly fortunate to be able to live our lives – our rich, full lives.
So I’m going to write about my dog.
This isn’t really about my dog. It’s about searching for the dog of our dreams – or at least one that won’t eat the front door or scale an eight-foot-high fence in a single bound.
This past Sunday, my husband Erik and I went on a road trip in search of a puppy. We have a dog, Jo Mama – a big, beautiful golden Lab. Actually, she was my dog before we were married, and now she’s our dog. Still, Erik has been wanting his own dog, which will become our dog. This whole dog ownership thing gets confusing any way you look at it.
Anyway, Erik has always had a thing for German shepherds and basset hounds – a study in extremes, I know. German shepherds are regal, smart, kick-ass. Basset hounds are so goofy you have to smile when you see one.
We searched the Web and the classifieds, and found breeders for each of the above.
Now before you get on me for not rescuing a pound dog, let me tell you we did search the pound for a doggie candidate. We’ve checked out dog pounds up and down the Colorado and Roaring Fork river valleys, and even took a dog home for a trial run.
About a month ago, Erik found a German shepherd/Great Dane mix at the pound who was, yes, about as big as a horse. He was a sweet boy for sure, but he ate our front door – OK, technically, he chewed on it – then tore the door trim in half (hey, he really wanted to get out) and he scaled the chain-link fence enclosing our dog kennel in a beautiful Swan Lake-like leap and dive. Suffice it to say, the German Dane went back to the kennel.
Fast forward to last Sunday. We were on a mission to find a puppy, and loaded the car with Jo Mama – after all, she’d have to approve – and a dog crate for said puppy.
The first stop was Grand Junction where a sweet, tiny basset hound puppy was waiting there to break our hearts. She was adorable – white with tan spots and enormous ears that hung to the ground. She kissed us and licked our hands, and curled up into our laps.
Then, the breeders told us about her lung problems. And they told us about her breathing problems. Then they told us about her difficulty with cold weather. We didn’t want to leave her there, but we did. Besides, Erik had never realized how very low to the ground basset hounds are, and how relatively slow they are in moving out of the way. Because we have horses, he was worried the dog might get caught under hoof, so to speak. So bye-bye basset.
Our next stop was a Montrose ranch, where a gorgeous male German shepherd and a gray-colored female greeted us with tails wagging. We met two of their puppies, one of which the breeders were saving for us. She was wonderful, full of life and spunk, and immediately took to Jo Mama, chasing her around and nipping at her ears. Jo kept trotting away, dodging the puppies. Jo’s tail was wagging but you could tell her eyes were saying, “I guess this means I’m baby-sitting for the next year!”
The puppy was personality-plus, but her coloring was very dark – too dark for what we were envisioning. Again, it was hard to say goodbye, but we drove away, our dog crate empty and Jo Mama breathing a big sigh of relief.
So the dog search continues. Or maybe it doesn’t. Our lives are chock-full of stuff to worry about, and maybe now is just not the time to add to our brood. In any case, I have to admit going on a dog hunt, even though it tugged at our heartstrings, was something that helped us enjoy a sunny Colorado spring day – a day I wish I could wrap up in a package and send to Iraq.
Carrie Click is a Post Independent staff writer. Her column runs on Tuesdays.
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