Friday, January 2, 2009

Marley & Me (sort of)

While we were in California, we went to see "Marley & Me." I highly recommend this movie, though it's a tear-jerker toward the end.

It is interesting to experience something and then watch someone else experience it (even if it is just a movie). So, here's the rest of my dog story:

For YEARS I have used the excuse that we couldn't have a dog because I already had 20 children at our house every week--I didn't need another one. Then I stopped teaching preschool, but Grandma Glenda was allergic to dogs. Then Grandma moved out, and I was out of excuses. You really can't win when your husband takes the children's side. Let the dog shopping begin!

After looking at 400 dogs between the Utah Valley and the Salt Lake Valley, we ended up with Abby. She was a sweet little black pooch, and very smart. I hated to admit it, but I loved her. And then, just 9 months later, she started swelling. She couldn't run or jump any more. We visited the vet several times, and it was determined that she had a genetic condition that probably would not get better. Abby was obviously in pain and just miserable, so we had to put her down. We prepared the kids as best we could, and we all shed lots of tears. That was a Sunday. On Monday Spencer emailed me. The email said, "1:00 today." I called him, and he was so sad he couldn't even talk.

Let's forget for a minute that I unwittingly loved this dog. Even though I hated to admit it. Still. But my sweetheart and our four beautiful children had broken hearts. So even if I hadn't loved the dog, my heart was breaking, too. I started crying at work, and I finally just took the rest of the day off in order to be wife and mom.

Spencer and I took Abby into the vet's office. He thought we could just say goodbye and leave her, but I just couldn't do it. I just could not bear the thought that our dog might be thinking we abandoned her.

Let's just say that things didn't go terribly smoothly for Abby. It was awful, and we spent a lot of time in tears. And THEN we had to go home and tell the kids that she was gone. Cue the tears. Again. And again. And again. For days.


However, it was only about a week before everyone started saying we needed to go find another dog. Do these people not know how awful this is for me? Not the HAVING the dog--the LOSING the dog. Ugh.

This time the search extended from SLC to Utah Valley to St. George (yes, just to shop for a dog). We ended up with a large dog, all white this time, who we named Bella. I've already given you a bit about Bella (By the way, Jenny and Tracy did take our name in vain while Bella was with them during Christmas. They won't do that for us again. But we're sure grateful to them!). All I know is that Bella better last till Lando is 19 or older. I don't know if my heart can take that loss again.

She's a dog, but she's also part of our family.

Can you even believe I just said that?