It's been a over a week since Noah hasn't been with me.
I know what I did was the right thing. Everyone from my stepmother, to my step grandmother, to my friends have told me that I have done the right thing. What I didn't realize was just HOW difficult the right thing would be. I unexpectedly feel like I'm in grief. There are random moments where I think of wonderpup and begin to cry. Is he happy? Confused? Does he miss me? I know the most likely scenario is that he is having a blast with two teenagers, a couple of dogs, and running on a huge property, but I miss him like crazy. Because I don't start working until after the holidays, (if I'm even accepted back) I have a lot of time to notice who's missing in our household. I'm trying to keep busy, but it's hard.
When I was looking for a job and had a long period of unemployment, Noah and I were together all the time. In the morning, we'd go on a long walk around the block together, followed by playtime. I'd feed him breakfast, then I was either off sending out job apps or he was with me as I ran errands. On weekends, I would take him to the dog park for a couple of hours. The first thing I noticed on Thursday morning was how quiet the house was without wonderpup. I looked to my left as I rolled over in bed and instead of a crate next to the bedframe, there was an empty space. Instant tears. Instead taking a shower, then grabbing his leash for our walk, I wandered aimlessly downstairs. "I guess I could have breakfast," I thought. I grabbed a cereal bowl and realized the silence was deafening, so I quickly flipped on our family room TV. Noah would be greeting me/bugging me at this point, probably wanting to go out or have some of my cereal. (I made the mistake of training him using cheerios as treats. It's pretty cheap.) I never gave him what I was eating, but that never stopped him from trying. I noticed his bowls were gone. Instant tears as I poured my cereal. My stepmom came downstairs the second she heard my footsteps and asked me how I was.
"Okay," I lied.
She saw tears on my face and gave me a hug and I felt embarrassed and way too old to be crying in my parents arms over a dog. The day passed by uneventfully and I gathered up the remainder of Noah's toys and donated them to the local animal shelter, who were very grateful. My best friend called and immediately asked how I was. "Fine," I said.
"I'm coming to pick you up tonight," she replied.
I turned her down three different times until I knew she wasn't taking no for an answer. Erin drove to my house around 3 and said that we were going to see a Christmas light show. I perked up a bit, grateful that I had my new camera (more on that later) and was ready to take twinkling pictures to post on this blog.
The light show closed unexpectedly.
No matter. Erin and I stopped by her house where her dog Maggie greeted us. It felt weird to snuggle with a dog that wasn't mine, but I was just happy to pet her and she was thrilled to hang out with me. Erin and I then went out to dinner instead.
Erin was right, being with her and her family did take my mind off things. If I was home, I would have just been sitting by my cell phone, waiting for it to ring, in hopes that Noah's new family would give me a call to let me know how he was.
My friends have suggested a new dog, but I don't think now is the right time. (Another friend of mine was actually in the process of adopting a dog for me until I put an end to it, though the thought was nice) For now, I will continue to apartment hunt, cross my fingers regarding work, and get myself settled. I'll also make sure my new place allows pets, for when the time does come for a dog to enter my life again. I've decided to open my heart to an older dog who will find me, when I am ready to open my eyes and look. In the meantime, I still believe Noah entered (and left) my life for a reason. It's now time for him to begin his new life.
And for me to begin mine.