pets: joys and sorrows

i realized i have not written about charlie.

this is charlie -- a 7 1/2 month old cairin terrier.   he looks all-cute, but he is definately a terrier. into everything! 
but, before we talk about charlie, we should talk about my first "baby" - riley (2nd picture).

riley, also a cairin -- left us on july 20th, 2009.  he was 11.  he got sick very quickly, about 3 weeks prior.  he had a seizure one night - and it all went down hill from there.  we tried everything, did everything we could, but we sadly had to make the painful decission to say good-bye.  the vet believes it was a fast growing brain tumor.  i know it was one of the scariest things i've ever had to deal with.

growing up, my dad said no to pets.  dogs would get hit in the road, fish would just die, hamsters were just overgrown mice.  until one day my sister brought home a kitten who stayed, even after my sister went to college and got married.  i think i understand why my dad said no to our pleas for a puppy.  he probably knew just how hard it would be to say good-bye one day, and he was trying to protect us.  the cat - princess, developed cancer in her jaw a couple of years ago - my parents had to make the same hard decision to stop the suffering.  there are no more animals in the house -- dad won't admit it, but i think he's avoiding the pain.

mom and dad's house was like riley's second home -- riley knew when his bag was being packed he was going to grandma's and would race to the door and whine - ready to go.  on the day he left us, after we said our good-byes - he raced to the door, with more energy then we had seen in weeks.  i knew it was the right thing - he was tired, it was time.  riley rests in my mom and dad's backyard next to his arch-nemissis, princess.

it took me some time to be ready to have a new dog in my life.  paul was ready to get another dog right away - not for any lack of respect for riley.  i needed some time.  i began doing some searching on-line and found a breeder on oklahoma.  her dog had just had a litter of pupies - 2 male, 1 female.  ironically the puppies were born on july 10th - about the same time riley's "spirit" left him, and he was just a physical presence.  i fell in love with his tiny little picture - just a few weeks old.  i emailed the breeder and we both began the process of figuring out if the other person was reputable.  she was great, caring and patient.  she allowed us first choice, and we could wait to send the deposit until he grew to be sure he was the one we wanted.  she sent weekly pictures and updates until he flew out to meet us the end of september.

he was so tiny, and too cute.  he melted my heart.  it wasn't until a few weeks later that everything we had fogotten about raising a puppy slapped us in the face.  but, with some persistance, things are going well.

until tuesday.  silly dog. he must have gotten into something - whatever it was it upset his tummy.  so, off to the vets.  with some rest and a bland diet all is well - oh, the life of a puppy.

these furry little ones are really a part of the family.  they  worry and concern us like human kids do.  wouldn't trade any of it - the joys or the sorrows.