We sat in the back yard and I knew him when I saw him. The oddball.
A surprise and a gift and we followed him around as he explored.
Walked away, the three of us.
I knew, no one else did, that I was trying to replace what was lost.
I was trying to fill a void, the space left empty.
Let us take care of something. Let us heal.
And I was up around the clock.
Potty training. Softening food. Bathing. Snuggling.
I remember the night Judah got jealous. I remember the night that he got his fingers gnawed on and he cried and panicked and I remember thinking, I did this for you. How could I have gotten it so wrong?
And what we had expected never happened.
Voids never filled. There was no fulfillment. No peace.
Families have pets, I thought. Somehow in my mind, this gesture, this gift, would make us whole. Would repair what had been broken.
So every time this oddball peeled and ate a whole bunch of bananas or dug through the trash or pitted an avocado or gnawed on a pair of eyeglasses, resentment grew.
This was supposed to fix it.
And I had been wrong.
When we moved home, he came with us. Happier to have a yard, happier to have a friend.
But what happens in May? I wondered.
When this pup, who turned out much differently than we thought he would, has to go back to living in a crate. Has to move into an apartment.
What happens when we attribute so much meaning and so much expectation on one thing.
What happens when we wait to repair and we wait to heal and we wait to redeem and we wait to resolve and we wait to reconstruct because we feel we are missing pieces.
We wait to live.
So I think back to the backyard. Picking that warm, furry body out of the pile of warm, furry bodies. Thinking, certainly, this will fix us. This will heal what hurts.
And in hindsight, knowing I was wrong, I wonder how to let go.
When we attach ourselves to the purpose of something, the function it can serve, rather than who it is intrinsically... love has a hard time growing. We become enmeshed, calling it love; except we only really love what it was supposed to do for us.
What happens in May today turned quickly into what happens now? And all over again I have to face this furry, oddball puppy who can't stay.