Sunday

Regrets...

Unknown to most, we had a very hectic week.  It’s one of those decision that you may regret and you even know it before doing it but it was resolved this week…
Nineteen years ago, Elaine and I talked about getting a dog for the farm because we live right next to the Hoosier National Forrest with thousand’s of acres of undeveloped land.  It seems that the land does develop countless numbers of the white tailed deer which are cute but very destructive and we needed some counter measures to halt their mammoth appetite.  We tried everything under the sun but to no avail, nothing except a dog.  We always wanted a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) but before the internet, you needed to watch the paper and there were none to be had except the ones available if you mortgaged your house, which we couldn’t do.  Other arrangements were made but the Shepherd was always in the back of our mind and time marched on.


Eight months ago, we finally got "our" Shepherd because she needed a good home, she was beautiful, loving, and good with our dogs but the only downside, she didn’t like to ride in a car.  She was here to stay, I just knew it… or so I thought.


Eight months later and because we had too many dogs I told Elaine, “We need to find Dahlia a home, we just can’t keep doing this, taking dogs in, we’re full.  I can’t help other rescue dogs if we can’t bring them here and work with them, we’re full.”  I made a knee slap executive decision, Dahlia needs a home!  Just by chance, we had friends over for the weekend and I made my feelings known to them, they knew someone who may be interested.  Just a few days later, a date was set for a visit and my problem would be solved, but later that week the conversation was heavy;
“It’s a shame it won’t work out, I’m going to miss her” I said…
“I know, I always wanted a Shepherd”
“Me too”
“She is so good and so well mannered, even in the house and with our dogs.”


I walked around the house the last week she was here, watching her run with the pack, sleeping on the bed or trying to get in my lap it was hard on me.  At times, before bed, I would walk past "her" bed, her tail would start wagging and she would raise her head and lick my face.  We had a routine, I would bend down to her and “play” bite her ear and this was our bond… This last night, I held her close and rubbed my head next to hers.  I took several deep breaths, smelling her musk and knew I would never do that again and that moment lasted forever in my mind, I had to keep something.


The night before she was supposed to leave lasted longer than most and when we got up, all the dogs were let out out and as always, Dahlia came right back inside and jumped on the couch next to me while we had our morning coffee.  Times seemed different, I know it was her last day, but she seemed different.  Sitting next to me, she licked my face and pawed my arm, apparently trying to tell me that she loved me but I knew that...  I looked at Elaine who was sitting on the opposite couch and she watched me get choked up and after what seemed like an eternity I said;
“This is the hardest thing I have done in a long while”
“I know, we don’t have to do this.”  ” she said,
Out of nowhere and in broken English, tears streaming down my face, I said “I can’t do this, I just can’t do this.”
Elaine’s only statement… “We don’t have to do this,” hit me and truer words were never spoken, "we don’t" I said.  As fast as I could, I went to the computer and typed, “I’m sorry” which I was, “Dahlia was staying home.” and after hugs and kisses and tears of joy, home was a happy place again.

Just a few days later, Elaine arrived home from work and when she and Dahlia walked inside the house, she said “You’ll never guess what happened.”  “What” I said.  “Dahlia met me at the gate as I pulled in and as I was shutting it, she stood by the car and acted like she wanted to ride, I opened the car door and in she went, she sat down and we road to the house together.”  I'm sure it was her way of telling me she's trying just as I showed her.


Rest well pretty girl, you might not be a Border Collie but you have a piece of my heart...  Sometimes if you want something to work, it requires "work".  I’ve said many times, nothing in, nothing out, and most of the time joy and peace takes effort on our part.  It’s easy to cop-out and take the easy road but you may regret it forever, I'v taken that road before and regretted it but hopefully never again…  Ken

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