Last week, amid the excitement and stress of the first week of school, a wonderful new home became available for our Bassett hound, Beethoven. We have been searching for a new home for him to alleviate some breathing issues for me, and to potentially give him owners who could spend more time with him. It took some arranging, but we scheduled Saturday morning as the time we would take him to meet a volunteer from a rescue organization that would then take him to the new owners. Mythankfulboy was kept in the loop through all of the arrangements, and Friday night we gathered the things we would send with Beety (pronounced “baidy”) and wrote a letter of gratitude to the new owners containing details about our sweet dog of almost 10 years. I asked B to wear his baseball uniform in the morning because he had a game mid-day and I wanted to make sure that, if we didn’t get to go home after taking the dog, that he would have what he needed.
On Saturday morning I asked B to put Beety in the car, and B asked if we were taking the dog to his baseball game. I stopped and looked closely at his face and he seemed genuinely confused. I reminded him that we were taking Beethoven to the rescue volunteer that morning and he looked like I’d punched him in the stomach. He said he thought it was after the game. My heart seized. In that way that the mind has of shifting reality to make it easier to manage, B had changed the schedule in his head and was now getting the news that we were taking the dog right then to be given away.
We got the dog in the car, and we took him to the very nice people at the very nice house with lush gardens who were doing us a tremendous favor. One of the volunteers had a million questions for me that had nothing to do with why we were there and everything to do with openings for her to talk about her failing health. I find myself a little angry about that, now. We were so distracted by her that we barely said goodbye. Yes, I can see how a quick goodbye might be the best thing, but all this emotion has to go somewhere, right?
We left, and quickly pulled the car over and cried. And cried. I asked Siri to tell me how to get to the closest park, and she sent us to a fenced-in municipal water storage area on a road called Scenic Overlook Circle (not so scenic). We cried some more, and looked up other parks. We eventually made our way to sit beside a lake and watch birds catching fish and fish catching bugs. B was all cried out, and I had had enough relief to drive. We headed home to rest for just a bit before his baseball game.
Since then, we have looked at each other from time to time and said, “Oh, I just wondered if Beethoven had enough water” or “It’s weird to go to bed without putting Beethoven out first.” There are fewer tears, though, and we have put a few of his things away. We got a text update that he liked the bed his new family had bought him, and that he played with the grandchildren but was not yet ready to play with the other Basset they have.
B has played in two winning baseball games since then, and we have spent restorative time with friends. At the chalice lighting last night we were thankful for the folks who took Beethoven in. I write this blog entry to help us remember.