The first part of this year has been extremely hard on me.  I can say now with Dingbee in my life now that period has ended.  He is a handful and comes with challenges, but we are settling in well with each other.  But I feel like I need to say goodbye to an old friend.

That is my previous dog.  He was such a good dog and companion to me.  It was very hard emotionally for me to put him down.  But it was something that needed to be done.  He was very old and it was struggle for him to keep going.  Especially with the very cold and wet winter we have been having here.  He deserve a peaceful ending instead of a continued struggle as he fought to keep going.
I can recall when I first got him as a puppy.  I wasn’t interested in dogs at the time.  I was a cat person.  Some people had convinced me to go to the pet store to look at the cats.  I was sitting on the floor, when all of the sudden this puppy came over and start licking and crawling over me and on my shoulders.  He just would not stop.  Well that was enough to convince me that we where meant for each other and I came home with a dog.
Even as a puppy he was very smart but also strong.  Just after I got him, we moved into our current home.  He was out in the backyard playing by himself.  Maybe playing is the wrong term.  I looked out the kitchen and there was a tree branch bent over.  I went out to see what was going on and here he is hanging from that tree branch not letting go.  That was one of his things was to pull the branches of the trees down.
But he also didn’t like the underground water sprinkler system the property had on it.  He always digging up the ground trying to pull it out.  I soon gave up on trying to stop him from doing it.  Just resign myself to having to use hoses to water the lawn.
But his one talent  that really stood out was how empathitic he was with people.  People would come over to visit and he knew exactly which person was feeling the lowest mentally and be with them.  There was a time when someone came over who was really having a extremely bad day.  Soon as they sat down he jumped up on the couch to be with them and starting licking their face and playing with them.  Very soon the person was laughing and feeling so much better.
But because of his breed, strangers would often think he was a vicious dog to avoid.  I would take him on walks and people as soon as they saw him would cross to the other side of the road.  It did have the advantage of keeping the door to door salesman away from our house.  I would open the door to see who was there and here he comes running to the screen door.  They soon left and never came back.  
But despite his preceived nature,  he loved people.  The only time I think he would go after a person is if he thought me or my partner where in danger.  But otherwise he would sit there with his tail wagging waiting for them to come in the house so he could give them a proper welcome.  I often joke that if people broke into the house to rob it, he would serve them tea and biscuits!
Over his lifetime we grew very close to each other.  He helped me through a difficult time in my life.  I will not say here in this post what it was at the time but I finally stop denying a part of myself.  With that acceptance it really upset my mental and emotional balance.  Should I share this with other people and how would they react.  The angry that came out about denying it for so long.  But more importantly how I was going to go forward now that I was accepting it.
I soon came to realize that he didn’t care about it.  A dog doesn’t have the hangups, prejudice or look down on people for who they are as a person.  Instead they focus on what is really important.  How that person treats them.  I slowly realized through his love and acceptance of me that what I was denying about myself was not something to hide away or be ashamed about it.  It was just a part of the bigger picture of me.  I came to accept that part of me more and embraced it in my own way that feels comfortable.
But as relationships go, there comes an end.  The one thing I would like to deny.  That like my partner he would always be there for me.  But he started to develop beign tumors in his body.  At first we had him operated on to remove them but they soon grew too many that it was better to let them go.  The surgerys would do more harm than good.  Along with the arthitits that was developing in his back legs,  life was becoming a burden to him.
For a few years he did keep going.  But this winter hit him hard when one of those tumors was pressing against his windpipe.  I didn’t want to put him down.  I keep thinking he would pull through.  But it soon become apparent unless something was done he would die a slow death from suffocation.  So me and my partner made the decision to visit the vet and put him down.
My partner could not go in to the vet.  I had to do it and I was getting very angry with myself.  How could I kill him like that.  But also I did want him to leave me.  But he deserve better than a slow death from suffocation.  To struggle for breath at times.  He was such a loyal and loving dog that deserve better.  That his needs matter more than mine.  I went through with it and stayed with him saying goodbye.
I left the vets office vowing never to get another pet.  I did want to go through that again.  For last few months I said no anytime someone brought up the idea getting another dog.  That is until last week when photos of these puppies abandoned under one of the bridges circulated on Facebook.  At first I didn’t want to go down to the poind to see them let alone adopt one.    I thought maybe with all the local attention that it wouldn’t matter.  People would adopt them so why worry about it.
But it was my birthday coming up and I was convinced that maybe that would be a good birthday present.  Yeah whatever, at least by pretending to go see them I would get people off my back.  But as soon as I handle the puppies I knew I wanted one.  We couldn’t have one right away because they needed to be checked out by a vet then desexed and microchipped.  We would have to wait a week.  But we where second on the list so we would definitely get one.
Without going into too much detail, it was an emotional rollercoaster this week.  We come to find out we where a lot lower on this list that we where told and probably not get one.  Then people withdrew so now we had a chance with only one left.  Find out that we still had wait a couple more days. to take hime home because of quarrantine rules.  But Friday afternoon we picked up Dingbee and brought him home to be a part of our family.
But the one thing I have learned from the experience was the truth about relationships.  Sometimes like my father and birth family they can go horribly wrong and be very hurtful.  Some relationships can seem very scary at first like with my partner.  Is it going to work out?  We would like to fool ourselves into thinking they will (maybe that is good thing because otherwise we might never try) but we really don’t know.  We take a chance and see how it works out.  But even in relationships that work out very well, there comes a time when the relationship comes to an end and we have to say goodbye.
It can hurt very much emotionally to say goodbye to someone who we have bonded with and formed a very close relationship with, but that pain is a small price for all of the years of joy and happiness that being in that kind of relationship can bring to us.  That is what I will be thinking about as I finish this post is that joy and happiness he brought to my life.  That same joy and happiness that Dingbee will bring into my life now.  Goodbye old friend I will miss you so much!!!!!!!