12 New Hugs (1 Veterinarian, 1 Vet’s Assistant, 1 street food vendor, 9 new church friends)
Well, this weekend didn’t exactly go quite as planned. I thought I would be able to relax, revel in the warmth of my year and just enjoy life. Then, I would come back today with my new format. (I intend to blog on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week in a similar format to what you are used to. Only difference is that I will only include hugs from new people that I have never hugged before.) I’ve noticed that life doesn’t really like you to make your own plans. It likes to stretch you, challenge you and give you new ways to grow. Sometimes in ways that you just don’t appreciate.
On Friday my new dog Abby who I have had for 3 months attacked my 10 year old lab, Sadie. She has always been possessive over toys, but this time she took it too far. She bit Sadie’s ear numerous times and caused tears that required extensive stitches. Sadie did not attempt to counterattack, she just took it and Abby did not let up. It was devastating to watch and I instantly decided that our home was not the right fit for Abby. I sobbed for about 24 hours straight. The tears came from such a mixed range of emotion. I felt guilty that I allowed her to remain in our home when I suspected this could happen. I felt guilt and sadness for the pain Sadie suffered. I felt sadness for the past that Abby had that caused her to feel she needed to fight so hard for attention (because I doubt it was ever really about the toy). I felt guilt over the joy I had knowing that I could have my family back to the way it was without a new dog interrupting our patterns. I felt sadness in losing a dog that quickly found a place in my heart. I felt guilt in wondering if I put my own and others children in danger by allowing them to be around her. I had guilt over the hardness that quickly built up around my heart when it came to her. We couldn’t bring her back the the SPCA until today, it hurt every time I looked at her but I could barely bring myself to pet her.
Funny thing is all this time I thought I was feeling a wide range of emotions. Rereading that paragraph it turns out it was mostly just different forms of guilt. All weekend long I kept trying to do different things to keep my spirits up, went miniature golfing, went to book club, tried to drink heavily, but of course none of this worked. Now, I know why. I worked so hard at trying to keep a positive outlook that I neglected to just accept the truth of what I was feeling. This weekend sucked. The situation sucked. Abby was not a bad dog, just came from bad circumstances. I am not a bad mother, friend, decision maker…I just got caught up in thinking that love could be enough to save her. I loved her with everything I had. It just wasn’t enough. She needed more than I could give. At each step I made decisions that I thought were in everyone’s best interest. In this final decision, I know it was in everyone’s best interest. It hurts, but I am not at fault. This was not my fault.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to pray for Abby with a prayer chaplain at church yesterday. I am so grateful for the outpouring of love I have received from family and friends. I am grateful that I have not heard any I told you so’s from people that were concerned about my decision to adopt a pit bull. I am grateful for my year of hugs because without it I wouldn’t have this outlet to express how I feel and I may have held on to that guilt for far too long. Only now, I have shared my guilt with you and am free to release it. I can move on knowing that I showed her what it is like to be loved by someone and that she deserves exactly that from her next family. I am especially grateful for the desperate hugs I received from people who cared enough to want to take my pain away. Your hugs have gone a long way to help my wounds begin to heal. Thank you.
Please accept this blog as my virtual hug to you.