Grief and puppy love

We had to return Autumn to her foster-mom today. I can hardly finish that sentence without tears. She’s a sweet, adorable puppy who made herself the center of our household in no time.

Unfortunately, I had several allergic reactions to Autumn. Sometimes my hands simply burned and itched. Other times, I had hives. I started taking Benadryl regularly, but I don’t want to do that forever.

Perhaps, all puppies are adorable and smart. It was interesting to watch Autumn at play and to watch her face. She makes great eye contact. She adored Luke, followed him, and emulated him.

Everyone knows puppies are work. I keep thinking about my Mom, who made taking care of everything and everyone look effortless and a pleasure. Where does that strength come from? We all rise to certain demanding moments. (Not to make raising a puppy sound heroic.) How many of us keep smiling under the pressure?

It has been a year of grief. First, our weeks in Memphis caring for Merri’s mom who died in July. Then, in August, the death of my old friend, Madeline, virtually my second mom or an aunt. With her dies the last contact with my Mom’s life before me. In this context, the near-destruction of Mer’s car seems a mere inconvenience.

Now, Autumn has come and gone. It breaks my heart to let her go. The one thing that makes that bearable is seeing her joy at returning to her foster-mom and her pack. And I know Lap Dog Rescue will make sure she finds the great home she deserves. I hope she completes a home as Luke has ours.

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