The days in between

20 Nov

Think back to the really great days in your life. What comes to mind?

The moments that flash by for me include getting married, seeing U2 outdoors for the first time in Sweden, skiing at Big Sky and hiking with Jasper along the Mississippi River.

What about all the other days in between? Are we really living or just getting by?

I don’t know why, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

Big Sky
Photo: A perfect day in the mountains

It’s been almost two months since Jasper passed away, and I still think of him every day. Even when I wake up in the middle of the night, I think, “The house sure is quiet without Jasper here.”

I took my first walk in the woods alone today. I loved being outside breathing in the cool winter air, but I couldn’t help thinking how different it would have been if Jasper was there with me. It was strange looking down and not seeing him walking beside me.

Before sitting down to type tonight, I went back and re-read a few of my old posts. Wow, I feel a bit embarrassed because they were pretty raw and revealing. I’m thankful to have a record of Jasper and all that we experienced, though. I’m also thankful that new readers are continuing to visit this blog on a daily basis.

To those of you who are going through a similar experience, hang in there, be strong and lean on others if you need to. It’s hard to believe during the darkest days, but it does get better.

In some small way if this blog can help someone else out there, then it will have been a success.

p.s. Zooey is doing great and keeping us super busy! I mentioned this before, but for two Vizslas, she and J really are (were) opposites. Jasper slept at the foot of the bed, Zooey naps next to Veronika’s pillow. Jasper would only eat his food if we sat perfectly still. Zooey would keep eating if a marching band walked through the kitchen. She’s a sweet girl, though (even if she is kind of driving us crazy tonight)! :-)

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8 Responses to “The days in between”

  1. Lindsey November 22, 2010 at 1:18 AM #

    I hope Zooey is adjusting okay. I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 months, it feels like you just posted that entry last week.

    • treubold November 22, 2010 at 2:43 PM #

      Yeah, I can’t believe it’s been that long either. Sometimes it feels just like yesterday, and other times it feels like it was 10 years ago. Zooey seems be doing really well, so we’re thankful!

  2. Phil & Lucky November 22, 2010 at 10:26 PM #

    Thanks to you sharing Jaspers battle and his wonderful life story, I think I’ve been able to gradually stop and smell the roses so to speak. I’ve been able to sort of re-evaluate things and spend more time not only with Lucky but at home with my family in general. One comment that you made that really stuck with me is how dogs live in the moment. For some reason I had never really thought of that and it makes so much sense. I used to try to fill my weekends with activities and lots of errands away from the house. Now I try to spend more time at home, and take Lucky for extra walks. I want to give 110%, giving that little extra time because I know I’ll be so devastated when the time comes when he has to go to the rainbow bridge too. Right now we are struggling with the decision to get a 2nd V or not. I want Lucky to have a better life if at all possible. Sometimes he is at home alone for lots or hours and I wonder if he wouldn’t be happier if he had a pal. But there is also a fear of what if he doesn’t accept another dog into his pack and this makes his day to day life worse. We never were dog owners before Lucky so it’s hard to know. Any advice?

    • treubold November 23, 2010 at 7:50 AM #

      Thanks, Phil. Yeah, that comment from the vet about dogs living in the moment really struck a chord with me, too. We’re always thinking about the next vacation or birthday, but they are just “there”.

      Tough question about getting a second dog. The amount of time Jasper was spending alone was certainly an issue for us, but then again time is such a human concept.

      I think the big question is how is your dog with other dogs. Even though Jasper was shy, he was sociable so we knew a second dog would be a good fit. Zooey is much more dominant and she’s had run-ins with other dogs in the past (likely due to a troubled upbringing before she came to live with us), so I don’t think adding another dog to our house now would be a good fit. I could be wrong, though.

      Also, remember that two dogs means 4 more muddy paws to clean, twice the vet bills, double the effort on trips, etc. We hadn’t fully thought that through.

      So would we do it again? Absolutely! Seeing the two of them playing in the yard or chasing after each other in the woods on our hikes was worth it.

      Good luck with the decision!

      • Phil November 23, 2010 at 8:35 AM #

        Thank you for the feedback. I think Lucky is more like Zooey for sure. We are taking steps to work on that, today he has a play date with two female Vizslas from our friends pack. We are going to try this for a while, socializing with other V’s. My wife tells me that on the 1st playdate last week Lucky didn’t interact with the girls, he just stayed by my wifes side. Hopefully if we keep working on it he will maybe get more social, either way we should get a better feel eventually.

        p.s Front row at a U2 concert in 1985 is on my list of best times.

  3. Robert November 24, 2010 at 6:00 PM #

    It does slowly get better. I still have my first dog’s collar and tags and he died in 1985. It’s good you have Zooey. I’m sure she’s a blessing to have there.

  4. Mel December 7, 2010 at 11:21 PM #

    Once again, another wonderful post. I have to say that I liked that you were so raw and honest. I think you were speaking words of truth that few of us ever say, not only to one another, but even to ourselves.

    It’s funny, but I am feeling all the raw pain of my Aspen’s loss again as I care for an older dog with a similar ailment. I can say the pain is not as sharp as it used to be, but it’s still there. I hope that yours will soften around the edges with time.

    P.S. I completely agree with your assessment of understanding how your dog is with other dogs. Sometimes we humans assume our dogs are lonely and need another friend because that’s what “we” would want if we were them. It sounds to me like Zooey is enjoying her 1:1 time with Mom and Dad. It’s kind of nice sometimes ya know?

    • treubold December 10, 2010 at 6:05 PM #

      Hi, yeah, things are getting much better and I’m pretty sure Zooey is really enjoying all the attention. There are those moments as you mentioned when the pain does come rushing back for a second, but they are getting further apart. I wish you all the best with the dog you’re caring for.

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