Jun 16 2020


Published by at 6:12 pm under Coronavirus Journal

It’s Day 92 of the Bay Area shelter-in-place, but I have decided, finally, to stop counting here on this blog. What you don’t know is that I’ll continue to keep track in my paper diary. What for? Well, what else is there to do?

When one of my kids was wee—I think it was Molly, or was it Eleni?—she used to sing the Everly Brothers’ classic:

Bye bye love.
Bye bye umpiness [emptiness].
I’ll see you later.

Umpiness is what I feel right now, and a fractured heart. As you know, the night before last I wrote to the woman at the rescue organization to tell her I needed to return Bessie. I heard nothing till yesterday afternoon, when she e-mailed a request for photos of Bessie, with no indication of what was next. Right away I sent her some of the fetching Bessie pix you’ve seen here in recent weeks, along with that video of her being a really good girl at breakfast. But I heard nothing back that day.

Around 10:00 this morning, Eleni told me that Bessie’s profile was back up on Petfinder. (It’s already been taken down.) They got several things wrong again. For example, they listed her as three years old, not just one, as I’d been told. And her breed was something entirely new: lab and cattle dog.

As of 10:30, Rescue Woman still hadn’t replied to my query about the process. I had visions of this possibly dragging on for weeks, with her being unable to find a foster.

Shortly thereafter, with Bessie at my feet, I got word that a couple in Walnut Creek was ready to pick her up. Like, now.

An hour later, she was gone, just like that. I didn’t even get a final day with her. That’s better for her. With tears in my eyes, I watched them drive away forever.

The young couple wants to see how it goes with her, and possibly adopt her should things work out. I hope they do. I hope she does okay without me and adjusts well to them. I hope her separation anxiety isn’t too much for them. I hope she has a long and happy life with a family who deserves her. I hope she doesn’t go through any more trauma and rehoming. None of this is the poor dog’s fault. I told the man who picked her up why I was giving her back, but made sure he knew that she could be trained out of her dog-weirdness—just not by me. And then I listed all the great things about her, and said how hard it was to let an “almost-perfect” dog go. They’ve promised to keep me informed about what happens.

I believe I made the best choice I could, but am miserable. The house is empty and my hours are empty. I miss her a lot. I should be rejoicing that I can now use the bathroom in peace and go out the front door without returning to find a panicked Bessie’s standing atop tall furniture. Maybe I’ll go to the farmers’ market on Sunday. (I’ve not been able to leave my house dogless for a month.) And actually, I’ve been so busy watching over her this past almost-month that I’ve neglected certain other things, like feeding my own self properly. Life will simplify so I can go back to stuffing my face.

This photo is from last night, as I dripped tears all over the poor pup. Still, I hadn’t known it would be our last night together.

In our final minutes, Bessie was at my heels as I zipped back and forth, hastily gathering up all of her worldly possessions: hundreds of dollars of things like prescription medicines and toys and fancy food and bowls and leashes and treats and more toys. I’m donating every dog item I have, including Otis’ crate, for I have no plans of adopting again.

Then we went back into my bedroom to wait for the doorbell to ring. This is my last picture of her. It’s as though she knew something was up. Look at her suspicious glance at me.

Bless your loving little canine heart, Bessie. I would be giving you your dinner in two minutes. I wish you stability, you sweet, deserving girl. ‘Tis better to have loved and lost, I suppose. But, man: ouch.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Umpiness”

  1. Lila Wallrich says:

    So sorry about this. It made me cry too.

  2. Molly says:

    It’s very sad and hard to make a decision like this, but from all you have said, it sounded like it was the right call for you – and for her, too, I hope. Fingers crossed that the new family is a better fit for her. I wish her all the best, sweet gal.

    I have said this already, but reading this blog in particular, I believe it even more so: even though you’re feeling burned right now, I don’t think you should write off the idea of EVER adopting a dog. Clearly there are aspects of her presence in your life that were very valuable to you, even from this short time period, even amidst the annoying parts. And there are other, better-suited dogs out there.

  3. Ginna says:

    Thanks, Lila. I’m not a big crier but I’m drenched and hurting. Poor little Bessie. I kept hugging her and telling her how sorry I was.

    Hi, Lulu: I do think it was the right decision, but just a painful one. Either way, I lost. I really don’t think I’ll ever get another dog. If I turned down such a magnificent one, how could another be adequate? Maybe years from now, when I’m a different person.

  4. Small says:

    Sympathy, uunderstanding and regret! I, too, hope you will try again, one day.

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