(My Snow Beast in our front yard in 2009)
I’ve missed being a pet parent. When I met Ken, his Chow Chow, Quantum, quickly stole my heart. And just as quickly we became a constant trio. I placed a-not-too-distant second in her affections to Ken. But I couldn’t blame her. I was crazy about him too. One of the saddest parts about losing her is that it happened just as we were preparing for Ken’s major surgery in hopes it would end his unwanted association with the cancer that had returned. Though we mourned her deeply–no one more than Ken after 16 years together–I had to focus on prepping the house for his recovery, attend countless doctor’s appointments, keep track of everything, and most importantly, keep Ken’s spirits up and support him in every possible way.
Though she’s been gone since late 2009, I think I’ve missed her more than ever in the time following Ken’s death. She was a constant companion to both of us. And still when I go to bed, I remember how she’d wait for me (as I tended to be the last one down) and accompany me as I crawled into bed with a snoozing Ken. I had to hurry up and get into a position that suited me–and more importantly–her as she flopped down into the nest formed by my bent legs as I lay on my side. I loved the security of feeling her weight on me as her head rested on my legs. And so often I felt such delight in having my little family together, cozied up for a lovely night’s sleep. Even being woken up by her movement as she either got out of bed to get water, or sleep on the floor, or her getting back into bed after either always lended unending comfort as she nestled down and we drifted off to sleep.
Ken and I had always talked about getting another dog, but the slope we were on was very slippery the last few years and we were never able to do so. I’ve thought a lot about it, but after caring for Ken for so long, I intentionally and selfishly didn’t want the responsibility of taking care of anyone else but myself. I wanted control again. But lately it’s all I’ve been thinking about. With three months off work, it seems like the perfect time to create a new little family–and honor the one I loved so much. As such, it’s all I’ve been noticing on my walks: dogs. All kinds. Small. Large. Tiny. They’re everywhere. And the other day I saw something I have seen but only a few times, walking aloofly past me: a gorgeous cinnamon Chow Chow.
Maybe it was a sign; a nudge. I guess we’ll see.
But I mean, c’mon! This was way before I knew her, but, seriously, who wouldn’t want one of these??