It has been a long, long few months here. The beginning of October started a landslide of unfun that has, finally, mercifully, stopped earlier this month. It began with our very favorite dog, in 15 years of raising puppies, waking up one morning in pain. From there, things compounded weekly. Multiple visits to the vet clinic weekly, emergency visits thrown in for good measure, infections, loss of puppies, laser treatments... It was hard. It was hard to watch. It was hard to endure. It was hard hoping that, perhaps, the poor dog would just quietly die in her sleep rather than wake up to more debilitating pain the next day, and hard feeling horribly guilty for thinking this. It was hard hearing she needed emergency surgery that had a 25% chance of saving her life, but without it she'd die within 24 hours. God is good, and cares for our animals, too. Prayers alone saved that dog, because the incredibly skilled vet that opened her up and saved her life said that she really did nothing, yet the dog made a miraculous turn-around. That dog now lives with one of my vet techs, because she needed spayed and was retired from breeding. That, too, hurt, having my favorite dog no longer with me, but she is in a home with so much love and excellent skilled care, and it's reassuring to know that it's the best place for her.
And then, because all that wasn't enough, another dog not only wasn't expecting when we thought she was, but instead had a uterine infection that required an emergency spay to save her as well. She's made a fine recovery, and thankfully that ended our long, long weeks of medical nightmares with the dogs. This has left us with half the dogs we once had. We are now down to two girls and one boy. In the midst of all this, we had sold a backup male we had because we realized that we didn't need two boys when we only had two girls left.
I've been raising dogs for 15 years. I've seen my fair share of hard times. I grew up on a dairy farm. Bad things happen when live animals are involved, because living things are all destined to begin dying from the day they are born. Some struggle and suffer more than others, and that's the way life is. I'm a realist in this aspect. But the last few months broke me. It broke us. Sam and I have decided that we are not replacing the girls that we had to retire, hence selling the extra male. If the dogs we currently have can't or don't have puppies, we simply won't have puppies. That's the point we've reached here. We're treading water until we can figure out the next step. And we're okay with whatever the future holds, although to be completely honest, if I never have puppies again, I'll miss them immensely.
So, that brings me to the whole point of this dialogue. Once our current puppies go, we'll have a spare dog crate in the house, and I don't know what to do with this. For years, I bemoaned the fact that dog crates just take up so much space, and they're hard to decorate around, and they look so unsightly. I trolled Pinterest, looking for ways to incorporate crates into decor to be a bit stylish. I experimented with this furniture arrangement and that. After years and years and years, and a few furniture changes, I have finally reached the point where 4 dog crates fit into our decor without being too terribly unsightly or noticeable. They are filling otherwise awkward and empty spaces, because they can. Those 4 crates just fit. And we only have 3 dogs. And you know what? I think I'm going to keep that extra crate, because after all those years, I would have no idea what to do with empty space. Nor which crate to take away.
Or perhaps I should turn to Pinterest again to see how to actually decorate like a normal person, whose home isn't overrun by the canine crew.