Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lost and Found - Part 1

What do you do when a beloved animal dies
(our sweet Miss Lass)
that has a special place in your heart?

Well if you are me, and your special loss was a rescue, you notify the rescue group from where you got her. Why? Well, maybe because I know that as a person who has fostered animals before, I always enjoy finding out the good (and the sad) of these animals. It helps to validate my feelings of hopefully helping the animal in some small way. With Miss. Lass, we had a lot of support from our rescue group during some difficult times. They were very appreciative of the email and offered such nice words of comfort for our efforts and our loss.

Sitting at my desk on Tuesday night, looking at Lass' ABCA pedigree papers, I took serious notice for the first time, the previous owner's name. Being the geek that I am, I decided to google the name. I got a hit, and not only did I get a direct hit, I got an email address with it. What to do? What were my feelings? My heart was racing. Do I send an email? What would they think? Would they welcome the information that she lived a long and happy life. Would it stir up emotions in them that they cared not to revisit? Were they a heartless, selfish person who threw away many other things in their life, like they "threw away" their dog..Who was this person? When we got Miss Lass from rescue, we only knew that she was given up because the girlfriend of the owner did not like the dog.. We looked at each other and said "NOT LIKE THIS DOG? How could that be, this sweet sweet animal?"

Miss Lass changed our lives. She challenged us to search the depths of our beings to understand what a committment to an animal meant. Thank goodness we (Steve and I) were both on the same page when it came to Miss Lass. If anything, Steve was even more adamant about her than I was. I will always think of that when I want some sort of gauge of his depth of love for this or any of our animals. Now don't get me wrong.. she didn't change our lives in such a way as to permanently hinder us in anything going forward. But for the last 7 years we have not been able to be away from home together more than 4-5 hours at a time. We always had to be aware of the weather too, lest we be away and a thunderstorm occurred. But we adapted and really didn't feel it was much of an imposition except when there were times we got the itch to travel again. It was hard for us to believe our last trip together was in 2001.

I sent the email. A short, somewhat curt email, that asked if this was the correct party that gave up Miss Lass to rescue in 1998. If this was the party to whom I was emailing, I said I didn't know if they would be interested in knowing that we had adopted the animal, loved her very much and had her for almost 10 years and that we had to put her down. I said there was no need for a response to the email.. I didn't want the recipient to feel obligated to engage in a dialogue. I probably put that last statement in as much for me as for the recipient because I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing. What did I hope to accomplish by sending this email? I didn't really think this through. I just knew I was hurting for a dog that I loved very much and I was home alone and spending a lot of time thinking about her and I really wished Steve was home to give me the hugs that I know we both could use.

The next morning, I received a reply...I was suprised and I think you will be too..but first I need to answer their reply before I continue this post.. that is why this is Part 1..

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