Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Big Shoes to Fill

It’s hard to believe that it was only two months ago when I first decided to start my previous blog, originally titled “A New Life for Lexie,” with the intention of documenting my beloved 9 year-old Doberman’s full recovery and adjustment to blindness after undergoing a bilateral enucleation (surgical removal of the eyes).   Unfortunately, Lou’s story did not have the happy ending that I had expected (quite the opposite, in fact).  While I welcome you to read my previous blog in order to get the full back-story, I will warn you that it is not a very happy read.  Justin and I, as well as all of Lexie’s other friends and family, had to finally say good-bye to our sweet Lou on July 26, 2012.   

I was so devastated by Lexie’s passing that for the first few days afterwards, it almost felt like actual physical pain.   I couldn’t believe how much it hurt, and after the third day of grieving this way, I decided that I simply had to do something to try to kick-start the healing process.  Justin had mentioned the idea of looking for a new Doberman puppy.  He feared that our house would feel empty without a big Dobe personality to balance out the lazy, super-chilled personalities of our other two dogs, Jocie (a 12 year-old Border Collie mix) and Sam (an 11 year-old Coonhound/Rottweiler mix).  Justin also thought that having a new puppy to raise would be a good distraction from our grief and would undoubtedly bring some fun and positivity back into our lives. 

I resisted the idea at first because I wasn’t sure if my heart was ready to love another Doberman so soon after losing my Lou, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Justin was probably right.  Besides, for the last two and a half years, Justin has been a wonderful “adoptive dad” to my three girls (Jocie, Sam, and Lexie), but he has also mentioned on a few occasions that he would love to be able to adopt a new puppy together someday.   Well, Sunday, July 29, 2012 turned out to be that day.

We drove 4.5 hours to Celina, Ohio to meet the breeders, Megan and Randy, whom I found through the eBay Classifieds.  The drive there was an emotional roller coaster ride for me.  One minute I felt excited about adopting a new Doberman, but then the next minute I felt a little guilty about bringing a rambunctious little puppy into Sam and Jocie's lives so soon after Lexie had passed.  Justin kept assuring me that Sam and Jocie would eventually adjust to having a puppy around, but I knew we were probably in for a bumpy adjustment period.  The closer we got to Celina, however, those feelings of fear and guilt were replaced with nervousness and excitement knowing that we were about to pick out our new little Dobe babe!

Now, I don’t know if you guys understand how much I LOVE Doberman puppies, but let’s just say that the mere sight of a photograph of a Dobe pup sends me into fits of silent screaming and pulling at my hair.   So, with that in mind, try to imagine my reaction as I stood in front of Megan and Randy's garage when the door lifted open and released a stampede of adorable little 6 week-old, black and tan Doberman puppies!!!!   I think I actually died a little from cuteness overload.  It was ridiculous.

Anyway, after I was revived (kidding), I asked which puppies were female, and the first one they handed me was Margot.  She was BEAUTIFUL!  Honestly, as soon as Margot laid those big, soulful brown eyes on me, I couldn't even look at any of the other puppies.  Then, Megan told me that this puppy was the runt of the litter, which was just the icing on the puppy cake, as far as I was concerned, because Lexie had also been a runt.  I let Margot give me a few kisses before I handed her over to Justin while giving him "The Look."  As soon as he held her, she immediately began giving him kisses, too, and just like that we were both instantly in love. 

Now, a week and a half later, I cannot tell you how much this rotten little scoundrel has helped both Justin and I in terms of grieving Lexie.  I still miss Lexie tremendously and think about her every single day, but I no longer feel like I’m drowning in that sadness.  Hell, I don’t have time to!  Have you ever tried keeping up with a 6-8 week-old puppy?!?!  Not only that, but Justin was absolutely right about a new puppy bringing that fun, positive energy back into our house.  Margot is the most fun!

Shortly after we brought Margot home, someone suggested I start a new blog all about raising her, but I wasn't really sure if this experience warranted a whole new blog.  I mean, it’s not like Justin and I are the first couple in the world to ever raise a Doberman puppy.  However, my mind changed this past weekend when we took Margot for her first check-up with Dr. Ginger Ellis, our incredibly caring vet who also took care of Lexie.  As soon as Dr. Ellis saw Margot, she grinned, lowered her face close to Margot’s, and said quietly, “You’ve got some big shoes to fill, pup,” all while scratching her gently behind her floppy little ears.   It moved me to tears, and it also made me realize that there actually is more to our story than just "raising Margot."

So, my intention for this blog is to not only chronicle the daily the ups and downs of raising a crazy little Doberman puppy, but to also document how, over time, our little Margot will undoubtedly rise to the challenge of “filling Lexie’s shoes."  Although Lou can never be replaced, Margot has already managed to find a very special place in our hearts.

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