How soon to get a replacement puppy?
Its been two months since we lost our beloved Golden Doodle of almost 15 years. We got him at 8 weeks and I remember well the all night crying, the housetraining and the chewing phases. I was a lot younger then and I'm wondering if we are crazy considering looking at dogs this soon after losing our boy.
I'm wondering why I keep bouncing back and forth between scouring the puppy listings and the shelters and rescue sites thinking about taking the plunge with telling myself it is too soon and that waiting would be good for us both. I've waffled with adopting or fostering an older dog but the lure of a young pup to train from the ground up is there too.
My H misses having a pet more than I do, but he is much busier than I am with work, so the training and parenting will fall largely on me. I'm still a little numb, still getting through a weak R process, just over a long bout with COVID and wondering if we need a longer break from pet ownership to do some dog free travel, and maybe establish a new normal for the true empty nest version of us before we throw the mayhem of a new pet into our lives. The old relationship dynamic is that I am risk averse and slow to pull the trigger, so the last dog was a surprise he bestowed upon me as I was burying my father and he was shopping for a girlfriend, so the dog thing is a little triggering. I worry that the dog will just be another distraction to keep us from addressing the relationship issues he doesn't want to deal with, but I also know that a new addition to the family would give us something to bond over. I am a nurturer, so when we do get a new dog I know it will get a huge chunk of my heart.
How soon is too soon to replace a dog you loved so much? Our neighbors are finally replacing theirs lost over a year ago and are really trying to get us to adopt a litter mate so they can grow up together. I'm torn in every direction, but that is looking like my new normal these days.
Looking for feedback to help me make sense of my emotions from those with multiple breaks in their hearts. Thanks.
23 comments posted: Wednesday, November 30th, 2022
Losing a pet, covid and other woes…
Is Off Topic the place for this? I don’t know but I just wanted to invite some nice people to my pity party. I know a few of us have had to say goodby to our sweet fur babies lately and it is so hard. I have a lot going on that’s making this feel overwhelming though.
My WH had to travel for the first time in 2 1/2 years to the location of his last trip with MOW, on the anniversary of DDay, and he brought back Covid and gave it to me, after all my vigilance and anxiety to steer clear. I had the updated booster a week before he got home, but am still fighting the head cold symptoms and headaches two weeks later, and of course he was fine after a few days. Our beloved almost 15 year old golden doodle had been struggling with arthritis, incontinence and finally a horrific autoimmune skin disease that left him a pile of bloody abscesses. It was awful and time to put him down and it was very hard, even though I had a lot of time to know it had to be done and to try to come to terms with it. I haven’t had to help a pet cross over in a very long time, and the memory of saying goodbye is haunting me, more so than my quiet empty house. At least his last few days were filled with all the love and care I could give him, and he had some fun, happy moments to the end. But I wish I hadn’t had to say goodbye through a soggy KN 95 mask.
Also, I wrenched my back lifting him the last day he was with us and I can’t do much of anything I want to without pain right now. I’m trying to focus on healing in every direction, but I’m a bit overloaded, with ripples of infidelity, triggery dates and locations, covid symptoms, back pain and missing my sweet, loving boy, all within a couple of weeks. I am allowed to feel a little sorry for myself right? Strange that my WH was a wreck over the dog, and instead of feeling sympathy, I felt annoyed that he couldn’t shed a few tears over the demise of our relationship or my pain. I felt petty and envious, but I think I’m over that now, and we are leaning in to each other in our grief. But. The empty house has me very much feeling like something that was helping hold us together is gone and I am a bit more unmoored than normal.
Any others lose a pet and have it ripple into some existential relationship moments? I’m trying to channel my weirdness and sorrow into thoughts of all the things I’m free to do now that I’ve caught Covid and can stop freaking out about travel, and the freedom the end of caregiving brings. It’s very bittersweet. We have agreed that we will take a year or so to do all the things we wanted to do but could not with our aging dog before considering another pet to love. This boy was special and deserves a long mourning period. I pick his ashes up this week and am thinking we might plant them with a tree in his honor, as well as sprinkle a few on his favorite places to walk. I don’t want them sitting around in a cupboard or urn, that just seems unresolved somehow.
Thanks for letting me wallow in my pity for a few minutes and share my list of woes. Sometimes complaining helps a little.
11 comments posted: Monday, October 3rd, 2022
Anybody else confused by word choices?
We continue to lurch through our recovery, finally managing a somewhat productive conversation about the affair that didn't degrade into emotional overloaded shouting matches on both sides. However...
This week I asked a question from the BS to WS forum - was there a time when the switch went off in your head and you realized the hurt and damage you did to us and to me?
His answer: I didn't think anybody would be so hurt by it.
My reply: Anybody? Who else was hurt? Your MOW? Where there others involved I don't know about?? What other bodies???
His response: No, I meant you.
Mine: Then why didn't you say that, why say anybody instead of you? I'm sitting right here.....
His response: I don't know.
My response: Well. If you didn't know that I would be devastated by your betrayal and lying and all the choices you have made since discovery then you don't know me at all.
His response: Silence.
My response: Most WS take a year or three to have the reality and the fallout catch up and for them to realize what they have done. I'm worried that you will never get there.
His response: We are going to be fine.
My response: Silence and deep confusion. I am clearly not fine, not by a long shot.
Anyway. This conversation won't stop rattling around in my brain and I am really hung up on being referred to as anybody.
We have had many conversations where I stop him from answering specific questions with generalizations because that doesn't work for me and it is a trigger. I keep redirecting to the specifics of us, and our situation, and can't accept vague or obtuse answers. It makes me feel like he is still manipulating me and the flow of information. At the least, he is not putting a lot of thought into his responses.
My thoughts are that he is still abstracting or objectifying me and the A, and this is just further evidence he is a long way from accepting his actions and reaching remorse and empathy. Or evidence he is still compartmentalizing the A. He tries very hard to not talk about it and plays the I don't remember or none of that matters or that's all in the past cards. I won't play that game until it's in my past too, and I am on the slow train. His stance is that I overanalyze everything and make a big deal out of word choices. But I think a therapist would pick up on the distance he creates with his responses. Maybe it's a safety feature in his brain when things get close to painful truth to create some distance, as though he observed this happening and didn't cause it. I don't know.
Am I reading too much into word choice here? Anybody else have a spouse that uses confusing words to answer simple questions? Should I let this one go? Right now, I can't because it feels like it means something important, but I don't know what.
34 comments posted: Wednesday, December 8th, 2021
Shoulder Surgery Worries
Just a vent here. I'm having surgery Friday for an old rotator cuff partial tear that I completely tore gardening last year when I moved from the soft soil of the midwest to this rocky hell. Moving a house and business on our own helped complete that tear, and bone spurs are shredding things up too, so it really has to be fixed. But, I HATE surgery. Procedures. Needles. All of it. I've had other surgeries, but none involving major joints and bones and I am very anxious. I had it scheduled for November, but the pain became too much so I moved it up. Then the delta Covid blew up and hospitals overflowed and I freaked out about the exposure risk, esp. the post surgical PT, so this is my third and final scheduled date. I'm doing it, I'm mentally prepared for the surgery and the recovery pain, but the closer the date gets the more screwed up I am getting in my head.
The problem is not the surgery, but the idea of being so dependent on my H to take care of me. I know he wants to, I know he is able, but the idea of needing him is overwhelming me. We permanently moved here five months ago, so my normal network of friends is eleven hours away. My family is farther. My new neighbors/friends are awesome and will do anything for me, but I have a really hard time accepting help from others, always have, always will. I have a harder time asking for help more than once, and by the time I have to ASK again, I'm usually in a very self pity frame of mind with a splash of rage thrown in. Add the cherry on top of my R struggles and I'm a big fat mess.
Last night, our Anniversary I didn't really want to celebrate, but he needed to, some old resentments came up. WH is self employed, a one man show, and COVID has made his workload crazy. He has "scheduled" time off as much as a self employed person can. But he started this business when I was pregnant with our first 25 years ago, and although he meant to be there for me, work kept pulling him away, leaving me feeling both weak for wanting help and resentful for not getting it. I made do. Second kid, he was so busy, he dropped me and new baby off at home from the hospital and went back to work. I'm still a bit bitter about that one. He just assumes all will be well and I will call if I need anything. Not totally his fault, I am one fierce wild woman who has been strong, capable and fearless all her life until motherhood softened me and adultery and betrayal broke me. I feel at my weakest right now, and really struggling with needing anyone, let alone him, but he is my only option in this scenario. I know that it's never going to be me but work, ie $$$ as the priority. It has never been mine. I came from nothing, he came from everything, and I have so much more than I could ever want or need, and he will never have enough. Opposites attract, yes?
My last surgery in 2012 I had a lot of my innards removed and stitched up and I planned in advance and told my teenagers/husband what to expect and how they'd need to help me. Some days I had to text them to ask them to remember that I needed to eat too. I could hear them home from school or work, in the kitchen, but nobody would think to check on me for way too long to feel cared for. It was hard, but I learned I am tough and resilient, and that they love me in other ways besides caretaking. I also learned my WH was pretty busy with his LT girlfriend while I was sick and healing and that reframes a lot of my resentment about that time in my life.
Now, here I am, far away from everyone else I could count on and I can't articulate what I am feeling about needing him and relying on him. He's crazy busy and yesterday suggested we run an errand together Friday. No can do, I said, do you even know why? We will be two hours from here at a hospital, that's why. Oh yeah, right. DUH. I know where this is heading. I'll feel pressure to man up, tough it out, do for myself so he can go be the breadwinner, even though we have all the bread we need. Knowing him, he won't notice if there is actual bread to eat in the house until he goes to make a sandwich. So I'm stocking up, filling the freezer so at least there will be food. And I've had a month to become a lefty as best I can at this old age, so it won't be so hard having my dominant hand strapped to my waist for six weeks.
I'm trying to do all I can to prepare, including telling him that I expect this to go like the last three times. Didn't go well, he was either crushed or pissed, I can't really tell any more. I know I'll have to ask for what I need, he just isn't wired to anticipate or to caretake or nurture, and that is really all I am on the inside, a caretaker for others, and I suck at doing it for myself. He is very concerned for me, and encouraged me to get the surgery so I can heal. I think maybe a piece of me wishes he was as worried about my emotional health as my orthopedic health. If you've read any of my other stuff, you know he's not a great R role model, he's one of those robotic, spectrum people that can be incredibly difficult to negotiate, and he has made healing very hard for me. I think I'm lumping some of my frustration with the state of our R into my surgery anxiety. I am by no means healed from my upended life and I just don't need this on my plate right now, but here I am.
Anyway, I have three days left to prepare and all I can do today is cry. A lot. WTH. I'm not asking for suggestions, really, I know all will work out, I'll get through. I know my WH can be a clueless, selfish shit. Obviously. He means well, but he doesn't have all the tools in his kit. My lovely new friends will be there for me, and just the kind offers and concern from them make me cry. I guess I can spend some of my down time trying to figure out what my damage is and get over myself and my inability to ask for, or easily accept help. It's ok to need people, but hard to do when you have let yourself and been disappointed. And maybe I can do a little work on my pessimism too.
All I can do is hope this passes quickly, hope the pain meds work and I can make it another decade before I need anyone to help me with anything like this again. And I really hope the surgery leaves me better than it found me. I'd really like to use my right arm again.
Thanks for listening.
3 comments posted: Tuesday, October 5th, 2021