I have been having lots of good days, but some less so. Today, for reasons I cannot completely articulate, I felt sort of skewered and sad from the moment I woke up. My parents took Botany out for the afternoon while I worked on packing up boxes for the move. I made good progress for awhile, but eventually ran out of steam, finding myself sitting on the floor of the study, sifting through eight years worth of photographs with a dull pain in my chest.
Several people have inquired about the whereabouts of Little Guy- one person is even having weird dreams about him! I know I haven't said anything specific about where the dog fits into the breakup equation- mainly because it pains me greatly to discuss it. But, as long as I am already in a maudlin mood, I might as well explain.
The thing is, I couldn't keep Little Guy. It simply wasn't do-able for me at this point- not with my job and having to take care of Botany on my own. Little Guy, while a sweet and delightful companion, is also a hell of lot of work. He requires a great deal of exercise and attention; it was OK as long as he had his lunchtime outing with the dogwalker followed by a big walk in the evening with E. But the latter obviously wasn't going to be possible now for me to do. And it seemed grossly unfair to expect LG to have one relatively short walk a day, especially since the dogwalker was in the habit of keeping him on the lead, owing to some bad behaviour. Actually, there were a couple of behavioural worries emerging; for example, the barking, especially at night, was getting to be a real problem. Worse, it was becoming very difficult to keep LG away from the baby as Botany increased her mobility; there were a couple of incidents between the two of them that made us a little nervous.
The upshot is that we were on the verge of getting the dog some much needed behavioural training when everything capsized between E. and myself. Unfortunately, Little Guy and the demands of giving him what he needs is just more than I can take on right now. E.'s work schedule and current living arrangements simply don't enable him to have the dog, either, much as I think he would like to.
So, Little Guy has gone to stay with E.'s parents for the time being. In many ways, it's the ideal set up for the dog; he gets plenty of exercise as they take him on lovely walks in the woods and on the beach, or he can romp to his heart's content in their large garden. They have another elderly dog, whom Little Guy adores and the two pooches play happily together all day. We hear reports that he is calmer, more settled, eating well, in a good routine. They send me nice pictures of LG lying on his special beanbag, blissfully asleep and looking happy. He is happy, I believe. I'm glad about that, and I'm relieved.I smile when I think of my puppy running like the wind down the beach, contented. I realise that he is probably in a much better situation than being cooped up in the house all day competing with Botany for a scrap of my time and attention, with me hush hushing him all evening when the barks burst out.
But of course, I am deeply sad as well; he's my little buddy and I loved him like a member of my now disintegrated family. Not having my dog around anymore is one more painful loss to add to the pile. And some days, like today, it can very hard to box it all up- to put aside the package of what was my life with E., Botany and Little Guy- and move on to what lies ahead.