This weekend held a very unexpected turn of events. Saturday started out peacefully enough, I was attempting to let my husband sleep in, because I knew he was exhausted from the week that we had both had.
One simple phone call changed all that - instantly. I was feeding my daughter her breakfast when the phone rang... it was the woman from the St. Bernard rescue group. She said that "they have an immediate opening, and could take my Bailey immediately - either that night, or in the morning..."
The panic in my heart was instant, but on the outside I managed to remain calm. It's like I switched into "auto-pilot" and began to immediately, and rapidly do what needed to be done. I arranged for us to touch base with her later that day - and frantically began searching for a veterinarian that was open, that would take him to merely update his shots on such short notice. (I had delayed doing this until mid-August because I *knew* he would be on the waiting list until at least then.) Finally, I got in touch with our old veterinarian, that was about 20 miles away, and they said they would take him - but we had to get there now, because they too were closing.
So, by this point I had my husband up, and he was wearily drinking his morning coffee beside me. We then looked at each other with the same question on our minds... my munchkin. Fitting her, AND the dog into the car seemed nearly impossible at that moment, but we knew we both had to go because he is a huge, strong dog - who lose in a car could get wherever he wanted if an extra person was not there to control him... So, crossing our fingers I called our neighbor to see if she was available on short notice - and she was. So, here enters the first amazingly stressful moment of the day: She has never stayed with anyone but her grandma in these situations, and she is at that "stage" where she freaks around people she is not so used too... But, lacking any real choice in the matter I rapidly packed everything she may need, and more, scooped her up and walked next door... with my husband at my heels... (still very sleepy - poor guy) We handed her over, and I quickly left - just glancing behind me once to see the door already closing, and my sweet, precious baby girl's face - fear welling up in her eyes to a "oh, God, your LEAVING me here" look on her face... It took every ounce of strength I had to keep walking. I knew she would be fine - and I knew it was only for about an hour...
And I KNEW I had to snap myself back to reality and the rest of the situation at hand... right away. So we forged forward... the day was moving too fast. (Thankfully, just a few moments later as we were on our way to the veterinarian, my neighbor called and told us my baby girl was doing just fine, and happy and cheerful like always.) But I still had to figure out how we were going to get the dog upstate later... so the entire time we were at the veterinarian I was doing my best to see how the dog, baby and us could make a 120 mile trip... Thankfully my husband has a hatch back, and don't ask how but we figured out a way... and even did a "test run" on the way home from the veterinarian, just to make sure it would work with the baby in the car.
Somehow I made it through the day. I even managed to gather up in his "things" one of his stuffed toys to send along with him. When we met the woman she was very nice, and just fell in love with him. How could you not? He is a giant mush of a 160lb "teddy bear" dog. I probably should not have watched them drive away though. For the first time all day, I began to cry - though I forced it back... my sweet puppy - he happily got into the back of her SUV, she had a comfy looking comforter all laid out for him, and we closed the door... after I gave him one last hug... Good-Bye. And that was it. He looked happily at me through the window - and as they began to drive away I saw confusion enter his face - and he turned and adjusted to see me through the window once they turned... and as they got further away I saw his confusion grow - then a big truck passed between us, and I could not see their car anymore. That was it. It was done. My Bailey, was gone.
The magnitude of it all did not hit me Saturday, and I forced myself through Sunday without thinking twice... until I checked my e-mail Sunday night. The woman from the rescue group sent me the nicest e-mail, telling me how wonderful he did the night before and that day... and she sent pictures of him all freshly groomed... and I realized... he was so happy there. They were going to take excellent care of him, and he was so very happy... and I was bawling on my husband's shoulder. I was relieved he was gone, thankful he was happy, and missing him terribly all at once. I would never give my big "teddy bear" a hug again... but, he was with someone that will give him twenty hugs a day more that I could have...