Bittersweet as always

To make it official: that cute little boy that’s been appearing in random places on the site is coming home tomorrow. His name is unofficially Chance Benedict Gibson, though I’m sure he’s got some really cool name like Dog Branch Farm’s Chance or something to indicate the awesome breeder he comes from, so that’s how I labeled him in today’s comic.

He’s got a sister of sorts (no blood relation) named Kaylee who comes home in the middle of August. At least, according to plan.

Folks who hear we’re adopting two terrier puppies generally consider us insane. And we are, but not because of the terriers. In fact, the “shorties” we’re adopting are calmer and more companion-like than your standard Parson Russell Terrier. We’re almost 100% sure that lazybutt the wonder dog was a shortie, now that we’ve seen more of them, and not the potential terrier/beagle/dachshund/corgi mix that we were wildly speculating. She sure has the described temperament, and she’s got a lot in common with Chance’s mama.

The fact is, Jess was lonely when we weren’t here. We can’t work from home every day. A dog shouldn’t have to be alone all day any more than a kid should. So by adopting two terrors, we’ll at least be ensuring they have someone to play with when we’re not home.

And hey, we live in a condo, so it’s not like they’ll be wrecking a great piece of architecture.

I miss Jessie. I miss her more tonight than I probably have in a month or two. Stuff that was hers today will be someone else’s tomorrow. Boundaries are being broken. I’d give up the opportunity two adopt a hundred puppies just to have her back with us for a few more years.

It’s supposed to be hard and it’s supposed to hurt because if it was easy and it didn’t hurt I’d have to question just how much I loved her. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck.

But she’s still here, in our hearts and our photos and, well, right now her collar’s holding my drink…. And in the meantime, we’ve got enough room in those hearts and photo albums and the rest of our lives to accommodate two more furry children, so it’s time.

And tomorrow, we get a puppy!! :)

Neither of us has ever owned a male dog before, so this is bound to be interesting. We’ve got tons and tons of toys for him, and a whole variety of treats and stuff. It’s funny — the day we adopted Jess we woke up that morning, said “Hey, want to adopt a dog?”, drove to the SPCA, and had JessieDog home before dinnertime. This time we’ve literally spent months planning, and the entire last two weeks were dedicated to cleaning and reorganizing and shopping (oh the shopping) so that our little boy will have more going for him than the “Hey Dad, can I borrow a baby gate?” approach we took with Jess. Nighthawk has observed on multiple occasions that this feels like having a baby – albeit a much less expensive, already clothed, forever-two baby that doesn’t need a college fund.

And the double-bonus is that since we know we’re getting two pups we can buy ahead a little, so things should be even easier when Kaylee flies home in August.

Or so I say now…. we’ll see what I have to say as the next week or so passes.


Last night around 10:30, JessieDog rapidly became very sick, with trouble breathing and and obvious collapse of other systems. We took her to the emergency vet, where they treated us with respect and dignity. JessieDog had just about every “side effect” of the lymphoma she’d been diagnosed with a few months ago, all at the same time, and the end of the day they said the best they could do would be hold her for 24 hours or more until they figured out whether there was even a place to start… or we could put her to sleep, because regardless of what they did, she wasn’t going to get better. She wasn’t going to come home.

We opted for comfort and love over heroic attempts to tie her down to this earth. They let us say goodbye, and let us hold her while they gave her a sedative, and she fell asleep in my arms like she was taking a very long nap. She died seconds later. That was at around 12:40 this morning.

We came home last night without our fuzzy kid, called the people who needed to be called, and finally fell asleep around 3 this morning. We didn’t try to get up until after 11 this morning, and even holding a normal conversation has been difficult at best. When one of my best friends called to tell me about the birth of his child I couldn’t even find the words or the strength to congratulate him. Every time I try to open my mouth my heart tries to strangle me.

I don’t know how long it’s going to take to feel even a little normal. It’s not going to be today.

We have comics in the queue through the 10th. I don’t know what’s going to happen between now and then, or after that. I’m not sure I feel like writing “night fugues” anymore. I don’t know how to draw Daisy without JessieDog modeling for me, and I’m not at the point where that’s possible either.

To our friends and family, thank you for everything you’ve done for us, and I love you.

She was a good dog. I couldn’t ask for anything else.