I have a confession to make: I think I'm a little obsessed.
It's not an everyday occurence, and it's not something that affects my work or sleep or anything like that, but I do wonder if it's healthy.
I can't stop thinking about Poppet. The anniversary of his passing is the 28th of this month...maybe that's what is making it harder here lately. I still cry every now and then, which I think is normal. However, what I don't think is healthy is my obsession to "see him again."
I keep scouring dog breeder sites to find a chi that looks like him. I see him in Pearl sometimes. She has a lot of his quirks. The high drive for food. The old ruse of seeking affection from me to make Tilly jealous and lure her away from a treat. The fascination in children on bicycles. LOL The pudgy but healthy body...I think some people refer to it as cobby? She's sort of built like him and has his bodytype (thicker and bigger in the front chest area...sort of barrel shaped) and his beautiful chi head. However, her ears are longer, her legs are longer, and her eyes lack that beautiful non-reflective pool of complete black that made his face so hypnotic. She's also not as fearless as he was. Actually, she's a bit of a chicken. But maybe I'm being unfair because I've yet to come across any dog with his heart.
About once a week I check out various dog breeder sites. Looking mostly for those beautiful eyes. Hoping for a complete package. Wondering if I'd clear out my savings to have someone like him and easily answering "yes."
I have three dogs now. One more than I'm even comfortable with, but I keep looking.
I even kick myself for not preserving genetic material so I could have the future option of having him cloned. As if I could ever afford the price tag. But I wonder if I did have part of him, would I furiously save year after year until it was a possibility? I don't know. It seems awful to think that I'd be willing to spend so much money on a copy in nothing but looks when there are so many dogs out in the world suffering. Yet I can't keep wishing that I had done it.
I've even thought of posting on this board and asking people to help me look for a white chi with short-ish ears, short legged and cobby body, perhaps with a brown spot or two, and huge doll-like black eyes. There's even been a member or two who have dogs that have these traits, and it's only shame that keeps me from asking about their breeder.
It's been a year. Isn't time supposed to make things better? So far all I've done is stop crying everyday. I still miss him terribly and think of him all of the time. Sometimes it's the should have/would have/could have moments where I beat myself up for every minute I didn't appreciate him or moments where I should have been kinder to him or things I could have done to prolong his life. Maybe the one benefit from all of this is that I'm a much better owner since his passing. Those thoughts keep me in tuned with my dogs' needs and lend me a patience with them that I never had before.
I have two lovely new chis, and while I care for them, I still find them lacking in personality and more like pets than anything else. While a better owner in the sense that I'm more attuned to their needs and try to give them all they could want, I don't love them like I did Poppet. It's not even close. And that makes me feel like crap. We've settled into a nice and comfortable routine together, but I'm not fulfilled or excited about them. My phone calls with friends aren't filled with stories of the antics they've done. My posts here, after all the behavior problems were fixed or dealt with, have whittled down to nothing. I use to be the type of fur-mommy that would interject stories about her "kids" into every conversation and every post. Now, nothing...even my friends have noticed.
I have dogs again, but they're just that. Dogs. And while I mourn Poppet, I also mourn the love I had for him, and I wonder if that ability to love so strongly died with him.
And so I keep browsing the ads, wondering if I can get it back if I find just that right chi.
Pretty desperate and pathetic, huh?