Almost two and a half months now since the beginning of the year and Breeze’s passing. I can think about him without that horribly sharp pang of pain, but often I flash back to that first seizure on our walk. The cold sweat that immediately gripped me as my brain assumed the worst. It always does, but this time it was right. Just like it was right when Ringo started limping for no obvious reason. Of course, I have no doubt been wrong several times as well. But with Breeze…its odd, I don’t know if it was because of the surgeries for his knees and the cancer scare last autumn (that one turned out to be nothing, though), but for the last year or two I felt this almost painfully strong attachment to him. I’d often hug him in that way you do when you’re scared of losing something, as if you could hold on by hugging. I’d also feel scared that I was too happy, that things were too perfect now that I had Elio, two wonderful dogs and a horse. I am sure everyone gets these feelings, but I often get stuck in them. Well, that’s depression and incurable pessimism for you, when you feel good you are always waiting for something to go wrong.
The almost manic drive to do things that I experienced during the first weeks has faded. But hey, at least I got quite far with the website restructuring. The last weeks, I have kept myself very busy training Winter and he’s made som excellent progress. He definitely misses Breeze, he may not check for him any more but he wants our company even more than before. Becoming the oldest (and only) dog in the household has also meant that our previously very puppyish boy has matured suddenly, both physically and mentally. Training him is pure joy right now, he just wants to please me and his ability to focus has improved a lot (within reason for a boxer, that is!). I imagine some of the progress is due to having just one dog to focus on, but that is far from the whole story, he really has changed a lot. He was always softer and more willing to please than Breeze, but he was also quite a ditzy puppy even at almost two years old.
But while I love training him, I am still finding it hard to enjoy walks with just one dog. There Breeze’s absence is too keenly felt. And so I agonize over when we should get another dog. When, not if, for sure. We don’t have any children, the dogs are what complete our family, and for me two dogs made it feel more like a family. I am not sure why, plenty of people have one child, but that’s how it felt. Still, Winter does need to fully find his footing as the older dog, so there’s less risk of a conflict when the younger dog starts maturing. I hope Winter will be able to do as good a job of raising a puppy as Breeze did, but perhaps he needs a little more time for that as well. I really don’t want to wait much longer than the end of the year…but since I don’t just want any random puppy, you never know how long it will take. I don’t think I will ever get one quite as beautiful as Breeze again, he had a gorgeous head and the most wonderful expression (yes, I would sometimes just sit and stare at my dog), but I do love showing so I am going to be picky when it comes to conformation. Health too, of course, that’s a given. And solid mentality and working ability; I don’t think I am the kind of person who is likely to be able to take a dog to the highest level, so maybe I don’t need the very best working dog out there, but I do love training as well.
We’ll see. Right now is too soon, at least, both for me and Winter.