People have been so, so nice. I can't say how much I appreciate that. My back counter had flowers all over it all last week. think I could stock a florist's shop. I've gotten cards in the mail from a lot of friends, several of them here. I just... I cannot thank everyone enough, for their kind words and support. I am so, so honored that Gabriel was so well-loved, and made a lot of people proud of him (and a lot of them laugh at us.) I've had so many people say, "He had a great life," and he did. He really did, and that's lifted me up a whole lot. He was a grand dog, and a great partner, one of the best I've ever had the pleasure of working with.
Last week, we had an email from Simon's co-kennel breeder, and she offered us of the kindest things I have had someone do... I send them photos and letters on Simon just about every week. They're wonderful, wonderful people.
If we were willing to show and co-own another dog on this coast, she had a puppy who would like to come and live with us. Of course, only if we were interested, she understood we might not be ready for this. It was an amazing, generous offer. I got the email and sat there, stunned, and then called Matt at work. He's partial to brindles, while I have to say, I love the merles. ;)
Matt, is a terrible enabler. Good thing one of us knows when to stop, right? But we'd been talking about a dog for him to work with and show at some point. He points out that dog shows are better than cat shows, even if he gets more reading and Zelda games done at cat shows. Heh.
I have never, ever gone and had another dog so close after losing one. I mean, I got Gabe after Arrow was diagnosed, six years ago, but we had both the boys in the house until Ro passed. I just said we'd need a few days to think, and she totally understood.
I'd been talking to Allie, a dog-show friend of mine that I respect and adore. Before getting into Malinois, she had a Shepherd who passed suddenly as well, years and years ago. She understood what it was like to lose a heart dog, the dog that touches you in a way that other dogs just don't. Anyone who's every owned (or been owned by) any animal understands that - you get those animals in a lifetime that are your heart, your soul, that the two of you connect and click. I got home, and she'd continued on with her email, and what she said hit so close to home, and I went to bed thinking on so many things she said to me... this, especially.
The loss of a partner like Gabe in the SAR venue is more than I can probably wrap my mind around - that is something that I have not experienced and cannot begin to understand - that adds even more to your loss. But perhaps - that door has shut (again, maybe just for a little while) and the other door is opening.....??
She's right. Life is like that. Doors close, doors open. Different things at different times. Matt and I had talked to each about getting another Cardi, we're just in love with the breed. We'd expected to have four dogs in the house for the next five years, at least, if not longer. We both liked showing dogs when we were with the Shepherds, and did a lot of it, but we bought the store and it just ate me, and so did my SAR work. But now... I'm ready, and the door has opportunities that I didn't have all these years. I've met so, so many awesome and wonderful Cardi people - it's so different than the Shepherds in the show ring. Everyone is glad to share tips and tricks and help. Breeders talk about the good qualities in other kennels instead of putting them down. I love it. I just love it. It's a group of people with a breed that they love, like the Korat people. I guess uncommon breeds that are pretty much unchanged over their time attract those folks. ;)
I talked to the guys, too - and all of them understood - I'm going to take a break from being active, and do some administrative work for a while. I still want to be active in some way. I've been in it for a long, long time. However, I'm good at administration - I could do a lot of good there for a lot of people, still. I'm somehow content with that. Who knows, maybe at some point in my life a dog might fall in my lap and I start again.
So, here I am, introducing Caleb, the newest member of our CorgiCrew. Picked him up at the airport yesterday, and he's a wonderful, bold, happy, friendly puppy. He's got attitude in spades. Simon is thrilled to have someone to play with. The Pems think I've lost my mind.
Besides, maybe there's a SAR dog lurking in one of the boys. You just never know their calling. ;)