One of Stinky Wink's favorite games (until about the last month of his life) was tug of war. He would play that with any toy that was big enough for both of us to hold. There was one toy especially, which had a "handle" on it. I would hold the handle and he would get the bigger part in his mouth. I was always amazed at what a strong little booger he was. He would plant those back legs and there was no moving him! I was inevitably the first to "give in." From the first day, he loved to play and he loved his toys. That never changed until he got terribly sick. The same was true of "walkies." Up until the last couple of weeks, it was impossible to wear him out on walks. If I ever doubted that I made the right decision, I knew down deep that I had made not only the right one, but the only possible one. His quality of life was gone. He was in pain, and he was miserable. Looking in his eyes told me and, as usual...he won the tug of war--this time between his welfare and my heart. As weak as he was, he was still stronger than I was.
I faced another tug of war the past few weeks. As my grief became more manageable, I began to think about another puppy to fill the emptiness in the house and start its own place in our hearts. The inevitable tug of war between my heart and my head kicked in. Part of me (heart) told me that it was too soon, that it was an insult to Wink, that I was too old--all the excuses that would keep me from moving ahead from the spot of grief where I was bolted. My head (for once) was practical. My head told me all the right things and reminded me that my heart wasn't wrong--just a bit misguided because it still ached from the loss of my besses puppo. I know what Wink would want. He was always right there when I felt "down" or just needed the encouragement that comes from a cold nose on the arm and the feel of silky ears between my fingers and a warm coat to brush. He would not want us to avoid getting another puppy out of some misplaced sense of loyalty. The breeder called me last night. Mama had four boys and a girl. She actually had five boys, but the first one didn't make it. I'm going next Tuesday to see them. Wink is still the tug of war champ! My beloved besses puppo, your place in our hearts will never change. Thank you for the years of happiness and peace you brought us. Your love and dedication were very often a beacon to me...and still are.