But I love that goofy-looking guy. Snoring and farting and all. He possesses a certain charm. Really.
His torn ACL created a real problem for us, because even though he didn't seem to be suffering with it, he needed a lot more pampering and a lot less playing.
"Less playing" is hard to accomplish in our house.
My husband decided that Pops needed to have a "retirement home." It was not an easy decision.
Have I told you how much that man adores that bulldog?
It's serious. Like, total adoration, people.
We posted Pops' info on some rescue sites, and good grief, if we didn't get every wackadoo person (ok, some of them were probably nice) emailing and calling!
Heaven help anyone using online dating if trying to find a normal-ish person for our bulldog is so ridiculous. That's all I can say.
Last week, in the midst of all this home-hunting for Pops, we very spontaneously welcomed a new member to our family: Rigby Donkey Doodle Wheeler. Rigs is a Goldendoodle puppy. He is a hoot.
For a few days, we had all 3 dogs, and really truly they did great. Pops is a natural with "kids." He didn't care if Rigby was in his crate or pestering him. I should learn to be more like Pops.
Last week we found a really perfect home for Poppa through a couple friends. Our kids said goodbye, and we took photos that no one can possibly see without choking up. My hubby and I drove Pops to his new mama on Sunday.
It's really hard to let go.
In our hearts, we sometimes know it's time to make a change.
To move through one season into the next.
To let go of something or someone important.
It's not easy stuff.
My phone buzzes that a new text arrived.
I click to open the message.
I see a bulldog lounging on a bean bag chair, snuggled up with baby blankets.
He's in a barn, watching his mama work.
I read the message.
He sleeps in her bed (she is a saint to be willing to sleep within 45 feet of his snoring).
He loves going to work with her.
I remember the things about Pops that make me smile. His squinchy face. His patience with puppies and children. His high maintenance emotions. His trotting after my husband outside every summer, admiring him as he works.
His bulldog smile.
Pops climbing up the steps of the slide so he could slide down. Over and over.
Sometimes thinking about him makes me tearful. (Ok, most of the time.)
And Rigby can't fill Pops' shoes. He isn't here to do that.
No one can ever fill an empty space that someone else leaves.
Our kids and ourselves, we just have to walk this out.
Silly 'doodle antics are fun, and we are enjoying all the good stuff going on here.
Puppies will add sparkle to the day like nothing else.
Goodbyes can live alongside hellos, and we just live with "both, and" not "either, or."
We have to feel our feelings, I think, in order to move forward.
We're working on adapting to changes here.
We're learning to think about what's best more than what's easy.
Is there something YOU are working on letting go of? Is there a change going on in your life? What are some of the "goodbyes" and some of the "hello's" you have made?