Not entirely true. I’m in the second half of my life. Children pleasantly grown. A grandchild who does occupy a larger than imagined space in my heart. And as of this week, a rescue dog who needs us (hubs and I) as much as we needed him. Roscoe.
We said goodbye to Waffles the wonder dog, a 16yo Lhasa Apso rescue who filled, and overflowed, our empty nest. As we moved through the pandemic, he took over cruise director status. He moved us throughout our days, spending time by my desk downstairs as I wrote, and equal time in Art’s upstairs office as he zoomed office meetings and managed his job. In the evening, after a respite in the descending light on the sunporch, he’d nudge us to the living room for a few select TV shows. FBI. Rescue 911 (appropriate for a rescue but sometimes cloyingly overwrought). Antiques Roadshow. Guy Fieri.
We lost him to age, after almost 14 years together. For a week, we sobbed as we surveyed our too empty rooms. Silence crushed us.
And then, Roscoe happened. A rescued rescue. Sort of a Lhasa mix, with a bulldog underbite and scruffy hair that was shaved in patches as he was administered IV, neutered, on feeding tube. He survived, only to be quickly rejected by his first adopters. We stepped up this week, but it wasn’t any week. I was at my annual writing retreat on the Massachusetts shoreline. A decades-long gathering of women creatives, it is an anchor for my creative soul.
The clash of what I need and what this scrappy little being needed was real. I’m a mother. I lived the years of children first. I am also needy myself for vindication of my lonely profession. From a year that held too many challenges (auto accident and concussion; barotrauma on international flight with hearing injury; surgery with complications). I was ready, far beyond ready, to stare at the ocean and work through my work in progress. To progress my work to pitch to agents. To believe, again.
Art stepped up and managed the drive to Brooklyn, NY, Small Bites Rescue, to bring Roscoe home. Then things got complicated. I wanted to be there as he settled in for his first night. I drove back and forth, nights at home as Roscoe learned that some people really loved him and wanted him. Back to my retreat during the days. It’s the last day, because I’m cutting my time here short.
I know there are young mothers these days who bemoan the demands. I loved the hours, nights. Every minute, with my two daughters. I set aside writing for a few years so that I could figure out how to mother. I’ve reached a place in life where I believe that sentient beings are not limited to humans. Roscoe deserves what we can give him. My fractured self will heal.
Today, the tears and tears are painful.
I’ve marked next year on the calendar. Considering two weeks instead of one.