It happened. I went and adopted Rex. I told so many people about it that I simply had to do it. And, also, he charmed me so I had to do it.
We’ve spent the past day or so together and he’s adjusted to me quite quickly. Faster than I’ve adjusted to him. He’s figured out that I am a bestower of treats, walks and love. He seems to love sleeping on the soft surfaces of my house, the rugs, his bed, the pillow that used to be Spike’s bed. He doesn’t try to get up on the couch or my bed, which is amazing. I, in the meantime, am trying to get used to his paw prints on the floor and the driblets of water around the water bowl.
I’ve left him alone and he gets upset when I first leave. But when I get home, it seems like he’s just spent my time away snoozing, not making any trouble.
He’s gentle and goofy and friendly with every person and dog he’s encountered so far.
I look at him sleeping right now and think, “Aw. What a cutie.”
And yet, I have this lump in my heart. The lump has been the source of many tears this past day or two. I still miss Spike more than I realized.
Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with Rex. He’s a sweetie. He’s a keeper. But he’s not Spike.
That sounds stupid to say. I knew I wasn’t getting Spike when I adopted Rex. I purposely wanted a big goof with whom I could go running and who would intimidate any bad guys when I take him for walks at night because, honestly, I’m not living in the safest neighborhood.
So, I’m surprised by this lump. I’m trying to make sense of it. Am I just nervous that my day-to-day routine with Rex won’t be as easy as it was with Spike? Am I wishing that Rex were the kind of dog that could fit on my lap? (As an aside, Rex has shown no inclination to lap-sitting whatsoever. This is good since he weighs at least 50 pounds. Unlike some big dogs I know, Rex seems aware that my lap is too small and will not be very comfortable for him).
There’s a part of me that knows what the problem is. Spike was a one-person dog. He didn’t want to share me. Every time I took care of other people’s dogs, he made that very clear. He let the dog and me know that I belonged to him. So, perhaps I’m experiencing a bit of guilt that I’m letting another dog into my life. Maybe I’m feeling his posthumous jealousy.
Or maybe I’m a one-dog kind of person. I can have other dogs in my life and learn to love them, but in the end, it will always be Spike that I loved most.
I know it’s too early in my life with Rex to make that kind of statement. It’s a speculation on my part. But why else would this lump be so large and tender?
But then I look over at Rex who is passed out after our 3-mile walk this morning and I think, “Aw.” And i’m tempted to snap another photo. So, if I weren’t already enamored with Rex on some level, would I have taken so many pictures of him?