Reflections of a Grieving Puppy Owner

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Edward the Yorkie PuppyAs a Yorkie parent for the last 6 years, I had all but forgotten what it’s like to have a new puppy. On June 24th, we made the decision to foster a puppy.

Our new little guy had just turned 12 weeks old and is a cutie to be sure. I decided to foster this handsome boy because he has high grade luxating patellas and he needed a home with someone who could care for him properly for however long it took for him learn to use his legs properly. He is really adorable and is taking to his new home very well.

The kids and I decided we wanted to live with him for a little while before giving him a name; we wanted to get to know him a little first. We spent the first few days calling him “puppy” or “little man.” On June 29th, I got the most devastating phone call of my life – my best and oldest friend had passed away suddenly that morning. The whole world stopped turning in that moment.

David and I met in August of 1994 on the first day of 9th grade. We became fast friends and attended high school and college together. We went on many adventures in our 20’s and even worked on a film together in LA one summer. He was unique, fun, loving, kind, a literal genius, and my world has been forever changed by his passing.

I’ll share with you the difference 20 years can make – this is us in 1995 and again in 2015.

Saran and David Sarah and David

Why do I share this with you? Having a new puppy while going through a terrible loss was a challenge I was not prepared for. And, while no new puppy owner wants to consider major life changes affecting their bonding with their new addition, it can happen, and you need to be prepared.

1. Have someone in mind who is willing to puppy-sit. Before you bring a new puppy home, have a mental list of people who would be willing to help out in case of extraordinary circumstances. Better yet, talk to those people and ask them if they would be willing, should anything happen. My amazing ex-boyfriend watched over my little guy for me while I was dealing with the things people do when a loved one passes away.

2. Have all the things. Be prepared from the beginning for your puppy to be able to easily stay with someone else. This list includes a crate, food, toys, bedding, puppy pads, paw wipes, food and water dishes, treats, and whatever else your new pup has become accustomed to.

3. Collar and ID tags, microchip. This is one I wish I had done, but sadly, I wasn’t prepared. Fortunately our little guy never got lost in the shuffle or ran out an open door, but it could have happened and he had no identification. I have ordered a tag from PetHub and am having him microchipped next week. The lesson here is get a collar and a tag the day you get your new pet – something simple with your phone number will suffice until you have the time to do something more permanent.

4. Preventative Health Measures. With the possibility of being moved between homes and around other pets, it’s important that your puppy is properly protected. Make sure he’s up to date on all vaccinations and is protected from fleas and ticks.

No one expects the unexpected, but it’s good to be prepared, just in case.

I’ll leave you with this. On July 3rd, I finally decided on a name for our new little guy. His name is Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor; I’ll be sending the paperwork to the AKC this week. So, why Edward? Edward VIII was King of England from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December 1936. The commonly accepted story is that he abdicated the throne for love – to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice divorced American to whom marriage was impossible as King of England. His full name was Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, and his closest family and friends called him David.


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