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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Waiting to Adopt Our New Dog

Our beloved Irish setter, Saylor April Song, died on Sunday, December 4, 2011 after a short illness with pneumonia and newly diagnosed diabetes. She was eight years old--too young to leave us so soon. When our breeder heard of our loss, she offered to give us a four year old female, related to Saylor through their paternal side. She is Singer, a Canadian champion, who needed a new home because she doesn't fit in with the breeding program. We accepted, ambivalently at first (no one can replace Saylor) but now are looking forward to receiving her the day after Christmas.

We have a cat, Dakota, who is used to a rollicking Irish setter. He helped Saylor to grow up and now is wondering where she is. He's been nervous and clingy these past few days. He's twelve years old, and I think he knows on some level that Saylor has died. We were concerned when we heard that Singer has never been around cats, but I believe she can be trained to behave. We hope Singer will help to heal Dakota's loss, too. I believe he misses her as well.

I am preparing our home just like I imagine an adoptive parent would while waiting for their new child to arrive. I wonder, what is she like? How is she like Saylor? How is she different? I have washed all of Saylor's bedding, since she had pneumonia, and who knows where she picked it up, (could've been at the vet's, the only place that seems possible). So Singer will have fresh clean bedding. I bought her a new toy, a dolphin that has a quieter sound created from crushed plastic bottles, and is made of durable wool. I have her food and treats, and have signed us up for a training class in January. A lot of my equipment is still usable from Saylor, which saves us a lot of money. This is good, considering Saylor's last vet bill.

I long to look into Singer's eyes and ponder her temperament. My breeder says she is sweet and loves to cuddle, which is generally true with all Irish setters, I believe. I look forward to learning about her nuances that make her unique, her special preferences, gifts and talents. Like human babies, they are all unique and special. Even their scent. I loved to smell Saylor's warm soft head and feel her rough paws while looking into her brown eyes, so full of love and contentment. I know I will find something similar in Singer's eyes.

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