Of Puppies and Babies

Last night as my husband and I were chatting before bed and planning out the rest of our week, somehow the topic of babies came up (maybe because we have several friends with new babies, and others are pregnant, etc), as well as the topic of our family getting another dog sometime.

It’s been a year now that Xena has been gone, but I swear sometimes I still think: “I need to make sure to let her out to go potty before we go to bed.” Often, I don’t put down the recliner foot rest without checking for her underneath. I’ll come home after being gone a while, and look for her to greet me at the door. The house just seems empty without a dog, especially since I’d had Xena with me for almost 13 years. I work from home a lot, and wish she was still here to keep me company, to go on walks, to demand that I throw toys for her. She was so full of personality and spunk – the best miniature schnauzer, best dog, best canine friend I’ve ever known and had the luck to have in my life for as long as I did.

My husband said he would be totally on board at any time if I wanted to get another dog. And every now and then, I see rescue dogs come in, or get an email about a schnauzer puppy, and I’m like, “Ooooooo, I could get this one!!!” But then, reality sets in. Work is crazy busy for me right now. I’m in the midst of revamping my entire lifestyle around food and exercise, and working towards having weight loss surgery to help me get my active life back and to help make sure I am healthy and around for many, many years to come. Type 1 diabetes is a 24/7 job in itself, and will be even more so once I have the surgery. I can’t bring a new dog into the family when I’m already being pulled a hundred different ways. It just wouldn’t be fair to the dog, or to my husband and daughter.

Then there’s also the baby thing. Despite mulling over the pros and cons on several occasions, I don’t think I’ve quite resolved in my head and heart that I’m never going to have another baby. In the back dark recesses of my mind I frequently hear, “If you lose a ton of weight within the next year or so, it may help your fertility issues as well, and you MIGHT get pregnant!!” But really, do I WANT to be pregnant or have a baby at 41, 42, 43 years old/ however long that would take??? I just don’t know. And until I know with absolute certainty that we’re never having (or adopting) another baby, I also don’t want to bring in a dog to add onto the already monumental responsibilities of our household.

So, there’s the conundrum. It’s doubtful that I’ll solve it anytime soon. But boy, will I always have some seriously wonderful memories of Xena, the Warrior Schnauzer, and she will always hold a special place in our hearts and our family.

I miss Xena so much....


Wordless Wednesday – Xena

Best.Dog.Ever.Warrior Schnauzer for sureI know this isn’t very “wordless,” but last night I was going through old pictures and found a lot of Xena that I had forgotten about. So many memories came rushing back…I still miss her so much, and the pictures reawakened that ache in my heart for her. She died in April of this year after being diagnosed with Lymphoma in February. Xena had always been the picture of perfect health, and miniature schnauzers can live to be between 14-16 years old, sometimes older if you’re lucky. I thoroughly expected her to live to be at least 15, so when she started getting sick right before turning 13, it was hard for me to comprehend.

It was such a sudden thing – one day, I noticed the sides of her neck were crazy swollen. Took her to the vet, they aspirated the lymph nodes, and confirmed lymphoma. Rather than put her through the suffering (and no guarantee of survival or longevity) of chemotherapy at her already advanced age, we opted to treat her with steroids and various supplements in the hopes it would slow down the growth/spread of the cancer. I talked to vet techs and friends who knew of dogs and cats that lived with lymphoma for 6 months to a year or more before succumbing. Xena only made it about a month and a half.

Maybe one day (when I can write about her without bursting into tears like I am now), I will share stories of how smart, funny, and amazingly awesome she was. A true Warrior Schnauzer that I will love and cherish forever.