My baby dog is gone. I surrendered him to the Willamette Humane Society last weekend–on his 23-month birthday. It hurt bad. I cried so much I made myself sick. I know there’s no real comparison between this and giving up a human baby for adoption, but that’s how it felt. I know we’ll both be better off, but it’s so hard. I drove to Salem with this handsome dog on the seat beside me. I pet him and talked to him. At the rest stop, he behaved perfectly, as he had for the last 24 hours. Was I really doing this? Could I really do this? I did. The moment I reached the counter, a woman took my dog away. I stayed to fill out papers, acknowledging that the shelter will not provide updates on his status. He is no longer mine. I drove home alone.
Now it’s just his sister Annie and me. I hope not to torture you dear readers with more about this dog situation. For now anyway.
On the way to Salem, we followed a school bus for a while. I found myself waving at the children inside. Although I have never craved the company of children before, suddenly I find myself wanting to be around them. I don’t want to be pregnant now. My old body couldn’t take the strain. Is it some deep-seated instinct to be a grandmother now that I’m truly a grandmotherly age? Is it that the old people around me are dying and I want a sign of new life coming up like the bulbs pushing through the dead vines in my garden? I wonder if even women who choose to be childless feel a little twinge sometimes, a need to hold a tiny hand and see life through a child’s eyes.