Sunday, January 8, 2012

Adjusting to change

A very sincere thank you from all of us at DVR for the kind emails, comments, and texts over the past week.

Losing 4 of our fuzzy best friends in only 3 months has been overwhelming. Processing that level of heartache takes time-there are no shortcuts when it comes to grief.

But in addition to the heartbreak that comes with losing our furry family members is the change in dynamics. I watched the horses adapt to these changes-from Snapdragon mourning the loss of her mom, Chloe, to Tango panicking in the next stall as Mariah fought for her life through a horrible colic. Some of the worry and sadness was obvious and palpable and some of it was more subtle and took some time to reveal itself.

With time the herd has adjusted and everyone has forged new friendships-animals seem adept at getting through grief in a more practical way. After all, in the wild you can't sit around steeped in a deep depression because you will either starve or be eaten. Evolution is a mighty force.

Our doggie world has also changed significantly. Bear and Jesse Guppie joined our family just over 8 years ago as 6 month old puppies. They had 7 other doggies to grow up with and have been part of a pack for almost their entire lives. They were always considered the puppies of the family by us and by all of the other dogs.

Most of the pack (pre-Guppies)

The original Yahoos...(pre-Guppies, pre-Shepherds)

Look at those all of those big doggies!

 That's lot of dog bowls :) 

The Guppie puppies....

Suddenly, with barely any warning, The Guppies are the only ones left from our grand, beautiful, silly pack of dogs. All of us are struggling to adjust. The Gups turned 9 on January 1st (an arbitrary birthday but no doubt close to their real birth date) just two days after we lost Rikki Tiki Tavi.

For the first few days The Gups seemed confused, worried, and depressed. They were quiet, slept a lot, and truly seemed unsettled. Mr smrp and I rallied and brought out treats and toys and went on long fun hikes but the look in their eyes was troubling and made us even sadder than we were. We knew that they would end up okay but it was hard to see them like that-they are, after all, the epitome of joyful labs which makes it even more disturbing to see them acting so quiet.

But yesterday their silly playful personality finally started to show again. It takes time to accept loss-time to adjust to new dynamics-time to be able to look forward to the day. Not just for us but for our critters, too.

I am hoping that we are on our way to discovering new ways to enjoy life as a smaller family. We miss our other sweet dogs and horses so very much but we are too aware of how short life is and are doing our best to embrace the time we have with the rest of our crew.

Here are some pictures from the past few days with The Guppies (we realize they look very depressed....I'll post happier pictures soon). Whether we like it or not life has to go on and we are grateful that we have our two silly fuzzy guparooos to help us make the most of it.

Posing on coffee rock...
(Jesse on the left, Bear on the right)

Enjoying some carrots on Monkey Hill

Enjoying the view of The Divide from the top of Monkey Hill
(Jesse on the left, Bear on the right)

Hanging on the deck after our morning Guppie Birthday hike

Jesse pretends to be a lap Guppie

She will always be the baby in our family...


Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm sure with time the guppies will be back to normal. They are adjusting as you said and probably miss RTT as much as you do.

You've had so much heartache in the last months I sincerely hope this is a very good year for you and your critters. The guppies are beautiful by the way. My best dog ever was a black lab, Jake, I lost him 9 years ago and still miss him. But it gets better just remembering all the silly things he used to do.

Nancy J said...

I can see that Bear and Jesse are providing much needed comfort to you both.How hard to put feelings into words, and equally hard to go for walks without others by your side.Yes, the days still go on, sunrise and sunset as before,and work waits as always. Take comfort in the beauty of your land, the warmth as Bear or Jessee sit by your side, the care and love from all your friends.Fond thoughts from Jean

KB said...

I know that the photos of your big pack seem sad to you now but I think that they are priceless. Wow - I wish that I'd known you back then. I would've adored meeting them all.

I think that Bear and Jesse will show you the way. I love the "Jesse the Lap Dog" photos. R is a lap dog too!

We're thinking of you all the time...

Bill said...

Wow...those photos are had quite the pack going there. I lived in the Eagle Vally in Colorado for 5-6 years at about 8200ft. and really miss it. It's like living in a post card!

Lori Skoog said...

What gets you two through this is your positive attitude and deep commitment to all of your animals. As I have said before, you have provided them with the best lives they could ever have dreamed of. Regardless of their number of days on this earth, they were in the right place at the right time. You two are very special and I am so glad the Guppies are there for you. Giant hugs from Skoog Farm.

Terry said...

The Guppies do indeed look sad. May you all, dog and human, find comfort in each other.

Sandra said...

Even though your sweet ones aren't with you, they are not really gone. They will live in your hearts forever.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it's time to expand the puppy family. I sincerely hope this new year brings great things and much happiness in your lives. My two canine sweeties will be 13 in February and I'm trying to enjoy every last day with them. My furry children complete my life.

Heidi said...

Dear DVR,
I love this blog. Animals are an important part of my life and I appreciate the hard work and effort that goes in to operating and maintaining a rescue. You are a special bunch!

I am awarding you with the Liebster Blog Award. Please hop on over to my blog to pick it up.


Maery Rose said...

This post if from awhile ago so I hope things are steadily improving for you and the rest of the crew. Looking at how big of a pack you had, you are going through quite a change. For me, who has only ever had one dog at a time, two can be a bit overwhelming at times but I'm getting the hang of it.

Always thinking about you and hoping for good days.