I’ve wanted to write this post for a while, but I couldn’t find the words. Now that some time has passed, I figure I’d better find them, and fast!
I have been working on Tansy’s retirement process for a while now. It started at the beginning of the pandemic, so everything was frozen for a time. Then as things were kind of headed back to normal, I started to look seriously at where she was going to go. I would have given her to Brad, but Brad’s work hours had changed dramatically, and he was worried she wouldn’t be happy being alone so much. Her raisers couldn’t take her back because they’re getting older and already have 3 dogs. Several other options that I thought I had weren’t going to work out. I was starting to get a bit nervous. I knew that if I couldn’t find anything, the school would place her, and whatever home they chose would be a wonderful one. But if they placed her, I would probably never see her again, and I might never hear updates again either. Maybe I would, but of course the school couldn’t promise that I would. I already know how it feels to never hear about a dog again. That happened with Babs, and there was no way that that would happen with Tansy if I could help it.
Then, like magic, two really good options popped up. One was a family friend whose wife was a vet tech. But they lived far away, so there would be no chance to try and make sure it worked. The other was a local person, a friend of several friends, who specializes in taking in older dogs. I didn’t know her personally, but she came highly recommended from several people. Now, I went from having no options to having to choose, which was a good problem to have.
Eventually, I went with the local person. Tansy had a little sleepover at her place back in May, and we had met several times at a dog park with her older dog, and it just seemed like we had the same philosophy about a lot of things. A couple of weeks ago, I made the hand-over. Tansy was happy to go to her, but she kept looking at me like “Aren’t you coming too?” As I went to go inside, I got a nose to the leg trying to nudge me along in her direction.
I was a basket case that whole day. I was a basket case before she left, and I was a basket case after. It’s been two weeks, and even now, Steve and I will hear, or trip over, an imaginary dog. We’ll think of something that has to be done for the dog that isn’t here. We’ll just look at each other and say “Phantom dog!” Sometimes I think we’re improving…and then I’ll go on a trip, and I’ll come back and we’ll be worse than ever. She is entrenched in every little thing I do, and so it affects Steve too.
Thankfully I’ve already gotten some updates and Tansy is settling in beautifully. She and the other dog are figuring out how they like to play, and Tansy has started doing Labrador loops around her new home. Also, she has gotten up to mischief. The other dog was given some zucchini and didn’t finish it all, so Tansy just helped herself. What a nut! But all members of the pack seem happy with the arrangement, so I’m happy too.
I still don’t know when I’m getting a new dog. I thought it might happen quickly, which is why I hustled to get her settled in. But I’d rather have her nicely settled than wait too long and have to scramble.
Here’s a picture of Tansy on her last day of work. I took the harness off and let her snuggle with Brad for a bit. I still have a few more things I want to post and some more songs to mention that she likes…but her career has reached its end.