Note: Sorry about the lack of posts this week—I’ve been dealing with really bad headaches every evening that are making looking at a computer screen painful.

We have a dog in the house again, albeit temporarily. We’re watching my brother’s dog, Yoshi, while Kyle is gone for a few days. The kids are SO HAPPY to have Yoshi here. James ran around the house yelling, “Whoa-she is commmmmmminnnnnnng!” while Annabel carefully constructed a “puppy playground.”

The kids completely exhausted that dog today. We took him on three walks, they chased him around the school playground, and chased him around the house. They constantly called out, “Yoshi, watch this!” (an admittedly nice change from the usual refrain of, “Mom, watch this!”), or, “Yoshi, wanna dance?” Yoshi looked like he didn’t know what hit him.

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(He’s wearing a cone to keep him from scratching two hot spots).

When they finally were ready to settle down before bed, Yoshi was clearly relieved.

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He was also especially happy to get extended scratches and cuddles from Annie:

belly scratches

Yoshi and Annie

In fact, Annie and Yoshi have bonded well. He follows her around the house, and settled in on the foot of her bed when she went to sleep. It’s a dream come true for her.

I know this is going to lead to a round of, “Can we please get a new puppy,” from the kids, but the answer is a very firm no. We have too much going on to introduce a pet into our lives right now. Plus, my heart is not even close to being ready to become attached to another dog.

It’s honestly been really hard on me since Rigby died. I didn’t want to admit it to myself, didn’t want to believe it could hurt after the deaths of Maddie, Jackie, and my aunt. But that’s silly. Of COURSE this hurts, so much. I get a lump in my throat when I think about her. I have a lot of guilt. When I see Yoshi following Annie around, I miss my little shadow even more. I hear Yoshi’s feet clicking down the hall, and my heart jumps. And I keep accidentally calling Yoshi, “Rigby,” which is confusing James and making me feel bad.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have Yoshi in the house. I leapt at the opportunity to watch him for a few days because I miss having the energy a dog brings to the house (even if Yoshi is so energetic compared to mature Rigby). But oh how I miss my little pup and her soft fur, stinky breath, and sweet heart-shaped nose. I miss how she could curl up next to me and instantly lower my stress, like a ball of fluff and love. I miss how she was always the first person to greet me at the door. I still expect to see her every time I walk in the house.

I’m working hard to pull myself out of my funk. It’s hard…Rigby’s death forced open the part of my brain where I keep my pain locked away. A lot of my feelings about Jackie and Maddie that I work hard to keep in check are on my mind much more than usual. I feel so tired, and so raw.

But I’m hoping that puppy kisses from Yoshi will help ease that pain, if only just a little.