I was talking to a good friend who gave me a light-bulb moment. She said "You're grieving."
I thought: I can't be grieving, the dog is still alive! How can I grieve something that's still there, just not with me. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized she is right on the money. I'm going through a grief period, as silly as that may sound.
I had the opportunity to visit Big T while I was on vacation. The Director of Training at Service Dogs of Virginia has been so very kind to me in my, well, mourning and offered me the chance to visit with him.
I couldn't do it. Just the thought of seeing him again exposed all the pain I'd spent weeks burying. I wasn't ready to see him. It was really hard for me to be so close (we vacation about an hour away from SDV) and not see him, but I wasn't really sure if I could leave him again. It was unbearable the first time, it would only be worse the second time.
So I'll wait. Wait for this heart to heal a little more. Then we'll have a joyous reunion. Oh I'll still cry when I see him. Cry while he snuffles and huffles and bowls me over. And I'll cry when I leave again. But hopefully in a few more months, it'll be less painful.
I did get some good nuggets about the Big Boy, though, when I had dinner with the Training Director. Talos has made all kinds of dog-friends and is really enjoying playing with everyone. He's especially good with the puppies, of course, laying down to make himself smaller for them. And he's a big hit with all the people he meets.
He's been living the good life the past few weeks and not working very much at all. He's able to do his favorite activity — sleep!! The agency was in the middle of transferring a dog to his new person, and that takes lots of people and lots of time, so the service dogs get a little mini-vacation during that period. Word has it that Talos LOVES transfer camps because it means lots of long naps for him!
He may also get the chance to be a model. I think he'd be a smashing dog-model, but I AM pretty biased! I don't want to jinx it, so I'll leave it at that. I'll be sure to post more updates as soon as I hear them.