We sent our little dog to a foster home over Thanksgiving weekend.
Our travel plans for the next few months make it impossible for Taco to accompany us. We have been watching for the past year to see where he feels the most comfortable and happy and he is does very well at my brother Steve and Stephanie’s home. They have a small dog named Spencer that lives a life of leisure bordering on decadence, as is right and good, and Taco has claimed a spot in their hearts and home as well. By all reports he is happy and doing well in his new home.
That doesn’t make it any easier on us though.
For such a small being he leaves a large void in his absence. His little paws on my leg in the middle of the night to remind me that he knows I am eating. His little nose rooting the covers to snuggle back into bed with whomever is sleeping after he goes out for his walks. The way he backs up to a clump of grass to make his deposit right in the middle so that often it stands straight up when he is done.
It may not sound like much, but he has been working his way into our hearts for a long time now and his memories tug at every corner of our lives.
We didn’t leave many instructions on how to take care of him.
He didn’t come with any either, but he is very good at training his people on how best to love him. It’s what he does. He has left us with strange little traditions that make no sense now, like calling out “COWS”, so he can charge up to his spot on the dash of the truck and bark ferociously until they are out of sight. Our trips through Western Nebraska just aren’t the same without him. Indeed, the sight of cows brings a special melancholy that we try not to talk about much.
Multiply that by all the times our senses are aware of the thud of little feet jumping onto the bed, even in our sleep, or the times he has trained us to play with him, or the pained expression on his face when clearly we are doing it wrong.
Our deepest fear, the one we haven’t yet talked about, is that he won’t want to come with us when we are ready to resume our lives together. Our lives have centered around him to the degree that I’m not sure we could go against his wishes if he makes it understood that he is done with a life on the road.
The thing is, we get it.
We are tired of life on the road as well, at least the way we have been doing it so far. We are ready to slow down and enjoy the scenery instead of blazing on through at the rate of a thousand miles a day.
Our last day of work with our current company is Dec 8th.
We have saved enough money that we can take at least another six months off like we have before. The reason we sent Taco off is that in January we will spend a month the Philippines. Flying with him isn’t realistic, so he had to find a new home for a while. We are excited, we can’t wait, we will have a blast on our new adventure, but first we have to deal with the thousand little tugs that come from letting go.
Taco has been a gift that has never stopped giving. It is good to love a creature as much as we love him. When all the world goes crazy, he just wants to snuggle. In all the chaos of our modern lives, Taco likes to go for walks. With him there was no yesterday, no tomorrow, only now, and now would be a good time to scratch his ears and give him a snack. Thanks Taco for the good times. Unlike you, we do look forward to tomorrows and we can’t wait to explore the world with you again.