Letting go

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About seven weeks ago, my wife’s Jack Russell terrier gave birth to five beautiful, healthy pups. The father is a Jack Russell and Chihuahua mix. We called the puppies “Jack-wawas.”

I referred to these dogs as my wife’s dogs, because they are her dogs. I love them and help take care of them, but at the end of the day, they are her dogs. I have but one dog. She is a chocolate lab, and her name is Ruby.

Over the past several weeks, I have grown attached to the puppies. I mean, who doesn’t like puppies? I love puppy breath, too. There really should be a puppy breath mouth wash or something. I’d buy it.

Much like babies, puppies can be a handful, literally, especially when there are five of them. They bark and whine, sleep and eat and generally just make a mess that has to be cleaned up. Puppies make a lot of messes. None of that is any fun whatsoever, but it’s something we put up with because we love them. Besides, puppies are just so darn cute, even when they are biting my toes.

This week, we started giving the puppies away. We placed them in the homes of people that we know and trust. We wouldn’t trust our pups with just anyone. So far, we’ve given away three of them to families with friends I have known practically my entire life. Not only do we trust them, we also know that we can go and visit anytime we want.

Emily, our 7-year-old, knew that we’d be giving four of them away; we are keeping one. The one we are keeping is named Cash. Lucy, my wife likes the “man in black,” and so do I.

Lucy advised me to cut a relatively good size piece from the blanket that the dogs had been using and to give the piece to the new owners so it would have the lingering scent of their mother on it. This turned out to be a good idea, but as I was cutting, Emily disappeared. Even though she knew Cash would be the last pup standing, it really hit her hard when our friends came over to pick them up. Reality had set in.

I went upstairs only to find Emily in her bed, bawling her eyes out. Lucy was helping a friend do some work at a local barn, so this was a situation I had to deal with on my own. I laid down with her, comforting her the best I could.

I explained to her that this was inevitable and that the dogs were going to loving homes where they’d be spoiled rotten. I also told her that we could see them whenever we wanted. She wanted to go see them at that moment. That was another talk. Both talks went well.

Before long, we were sitting up having a good time playing with her stuffed animals. I was Papa Bear.

Letting go of things we love is hard. It really is, but it’s a part of life that we must all deal with. This week I started my 24-day challenge with Advocare, so it’s been hard letting go of the hamburgers and pizza that I often crave. Fortunately, Lucy is an Advocare distributor. She helps me to see the bigger picture of overall health and wellness and the importance of letting go, which, in turn, leads to happiness.

The same thing can be said about the puppies. We had to let them go, but we know they are in a better place, because they can now get the undivided attention and love that they deserve. They don’t have to share their food or hugs and kisses with a house full of other dogs. They will be spoiled rotten from here on out, and most importantly, it’s less mess for me to have to clean up each day. Like I said, letting go leads to overall happiness. Let it go.

For the record, I can still eat hamburgers and pizza – just not right now.

Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.

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