ive me. I spoke too soon last week when I said that Gracie had been adopted. I was not lying when I told you she’d formed a particularly special bond with a very wonderful human. But I had a long talk with Gracie and after laying out the options we decided that it would not be the best fit, at least not right now.
It sucked man. Her ears went flat and her eyes closed off immediately. She was sadder than I have ever seen. She had wanted it so badly!—her very own human siblings to cuddle with, a furever dad to take her on walks and throw the ball, a family. She learned, as we all do at one time or another, that life doesn’t always go how you want it to.
Knowing Miss Grace, I supposed there was a lesson to be learned here, and so I sat back to observe. We got off my bed where we’d been talking and she walked slowly towards the back door, collecting Marley on the way. I let the two of them outside, and what happened next was magical.
They played. And played, and played, and played.
For nearly forty minutes, I watched the two of them run circles in the mud, stopping intermittently to wrestle briefly, but promptly resuming some off-brand version of tag.
Gracie wasted no time in getting the sad wiggles out—something we humanfolk tend to avoid at all costs. She didn’t sulk or dwell; she didn’t catastrophize; and maybe most importantly, she didn’t put on a happy face and cover her sad up. She put in the effort to turn her unraveled and upset energy into one more healing and grounded.
Marley is a grumpy old troll of an alpha and this “active” behavior from him is pretty atypical. He may not have loved every second of it, but he bounced around with her that day and has every day since. Their therapy sessions are getting shorter, but they each recognize it as a necessary part of their day and are sure to remind me if I have forgotten to set aside time for it. I can’t be sure, but I believe this is the canine form of processing.
Life is ruff bro. When you have a happy ending in sight and it just doesn’t quite work out, it’s totally okay to feel like you want to throw lemons back in life’s face. Trust me, I’m not suggesting that we go run in circles… Running is about my least favorite activity ever. But what if we all tried to deal with life on purpose? To take control of our processing and fit it into our lives rather than waiting ten or twelve years to acknowledge it?
I’m not really sure, but I’d kind of like to find out.
Now here’s the good news– Gracie was quite a hit at our adoption event last weekend and it looks like she’s found an even better furever home! Everything works out in the end right…? 🙂