Monday, December 15, 2014

Musing About Loss and the Search for a Home

A little more than a month has passed since my beautiful William died. I am so grateful to everyone who expressed their condolences in comments on this blog, in private emails, in cards and notes, and in other wonderful and touching ways.

Not long after William died, a Gossips reader and friend concluded a lovely and sympathetic email with this thought: "No doubt you know: the only effective pain medicine is a puppy." She was right. I did know. Adopting William was the only balm for the pain of losing Niklaas, the dog who preceded William in my life.

Desperate to work my way out of the mournful funk that has descended upon me, I recently began the search to find another dog to love. Fifteen years with William convinced me that shelter dogs are the best dogs ever, so I have been spending time looking at pictures of adoptable dogs online and submitting applications to shelters and rescue groups. I want to be already approved when the dog who is "the one" becomes available. 

The application process typically involves references from people who know you and from the vet who has cared for your previous pets. Applications ask if you live in an apartment or a house, if you rent or own, if you have a fenced yard, how you plan to exercise the dog, how long the dog will be regularly left alone, where the dog will be during the day, where the dog will be at night. One application posed behavioral problems and asked you to tell how you would deal with each one. One application wanted to know how much you planned to spend annually on the care and keeping of the dog. Another wanted to know how much you could reasonably afford for treatment should the dog be diagnosed with cancer. One application required that the applicant live within 90 miles of Larchmont. (That requirement disqualified me; Hudson is 107.5 miles from Larchmont.)

It was in the context of filling out applications to adopt a dog that I discovered this news item which appeared on the front page of the Hudson Evening Register exactly one hundred years ago today, on December 15, 1914. I share it without further comment, leaving it to the reader to draw the poignant comparisons.

The S.C.A.A. is the State Charities Aid Association. I wonder if documentation survives that would allow one to discover the fate of little Louise.


  1. I am so pleased to learn that you will be getting a dog soon.

  2. Wow, I want to know what happened to Louise also. That story will haunt me. On a happier note, our dog, Buddy says he would like to volunteer if you need a dog fix until your new buddy finds you. He can lie under a desk, ride in your car, or walk in the cemetery. Any thing an average dog can do. Sara and Ed

  3. Augie says he can't wait for the arrival of his new canine neighbor! We're very happy for you Carole!