So here she is – little Miss Clem. Clementine McDowell Colbert. A big name for a little puppy.
It’s still really hard for me to write about losing the Beans. It’s especially hard for me to write about losing Lola. One of the things I struggle with is that I feel like when I say that, it gives the impression that losing Finn was easy or that losing him didn’t gut us. It did. Completely.
But losing Lola was a different kind of being gutted for me. I always felt like Finn didn’t need me as much as Lola did and when she died, I felt like it was a failure on my part. I guess because I always felt that I couldn’t give enough to Lola. Mary Oliver wrote that losing a puppy feels like a failure of love – that for all our efforts, we can’t give them more time. And she was right. But I was an asshole. I thought I loved them so much they’d live forever. I was wrong.
When Teddy came it was a little over a month since Lola died. Teddy and my darling husband took one look at each other and started a mutual love fest that continues. I loved Teddy but I was too broken for a long time. But we’ll talk about that later. Let’s just say that the decision to get another puppy after Teddy was a longer, more ambivalent journey.
Finally – I said to God that I just couldn’t do it. That I was still too broken and too confused. But I asked Him to send me the right puppy at the right time. And I left it there. With God.
Right before my darling husband and I left for a Mexican vacation in May, a local rescue that I follow on Facebook showed 5 little corgi mix puppies. Of course the word “corgi” caught my eye. But the listing said they’d all gone to foster families that would probably keep them and we were leaving for Mexico anyway…..
Three days after we got back, I was sitting at work and the rescue posted again. This puppy was not going to stay with her foster family and needed a home. Several emails later and MDH and I were going to get her on Saturday…..
Clementine came home on June 10. Three years to the day after Lola’s death. We did not plan it. In fact, it was only after we made the appointment to go get her that I looked at the calendar and realized what had happened. Three years. To the day. Man, God knows what he’s doing…..
Finn and Lola were a grace to me. Clementine means “mercy”. And she is that. She is a joyous little gift from God and a balm to my heart. We have no idea what she is – although we often get asked. Near as we can tell she’s a mix between a dachshund, a corgi and something really little and fuzzy. She is the softest little ten pound ball of fur you can imagine. She eats like a pig, runs around like a nut, vexes Teddy most grievously and ignores all commands. She really doesn’t have a rats ass to give unless you’ve got some food in your hand.
She snuggled into my neck when we picked her up and she is just a little doll. She is nothing at all like Lola and her personality is much more like Finn’s – but she is, like Teddy, all her own.