It’s been just over a week since Bayley left us. My heart still aches, but I’m pretty resigned. Dogs get old. And when they get old, their parts wear out. His kidneys were gone. I wish it weren’t true and that he was lying here on the couch next to me as usual, but he’s not. I’ve been through the stages of grief as usual: first was denial; I kept hearing his sniffing/snorking and on more than one occasions, when Frank poked his head or foot around a corner, for a split second, I thought it was the beagle. I’ve also been royally angry, mostly at his kidneys.

Coming home from work is the worst; David is now back at work in San Francisco. He doesn’t get home until 6 p.m., and Frank doesn’t come home until 7 p.m. So, from pretty much 3:30 or so when I get home until 6, the house is empty and quiet and it’s a weird, sort of creepy feeling to come home to after 12 years. I don’t like it at all.

There are always two schools of thoughts about what happens after a beloved pet dies. One school says there’s only one Rover and he can’t be replaced so we won’t try. Another school says get a new puppy immediately. I lean more towards the latter. The emptiness of the house, the couch, the bed, etc., is just too big of a hole for me. I’d far rather Bayley still be here and he can’t be replaced, but I have to be in the next phase of grief, acceptance, and then move on.

So, a student of mine, a very sweet girl, told me while Bayley was in the hospital that her female beagle was about to have puppies and that I was welcome to the puppies if I wanted one. Or two. Or three. Well, her beagle delivered Friday five new beagle puppies. They’ll be about ready to leave mommy about when we’d be ready for them here, towards the end of school on June 7. I personally want three beagles. One is too lonely and unsocialized. Two would be good, three is better. I need to e-mail the student’s mother and find out more about them.

I wasn’t sure if I could raise puppies from scratch again. But since this situation came up and these puppies will need good homes/rescuing, it’s an option. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll be looking to go through the rescue adoption process. The problem with that is it’s expensive. Two rescue beagles could be around $500 in adoption fees. Ouch. I know the expenses of foster care are great, but if these rescue groups are looking to find owners, it looks like they’d make it more affordable.

At any rate, we’ll have beagles back in the house by the summer. Have to. The hole left by Bayley Murphy is just WAY too big.