I don't know what to say.
Yesterday a friendly waiter asked Jason and I how our "day was goin' so far" and instead of answering "fine" like a normal human person, I think I just sort of stared at him with my mouth hanging open, like I didn't understand the question.
Luckily my brain DID manage to send the abort signal before I said something like "yeah fine except my dog literally just died like two hours ago, so now I'm going to need all the nachos in this restaurant."
(I really did consume a ridiculous amount of nachos, though.)
Ceiba is gone. She died in my arms, on our couch. She spent the entire morning on our laps, being stroked and rubbed and babied. Max was next to her as the sedative took effect, Jason was was petting her the entire time. She didn't react at all to the second shot, but simply drifted away from us. It was the best death we could have possibly provided for her, but it was still a death, and I am gutted.
Ceiba was the tiniest member of the household, but now that she's gone, the house doesn't just feel empty, it's hollow.
The boys are okay-ish. Ike came home from school and looked all over the house for her, even though he knew she wasn't there anymore. But once he confirmed it, he burst into hysterical tears. I held him for a good long time while he got it all out, then made him hot chocolate with marshmallows. That helped. He says he misses her a lot, and I assure him that we all do.
Ezra cycles through waves of different emotions -- happy one minute then on the verge of tears the next. He spoke to his school's guidance counselor and said that helped a lot. We're giving him room to feel what he feels when he needs to feel it.
Noah literally went through all five stages of grief the night we broke the news to him, in under an hour, right in front of our eyes. He covered his ears and refused to listen, then screamed at us in rage, HOW DARE WE EVEN THINK OF DOING THAT TO HER, he bargained with us for more time, he broke down and sobbed. And then suddenly was like, okay, I understand, can we get a new dog?
(My only complaint with Noah's process is that he insists on saying we "killed" Ceiba and won't use any of the nicer phrases. "Noah, we put her to sleep." "Right. And then after she was asleep you killed her." Very literal thinker, that one.)
Last Saturday night, Jason and I went out for dinner, just the two of us. By that point he'd already convinced me to change my stance on NO MORE DOGS. (Basically he texted me and said "I think we should get another dog." And I said, "OK.") And we both found it weirdly therapeutic to look at the shelter and rescue listings, not really in search of an actual dog, but just to take comfort knowing that at some point, we were going to help an animal find a home.
Earlier in the day, while with the boys at their music lessons, he texted me a local rescue group's list of available dogs. The entire list was an explosion of adorable, and we engaged in some rapid back-and-forth about THIS DOG and OMG THAT ONE and suddenly, at the same time, texted each other a specific dog's name, all caps, exclamation points.
"He's amazing." I added.
That night, at dinner, Jason couldn't stop bringing the same profile up.
On Sunday, he pulled up the online application.
"NO," I said.
"NOT YET," I said.
"AFTER SPRING BREAK. AFTER OUR TRIP," I said.
"THERE IS NO POINT THAT DOG PROBABLY HAS A MILLION PEOPLE APPLYING FOR HIM I MEAN LOOK AT HIS FACE HE'S THE MOST PERFECT DOG I'VE EVER SEEN," I said.
I submitted the application my own damn self, on Monday.
We took the boys out for pizza last night and my phone rang. It was his foster mom. She apologized for calling that particular day and expressed her sorrow for our loss. (I'd been honest on the application that yes, we did currently have a dog but no longer would after Wednesday.) But something told her that maybe, just maybe, her calling would help.
Because she thought we sounded like perfect fit. She thinks we are going to love him and he will love us. He loves kids (but needs kids who understand that small dogs are not toys, which ours obviously do) and cats and playing outside in the yard and will be on your lap "before your butt even hits the couch." He's not a puppy, he's a goofy little mutt, bigger than Ceiba but not by that much, he was rescued from a neglectful home but has flourished in foster care. Only one other family had applied for him, the very day his listing hit the website, but for a variety of reasons she had to turn them down. After that, it's been several months of silence.
"I'm honestly shocked," she said. "I mean, look at him!"
"I KNOW RIGHT?" I practically squealed.
We're leaving tonight for PA. The boys are spending a few days with their grandparents and Jason and I are going to New York. The boys' regular babysitter who lives around the corner will be coming over to care for Max, who (fingers crossed) is doing relatively well, health-wise. And so far he doesn't seem to have taken much notice of Ceiba's absence.
I think the trip will be a very good thing for all of us -- get everybody's mind off things, change of scenery away from all the dog hair I still need to vacuum and accident spots I need to deep clean and all the other evidence that there was a dog here before, and now there isn't.
But fingers crossed, after we get back, there will be one again.