The day before Isis's lymphnodes swelled up, I came home from work, drank some hard cider, and accidentally reset the wallpaper on The Precious from the photo of Isis I used in a review post ages ago (minus the glasses) to the boys' annual matching holiday jammies pic (this year is exactly like the first, down to the goofy look on Big Child's face). And when I realized what had happened and that I didn't know how to change it back, I thought "OMG ISIS IS GOING TO DIE."
I think I can best equate this to the way I know when Hotter is about to have a seizure. It just...is.
When we got the confirmation I had another of my "feelings," that after we had Isis put down we should go directly to the pound because clearly some dog was out there that needed us. I told Hotter about it the night before Isis's last appointment, and he said he was cool with that as long as we didn't do anything hasty. I said well yeah, there'd have to be rules: nothing under twenty pounds, over sixty pounds, over three months of age because we'd want it to be malleable and grow up with the cat, and nothing chronically ill, at least half pit but not purebred because I want something strong and healthy, and we DO NOT BEND on any of that.
We had Isis put down, and it was beautiful and awful. She greeted every single person who came into the room to help euthanize her with love, and they took turns petting her and thanking her, and then the veterinary staff discreetly maneuvered her onto a thick towel for ease of transport after, and I held her face and told her she was a good dog while the plunger went down, and she was gone in the blink of an eye. Afterward, I didn't want to leave. I was afraid they had messed up, and she wasn't dead yet, and I'd be leaving her alone. When her ears started to get cold Hotter said he had to get out of there, and I wrapped her in the towel and positioned her so that she looked comfy and turned off the light on the way out of the room.
I wanted to go home and get drunk afterward, but Hotter reminded me that I'd had one of my stupid feelings about going to the pound and said we were going. It was a long drive, and I was crying, and we ended up lost in the huge government center complex where the local Animal Control headquarters is, between the Magistrate's office and the department of Public Utilities. "This is bullshit," I wailed. "This place should be easy to find!" Hotter snorted and said that after the day we'd already had it should be easy to find AND they should be handing out free puppies.
Finally we found our way into a waiting room that reeked of cigarette smoke, with a chatty receptionist who was saying how it'd be a while because they were short a worker. I told her the rules and she said "hmm...I do have a mostly-pitbull puppy you might really like...she's very chubby and silly. I could just go and get her and you could play with her while you wait...?"
Seeing that Hotter was the sucker in the relationship, the receptionist dropped a fat brown-cowpatched blob of oversized paws, ridiculous ears, and a wagging white-tipped tail into his lap and backed away to fill my ear with how the puppy was ten weeks old, had just gotten healthy enough to have been spayed, which "starts the countdown," and...by the time the worker finally appeared to show us the dogs, Hotter declared that we were "done here."
"In that case, happy holidays: [redacted name of local fighting dog rescue organization] has actually sponsored this dog's care here and adoption fee to leave. Sign here to claim your free puppy," the worker said, grinning, and urged us to choose a collar, toys and treats from a pile of donated pet supplies on the way out.