In my line of work, there is a phrase used as a catch-all on a routine basis. Adjust as needed is commonly slapped on the tail-end of our project plans, in order to cover the contingency aspect if things happen to change. Supervisors alike will say, “Just adjust as needed, depending on circumstances,” making the act of changing plans on the fly sound like a simple task.
Over these past two months, life as Hugo and I know it has changed drastically. Things, most of which were out of our control, have changed and we are desperately trying to adjust as best we can. Our house is quiet and lacking energy after the passing of sweet Kaiser and Nala. We miss them so incredibly much and the feelings make me sick. Every time I look at my cell phone, Nala’s precious black and white photo adorns the lock screen. She is staring back at me as if to say, “I’m right here.” It’s just that she’s not right here with me and I wish she was. I might have needed her more than she needed me in life and I feel a little lost without my two little love bugs. Thank God and the Perseids that I have Hugo as my best friend and partner in crime. I can’t imagine the sickening state I would be in if he ever left my life.
Two nights ago I emailed five different breeders, as well as the Rottweiler Rescue of Los Angeles. Simple inquiries about puppy availability and the age of some rescues, that’s all. I feel guilty for even having considered new puppies to join our family. Nala and Kaiser won’t be replaced though. In due time, however, we will find someone, or someones, to bring into our family again. We have a lot of love to give and it would be a shame to waste that. Even when we have had dogs, we still have more love to give. One day we plan to build a barn and fill it with a couple of horses, chickens and whoever else strikes our fancy. Hugo has suggested an emu or rescue pig so who knows. Whomever joins our ever-expanding family will most surely be met with open arms and a warm heart.
As we lose those we love, I realize just how much we have learned from and grown with the animals that spent all of their years in our lives. Hugo and I got Kaiser as soon as we returned from our wedding party in Costa Rica. Prior to getting married in Los Angeles and flying to Costa Rica to celebrate with our family, there was Marley Bear. Marley was our first Rottweiler, who drove cross-country with us during our big move and occupied our first 800 sq. ft. apartment. We were three peas in a pod until she passed away from kidney failure while we were out of the country. Marley was only five years old when she passed away – her death didn’t hit me in exactly the same way because we never saw her suffer badly, she died suddenly, without warning, and we weren’t present for any of it since she was staying with our neighbor in our absence. Marley was a tough girl who lived in frigid northern Vermont, wearing gortex booties on the frozen asphalt for walks, and lived in three different states as I bounced around during my college years. She taught me to be flexible and to let some things go. Most importantly, Marley showed us how to live in the moment because you never know when all of this bright and sparkly reality will disappear.
Nala and Kaiser gave us nine beautiful years as a family of four. Hugo and I realized the other day that they grew with us so beautifully as we all evolved into adults together. We almost made it one decade, during that time Hugo and I accomplished a lot, matured into adults and forged an even stronger bond and clearer path with one another. We bought and sold houses, advanced tremendously with our careers, and grew to love one another on a surreal level. And when it was all said and done, we couldn’t have done it without Nala and Kaiser’s love.