I think I've finally gotten to where I can sort of talk about this.
Last Christmas Eve, I lost my dog Cleo. It was so quick. One day she fainted while running around and playing, and a frantic trip to the vet later I found that she had an invasive and extremely untreatable form of cancer.
She'd had it for a while, but there were no symptoms until something had gone wrong with the tumors in her heart while she was running around. A few days later it was clear it was also in her brain and starting to hurt her, and as a family we made the hard choice.
Since then, I'd weepily ended up looking at rescue websites but had thought to wait until Mother's Day to choose a new dog. I would have my job situation straightened out by then, and be in a good spot to make a choice. That's what my brain thought, anyway.
A couple weeks ago, I went on errands with my housemate and while we were at Petco getting some things for her dogs when this scruffy little mite from the adoption center came by for a walk with a volunteer, and I was struck by how quiet and personable he was. He was most emphatically not a little yapper. We ended up wandering back there anyways, because my housemate wanted to look at the cats, and well... let's just say after an hour or so of agonizing and logistics, the scruffy bit of fluff came home with me.
He's Yorkshire Terrier mixed with what we think is Chihuahua, and he's three years old. We named him Loki, because he's black but his big upright ears are framed in gold and he had a green collar on to seal the deal. Plus he's adopted. It really fits, too. Since he's gotten out of the Cone of Shame from being fixed and settled in he's shown himself to be a little trickster.
He's also shown me he's got the basic instinct to help me with my blood sugar twice now. We've got a lot of work to do in the public access training department. It's clear that up to now he's had nothing in the way of real training, and his owners let him get away with bloody murder. He's responded well so far, but it's a hard set of tasks. We'll see if he can do it.
But I can say that right now he's sleeping on my chest as I write this, and that in and of itself is a great start.