One Way to Fill an Empty Nest

The best thing I ever did when my youngest child went to college and left the nest empty was to get a pug puppy.  I missed my kids terribly when my role as their mother began to shift.  I still needed something to mother.  And although Cesar Milan might not approve, bringing a pug puppy into my home did the trick.

Chico Jan '02

Chico as a pup…a face only a mother could love

So…14 years ago, Chico moved in and took his place as the love of my life, when it comes to animals. He rode with me on the Spanish bus and the A Train in a doggie suitcase from our house in Jersey to my office in the meat packing section of the West Village in NYC.  My boss bought him a designer wicker dog bed, replete with pillows that matched the gingham fabric of the cushion, where he slept at the foot of my desk.

My colleagues and I gathered around a table during meetings while my boss held Chico on his lap.  He put him on the table quite often, and we all laughed as our resident mascot raced around and around, messing up all the papers.

Years later, and back in Massachusetts,

Good-bye, Chico.   :-(

Good-bye, Chico. 😦

Chico had a stroke at age 13 1/2, and the nest was empty once again.

Although I was not ready to bring another dog into my life, a month later, two one-year-old pug puppies fell into my lap unexpectedly.  Let me introduce Simon and Pearl. (You’ll want to click on all photos to be able to see the nuances of the cuteness of these subjects.)

Pearl & Simon

Pearl & Simon

Simon and Pearl.  Rambunctious litter mates.  They continue on with Chico’s legacy, but now, by helping to distract me from the sadness of living far away from the next generation…my grandchildren. The puppies get me off the couch and out walking more often than I would if they weren’t around.  And they keep us laughing, which is always good for the health.

Pearl’s most recent antic is that she has taken to watching television. I caught her glued to a John Wayne movie yesterday.  I’ve never seen a dog watching t.v., much less for several minutes.  She even braced her front paws up on the arm of the couch to get closer to the screen.

Our girl, Pearl.

Our girl, Pearl.

Simon, on the other hand, has a compulsion to lick, and if he thinks he’s not getting enough attention, he’ll lap the sofa pillow with enthusiasm that would be hard to match.

Silly Simon

Silly Simon also plays hide-and-seek.

There’s no way your nest will stay uninhabited if you fill it with such sweet, ridiculous creatures.  This has worked for me.  I wonder what others do to keep from being in an empty-nest funk at this stage in life…

Yours in aging with class, Jane

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6 Responses to One Way to Fill an Empty Nest

  1. Katharine Eastman says:

    I loved this post! First, it brought back memories of your stories about Chico and your job in New York City. And now Simon and Pearl who bring such joy and laughter into your life and also the other household members. And, if I may add, into my life, when I see them, as I did a couple of weeks ago. They are so adorable and so good for my spirits. Thanks for telling your story, Janie.
    Kathy

  2. Thanks, as always, :-). Jane

  3. Debbie says:

    Your nest is far from empty, that is for sure!

  4. Joyce says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. We lost our 12 1/2 year old Newman the pug to cancer in March. We still have our Sophie. What a joy to know how others love their babies.

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