Always start with the bad news.
Last Tuesday we had to put down our precious puppy. After I last wrote, Duke took a turn for the worst. We took him to a reputable clinic 2 hours away, where he spent about 10 days under he supervision of a wonderful vet, Dr. Bob. After more blood tests and observation, Duke was diagnosed with lupus, a disease more commonly found in humans in which the body's cells attack their host. When we brought our dog home, he was skinny and weak, but a healthy dose of steroids each day was the prognosis to help him get his appetite back, gain weight, and regain his strength. We had about one week of hopeful growth, but then Duke's body began to literally break down. He no longer responded to the steroids and refused to eat. The bloody diarrhea returned and he began to shake and lose his balance. Within a few days, he could no longer walk or even stand up and was clearly suffering. After talking once again to Dr. Bob, we knew it was cruel to keep him alive.
I've never been a huge dog person, but this experience was incredibly painful. I was surprised by how much Duke became a part of our family in a few short months. For us this was like a puppy miscarriage; clearly, not even on the same playing field as a child, but we did have hopes of what this new life would become in your family that were unexpectedly cut short.
All this to say, we are still eager to raise a family dog here. Tim has always wanted a weimaraner or lab, so if you know anyone who breeds these dogs please let us know. We will be home this summer and are interested in buying a puppy to bring back.
Ok, now for the good news.
We just returned from the states for the celebration of Cooper and Heather's wedding. It was fabulous. Not only was it wonderful to be all together as a family, but we got an inside glimpse of how crazy Heather is about my brother and how committed Coop is to her.
Since the wedding was in Dallas, we were able to spend a few stolen hours with Tim's family. We surprised kindergarten nephews Bryson and Eli with happy meals during their school lunch.
Coop stood up at the rehearsal dinner and proclaimed his love for Heather, getting me all choked up as he shared how long distance challenged him to pursue her recklessly and revealed what he was willing to sacrifice to fight for her. Heather surprised Coop by singing a song at the reception she had written, thanking the Lord for him and the gift of their relationship.
As much as we deeply treasure our lives in the Dominican Republic, my heart often aches to be nearer to family. While Tim and I would not think about missing our HS kids' senior graduation in June, it's not feasible to make it back for my own little brother's this spring. The more we look to the future and contemplate having babies here, I know there will be more sacrifices to continue doing life away and apart. Next year, though, we are thrilled to host BOTH sides of our family in what we readily call home. The new and improved Brentons plan to come for Thanksgiving break and the whole Scarborough clan will share a Feliz Navidad with us here.