It’s an odd word. Two words with opposite meanings, combined. Meriam-Webster describes it as “combining sadness and happiness”.
Several people have asked me how I can send these adorable puppies away to their new homes; that they could “never do” what I do. It is a bittersweet experience.
When you attend (and most of the time help) at the birth of these helpless creatures (actually, things start months before that in the planning and anticipation of the litter), and you’re with them day by day, watching them grow and meet new little milestones, you become very emotionally attached. (Times that by three this time!) You’ve slept next to them for the first week of their life, tube feeding the little ones, medicating the ones with cords that mom chewed too close (*grrr), and weighed them daily for the first couple weeks. You’ve anxiously waited for their little eyes and ears to open; too see them start to crawl and growl and play. You’ve played with them, loved on them, and cleaned up after them, and cleaned up after them, and cleaned up after them. 😉 Your heart does become wrapped up in their little fuzzy lives.
I love animals. I love dogs. And who doesn’t love puppies?! So doing what I do is right up my alley. And it is hard to hand them over. I’ll be honest, I do get a little weepy when some of them leave (especially when they’re staring back at me through a crate door at the airport.)
But I also love the part where I get to make another person’s life happy. They’ve been anxiously waiting and preparing for that new little puppy. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I’ve meet some of the nicest people through my dogs! I love that part of raising dogs.
And honestly, think about it. If you’ve ever had a litter of puppies, you know that as they grow, that litter is getting noisier, and messier and consuming more of your time. Some of you reading this are getting one puppy. Imagine that energy, mess, noise and busy-ness, times four or six! (Or more, if you happen to have more than one litter at home). So that part makes it easier to let them go (kick them out the door). hahaha!
If any of you have children that have grown up and moved out, you might understand the situation. You love them, you hate to see them leave, but know this is part of life, part of growing up and maturing. There is a new phase of life for them to explore.
I love my puppies. I’ll missed their sweet puppy antics and kisses. But I won’t miss the mess, or the noise, or the smell (yes, puppy poop smells). And that folks, is my bittersweet story.