The best rebound I’ve ever had.

by mssinglemama on February 19, 2011

I have found myself – in the past two months -  back to 100% single motherhood.

In addition to the absence of John Bear, Benjamin is no longer spending one weekend a month at his father’s. I can’t get into details but can say that the decision (mine) was definitely as a last resort and only after four years of giving my ex-husband every grace possible. He is invited to come up and see him here, but no more overnights there.

Needless to say, the adjustment has not been easy. But we are plugging through.

Benjamin is adjusting beautifully but not without his emotional ups and downs. Me? A bit slower to the punch, of course. Being an adult and all, with my baggage and my mental road blocks and having to parent alone again and do everything else alone again. Well, you can imagine…

The worst of all “alones” – being suddenly alone again every night after Benjamin went to bed has been tough. Just a few of the reasons we set out weeks ago to find a new dog. Enter Mr. Archer, the most well-behaved dog I have ever encountered.

And as Benjamin says he’s “so lovable.”

He is.

Just look at him.

I am absolutely in love with him. And only one week in, all three of us are so incredibly attached to each other–it’s hard to imagine our family without him. Maybe I’m self-medicating our family with a dog, but I don’t care.

This is far better than rebounding with a man, or drugs, or cigarettes.

Many of you have been asking about where Archer came from. Last weekend, Benjamin and I drove up to Chicago to visit Terri and Larry. I was hunting in Ulta for a new perfume and a shampoo that wouldn’t weigh my hair down when a volunteer from the local shelter walked in with a puppy in her arms. They were next door at PetSmart for an adoption day.

I ran up to her, so excited, because Benjamin and I had been looking in Columbus shelters for weeks. But we couldn’t find our dog. One shelter also denied our application because I technically didn’t own Murphy and couldn’t show evidence of being a “good” pet owner with vet records. That hurt, believe me. Nothing like someone telling you when you are raising a human being that you can’t raise a dog. Not that dogs and kids are the same, but come on. Really?

The volunteers in Illinois passed our application in a heart beat and were so excited that Archer, who had been in the shelter for an entire month, would be going “home”. They said his old owner turned him in when the landlord wouldn’t let Archer stay. It’s heart breaking because Archer is so incredibly sweet and well-behaved. You can tell that someone put a tremendous amount of love into this dog.

He’s so well trained, in fact, that I am hiring a dog trainer this weekend to come in and train Benjamin and I. My fear is that we will un-train Archer. If that’s even possible.

But so far, so good. And Archer, who comes to work with me every day – joining Ellie as the second Cement Marketing dog – has died and gone to Heaven.

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  1. The Rebound Year

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan@TrueDaughter February 19, 2011 at 11:21 am

Glad you are doing okay after John Bear. I love that you were able to find such a great dog! I miss having a dog, and am always drawn to posts when people talk about their dogs. He is so cute – we have failed the whole application process with rescues/shelters because we have too many kids. They think we won’t pay attention to a dog. HUH? With 11 people, 9 of them kids to slather him with affection? He would never run out of people waiting to pay attention to him. Oh well, that just means we end up going another route. It’s hard to do as all the ASPCA and other want you to do, when they won’t allow perfectly good pet owners/responsible adults to adopt a dog. So ridiculous. Archer is a cutie, though, I am glad you guys have him. Something about a dog just makes everything comfier.

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amy February 20, 2011 at 11:24 pm

MSM and Megan I too was recently ‘snubbed’ by a rescue group. Having had dogs all my life (and the vet record/bills to prove it!) I was very hurt. After having a home inspection that felt worse than a yearly pelvic exam I knew I was deemed unworthy by the two snooty people who walked through my house (with their freaking wet boots on!) Explanation was that as I was applying for a pup there were many other applicants and my older dog did not seem a good fit.

So I BOUGHT a dog. Bad me. He is the best thing to ever happen to my 11 year old guy, both so bonded and playful together. Me thinks some rescues are a tad TOO anal and need to lighten up a bit.

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Jen @ follow my bliss February 19, 2011 at 11:44 am

Love this. So happy for you. He is a darling and it looks like you’re all healing each other. :)

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Angela February 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm

What a wonderful new beginning for you all…

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Rose February 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm

He’s so lovely! I adore dogs, such wonderful, loving pets. Very happy for you and Benjamin, congratulations on your new family member!

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Christiansinglemother February 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Glad you are doing alright. I can completely understand self-medicating with a dog. Hope Archer brings much joy and happiness in your life!

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amy February 19, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Whatever you are doing you are doing well and bringing Archer home the best for all! What a sweetheart. I am a total dog lover and have had two as long as I can remember. The ‘complete me’ ;) But they DO!!!

My two guys are there for me 24/7. They worship me as I do them. Currently snoring at my feet.

I am so happy for the three of you!

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Amy February 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I used to look forward to my children’s ‘Dad’ time each month because, let’s face it, raising children solo is exhausting. But I can say this month is the first time that I truely miss them and their energy and their busy-ness. I think it is because they are getting older and more independent and need me for everything less and less. I still refer to my 4-yr old as saran wrap, under my breath, but with my older one, I realize that each phase ends. Soon my 4-yr old will go off to school and meet friends she would rather be with than mom. As her world gets bigger, my role in it will change. So while her love can seem overwhelming at times, I know in a blink of an eye, it will change and I will be struggling to remember what it was like to be the center of her universe. I wonder if you can relate, Ms. Single Mama?

And as for Archer…I want one!

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Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) February 20, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I think a dog can only be good for a family. Especially for little Ben, a dog will provide you with unconditional love.

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christine February 20, 2011 at 9:41 pm

i wish you could discuss issues with ben’s dad more openly, but i understand why you can’t. you are definitely not the only single mama who has her kids virtually 100% of the time, though. my girls are with me every single night, although they do go to their dad’s during the day. it’s really hard not to have that break or the ability to go out (ever), but it’s a worthwhile trade off, knowing they are safe, well fed, and taken care of.

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Corinne Cooper February 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm

So happy you adopted & Archer is such a sweetie. He shows alot of love & wisdom in that face!

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Nick Stanham February 21, 2011 at 8:19 am

Awwww he looks wonderful! I have a dog called Barney, he is my lifesaver.

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Tina February 21, 2011 at 10:40 am

Dogs are goods for kids and us single moms. I’m so happy for you and your son! And Archer! Awww, this post made my morning. Take care!

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David Rickert February 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

It appears those dogs are at the office but they don’t appear to be doing much other than lying around. Put them to work!

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Sheila February 21, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I have been a 100% single mom for just about 3 years – hard work, but infinitely worth it. It sounds like you have some sitters you can rely on, so make sure you schedule some you time on a regular basis!

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lkt February 22, 2011 at 10:46 am

Wow, you can tell from the picture that Archer is a great dog. So much better than getting a puppy and having to go through all that training. Don’t be too hard on yourself about being turned down by a rescue group–my sister-in-law is the head of one and her idea of good dog home is extremely narrow. Also–please don’t be so quick too label yourself with a lot of baggage. Unless you stick with your child sweetheart, everyone has a past. If ound once I reached my 30s, the idea of dating someone with children or a past divorce or past long term situation that didn’t work out was more the norm than the exception to the rule. Hopefully, we all become a bit wiser and more compassionate from our past experiences. I personally would prefer to date someone who has been through some stuff and come out the other side than someone who has led a life where everything has come easy.

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1ladyluck February 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm

That’s lovely. He’s a beauty and looks like such a protector. Such a good rebound.

Better than my rebound which was a massive SUV that I think loves me in it’s own metal way. I call it my steed which makes it sound like a horse. Which makes it sound sort of a alive. Which makes me sound less weird.

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soon2bsinglemom February 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm

I just said “Awwwwwwww!” out loud. Archer put a smile on my face so I can only imagine how happy he is making you and Benjamin.

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grammargirl February 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Benjamin and ME. Benjamin and ME. Please, please, please, for the love of English …. it’s Benjamin and ME!

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Jeff September 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Wouldn’t it be Benjamin and I?

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Nancy Wurtzel March 24, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Mr. Archer is a total babe and he looks like he is wise beyond his ears…oops, I mean years! Seriously, it looks as though you all belong together. Pets can so quickly become one of the family and be very healing. My little puppy stayed with my former husband and I regret it every day. Enjoy!

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Jeff September 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

That’s so good that you used your kid as a manipulation tool against your ex. I’m so proud of you for doing that. You really are a Super-Mom. That’s gonna eat at him one day you know…. and all thanks to you and your self-righteousness. Congratulations on doing everything you possibly can to make sure your kid has the hardest possible life ahead of him.

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