Sweetness and LightJanuary 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Posted in Family, The Pups | 29 Comments
Tags: Comfort, Death, Dogs, Family, Friendship, Grief, Loss, Personal, Pets, Relationships
When our behemoth black Lab was a wee pup, just barely one year old, he ate our remote control. (I’m not kidding.) We didn’t have children yet. We both worked. And one ordinary Tuesday, he got bored while we were out bringing home the Bark’n Bac’n.
Shortly thereafter, we decided to get him a canine friend. Someone older, wiser, more mature. Someone who could teach him more manners than we’d been able to. (Because he had eaten the dog-training book, too.)
My husband chose Polly from a local dog-rescue website. With her shaggy, blonde face smiling up at him, her brown eyes glittering with that Disney-dog aura of hers, I’m pretty sure he was a goner from the first click. And a few days later, she came to live with us.
Actually, she came for a weekend trial. It lasted for seven years.
Because she was the perfect foil for our Lab. She was calm and quiet and gentle. She allowed him to push past her, beat her to the top of the stairs, and bowl her over when he needed to be the alpha dog of someone, anyone, in this ever-more-chaotic house filled with pint-sized ear-pullers. And she never ate things she shouldn’t, save a few crayons, the occasional litter-box cookie, and, once, a bag of lollipops.
She also never barked, except in her sleep when the terrier in her subconscious romped with abandon after squirrels and rabbits. She snuffled when we trimmed her Gandalfian eyebrows. She smelled like fresh tortillas and charmed all the neighborhood postmen.
We lost her this weekend.
She settled down for the night on her worn green-and-brown bed and never woke up.
She was old. She had arthritis that made it terribly painful to stand up and lie down. She was mostly blind and mostly deaf.
So it was a blessing that she passed peacefully, at home, in her favorite spot.
I know that. I do. Still, I miss her. I wasn’t ready for her to go.
But she was ready.
I have to take comfort in that. Somehow, I have to.
Care to share a funny or sweet story about your pets? About the strangest thing they ever ate? About how your heart manages, somehow, to heal once they’re gone?