Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I tried so hard tonight to click my heels together "there's not place like home"

Do you remember this story? To recap in case you don't want to click on the link, I am the luckiest girl in the world.

On my 11 birthday, my parents wrapped up a tiny little dog collar and put it into a little tiny dog bowl and watched as I unwrapped it.  I didn't get it at first.  I thought maybe they were toys to go with my stuff animals.

But no.  It was collar for the puppy that we'd be getting a few weeks.  Yes, I am the girl who got a pony for her birthday, and the next year a puppy.  An adorable, outrageously fluffy Australian shepherd puppy. As a puppy, he had this strange fetish for nibbling on ears.  It never hurt, he was very careful, but occasionally his little puppy teeth would get hooked in an earring and he'd pull and that hurt like a mofo.

He's probably the smartest dog ever. And I am not talking about being able to learn new tricks or sneaking into places we didn't want him to be in. I am talking about calculus, volcanoes, and Shakespeare.  Throughout highschool, I sat on my floor with papers and notebooks spread out all around me and with my dog.  He sat with me the whole time, and then when I'd have my dad come in and quiz me on my spanish vocab or biology terms, I'd lie with my head on his stomach my arms wrapped around him.  For hours.  Ya'll, I bet that dog speaks fluent Spanish.

He'd sleep in my bed with me, eventually getting too hot and leaping on the floor where he'd spend the remainder of the night - and if I locked him out, he'd cry and whine (in two languages I can only assume), until I let him back in my room.  In the mornings, when I'd get up and get ready for school, he'd lazily stretch and come into the bathroom with me while I showered (again, if I didn't let him in - the crying OH the crying) and brushed my teeth.

When I came back from college, he'd run out the door to greet me barking, and crying with excitement, until I gave him the love and attention he deserved.  And when he'd look at me with his one blue and one brown eye - he looked so content, knowing that his family, his little pack was all together again.

Even when I went home last year, at a wise and mature 14 years old, he gave me some of that greeting - minus the barking and the jumping and the running, it was a sedate but loving remnant.   

For the past couple of weeks, he hasn't been doing well.  His hind legs stopped working completely.  My parents gave me weekly updates on how he was doing and it was always "he seems like he is not in pain" and then a few days ago "he's fading."

And today with an email my mom told me he was gone.  She'd called (but I never keep my phone with me) and before I started writing this, I listened to her phone message. Just hearing her voice brought on the tears.

I feel awful.  I should have been there, like he was always there for me. For the past few days, I've tried to will myself into his consciousness so that he knew I loved him and was thinking of him and aching for him.  I selfishly tried to will him to hold on until I could come home again, until I could bury my face in his fur and have him gaze at me with those multi-coloured eyes.

I wish I could have him sleeping on my bed right now, right by my feet keeping them nice and warm. Making me feel safe.  Making me feel like I was well studied. prepared and ready for this life, for all these tests.

Goodbye puppy.  Adios amigo.

35 comments:

  1. So sad. I still remember that phone call from my parents, when I was 24 and living in Boston. Wishing I could have been there.

    It's hard, but your pup was loved. Take care of yourself.

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  2. Pets are just like one of the family. My family was heart-broken when our cats died a couple of years ago and it sucked that I couldn't be there to say goodbye.

    Remember the good times, I'm sure you made him a happy puppy! x

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  3. I am so, so sorry. It's never easy. Sometimes I wonder why we even do it to ourselves. And then they look at you with that adorable puppy face and you can't imagine ever not.

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  4. Ohh Im all in tears reading your post. Im so very sorry, darling!!! Kisses

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  5. =-( This is so sad! My grandma always says that pets should live longer than us so that we don't have to go through the pain of having to say goodbye to them.

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  6. Oh no...I'm so sorry, darl. :-(

    It's no surprise how easily pets become part of the family. Take care.

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  7. This story brought a little tear to my eye. I grew up with the sweetest dog, and it was so hard to lose him. I want a dog for myself so bad, for all the reasons you mentioned that having a dog makes your life worth living (study budy, foot warmer, protector, unconditional love). I have not been living a stable enough life to have one at this point, but I am aching for the day I can get a dog. I can only hope when I do, it will turn out as amazing as your dog was!

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  8. I never got a dog until I was... well, teenagerish (is it sad that I'm not really sure how old my dogs are?). Anyway, not the point. The point is that we still have both of them, the only two dogs I've ever had and I am NOT looking forward to the day when they are no more.

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  9. Sending you huge hugs and condolences. And he knew.

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  10. I'm so sorry :( It sounds like he was a wonderful pup and companion.

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  11. oh I'm so sorry to hear this...I know how hard it is to be away when a pet dies.

    Rest assured they know how much we loved them and that he's off to play in puppy heaven.

    Take the time to grieve...you're allowed.

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  12. Oh, I'm so sorry. Losing a pet is awful. *Hugs*

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  13. oh honey, i am so so sorry. losing a loved one is never easy, especially if you are on the other side of the ocean. my stepmom is deaf and has a hearing dog who is a an australian shepherd. the hearing dog before this one was also an australian shepherd and literally went everywhere we went. i definitely come from a family who believes our animals are just as important as our human members, and losing our aussie, bailey, was such a hard day {okay, a hard couple of months actually}. one of my professors at the time was a native american and told me that in her culture they believe after death our animals remain at our feet, as our constant and loyal companions. i always loved that and it brought a bit of comfort to us, so i wanted to share that with you. i hope you can find some really beautiful ways to give honor to him and your life together. sending you lots of hugs!

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  14. I'm crying so hard after reading this. Maybe meeting this pup...first.. you were destined to meet someone from down under. Perhaps he knows what a lucky dog he was..I'm sure of it.

    I think of the border collies my grandfather used to have. When I read this, I thought of Jack. He had one blue eye and one brown eye, too..but he was always in a kennel. He was so friendly, but trained as work dog on a ranch. And it is a hard life for a dog.

    So its good to hear your pet had such a wonderful life that you guys gave him.

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  15. Your doggie lived a long and full life with a loving family/pack. It doesn't get any better than that. Exactly a year ago I had to put down my 14 yo best canine friend. I miss him still.

    I hope you and Inspector Climate will have a dog.

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  16. Oh honey!!! I am so sorry to hear this. I can only imagine how painful this is. Hold onto IC for now and just cry it out.

    HUGS!

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  17. :( I'm sorry....I think it's the pet from childhood that all of us never forget.

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  18. So sad for your loss. I still miss my Daisy.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog for SITS day.

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  19. Oh sweet girl ... he knew you loved him! And there at the end, when his body was giving out, I'm sure that his dreams were filled with those same long ago days!

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  20. Oh I am so sad reading this. I have experienced the same when my cat that I rescued died and I was finished with college working at my first job and my mom called to tell me. It was just heartbreaking not to have been there. But they know how much you loved them and to them, that's all that mattered. Sending you lots of good thoughts and a big hug!

    xo Mary Jo

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  21. DiaryofWhy - Thanks Rachel!

    Kiwi - They are so much a part of our family. My parents have even named our chickens.

    Bridget - I know, I am having a hard time imagining getting a dog of my own at the moment. Even though it's all I've wanted. But they get old!

    Diana - Thank you!

    Krysten - yes, or at least age at the same rate we do.


    Pretzel Thief - I know, they certainly have made home, home.

    Lindsay - I haven't been living a stable enough life for a puppy either, but man have I wanted one.

    jehlik501 - It is really, really hard. I've lost a lot of furry friends in the past year, and it never gets easier.

    The Zadge - I hope so.

    Alex - He was the best.

    Crystal - Thank you! Sometimes it seems silly to be so worked up about "just a dog".

    Vanessa - Truly awful.

    Kim - I love that idea that he remain at our feet...it's certainly where he was happiness.

    Ellie - I think we were probably the lucky ones.

    Susan - I am very sorry - I am not we'll ever stop missing them! I hope we will too.

    Ev Rev - Maybe a little baking will help?

    Boobies - I am not sure I can forget any of them.

    Sara - Me too.

    Beth - I can only hope so!

    Skye - Thank you!

    Mary Jo - I really do hope he knew.

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  22. Oh, I'm so sorry. It's never easy to loose a pet, especially one that's been such a loving companion for so many years. When we lost our dog two years ago I was absolutely devastated.
    I hope that you can find comfort in the fact that he is no longer in pain and celebrate the good memories.

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  23. Oh that is so so sad :( I hope you're ok. xoxo

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  24. So hard to lose a puppy :( I am so sorry!

    Stopping by from SITS!

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  25. p.s. happy to be your 100th google friend follower!

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  26. I'm so sorry. I love my dogs so much and every time I've lost a pet I've been devastated. Hugs!

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  27. My thoughts are with you dear. I can only imagine how hard it is for you and your family. Sending you good thoughts of happier times with you and your puppy.

    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  28. Sorry for the loss of your good friend. How fortunate you were to have each other for as long as you did!

    I just stopped by from SITS to say hi; hope you find time to return the visit.

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  29. oh this is so sad :( Its so hard when a pet dies, they really become a part of the family and you can really feel their absence.

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  30. Cole - Thanks Cole! I am mostly relieved that my parents don't need to stress any more about when or if they'll be there to take care of him.

    Many Colours of Happiness - Aw, thank you. It's been a tough week. Lots of tears.

    Classy Career Girl - Thank you for following me! And thank you for your comment.

    Twenty four at heart - Thank you so much, sometimes I feel a bit silly to be so upset, but man.


    Chic n Cheap living - I have been trying to focus on the happy times. And there were certainly many.

    Eva - yes, I feel very lucky to have had such a healthy puppy for so long.

    Sophie - definitely, it is one of the things I worry about, going home and facing such an obvious absence of his presence.

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  31. super sorry girl :( thinking of you!

    xoxo

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  32. It's tough no matter how long and great a life a pet has lived. He was lucky to have a great owner like you.

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  33. Chelsea - Thank you!

    Eleanor - Me too!

    Mil - exactly, I always would have wanted more.

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