July 1, 2010

Our household shrinks

drawing of amy dog

Daugther's chalk drawing of the dog 

hangs in our living room.
It is a work day so that means I am home alone. Really alone. As in the dog that has lived in this house almost as long as our family is gone.

The disappearance was not unexpected. I think it hurt my husband that four hours home from a conference I still had not mentioned her absense.

I'm more then OK with Amy's leaving as it was painful to see her stumble, to ache, to get so little pleasure from life, to play tag vigorously and then move slower with no grace.

The lack of a dog means I move around less because I don't need to open and close the door a zillion times for a dog whose bladder and/or memory was bad.

The lack of a dog means I can leave all interior doors open, the toilet seat lid up, and food on any counter or space that I want.

The lack of a dog means no one eagerly eats what I drop, licks my laptop or knocks over my piles.

The lack of a dog means I don't need to leave on a light at night, trip over water or food bowl or sleep lightly so I  heard the scratching request to go out and not make my husband get up.

The lack of a dog eliminates the need to sweep up the hair, may reduce the number of required allergy shots and might save the household a few bucks in vet bills, food, medicines, lodging, etc.

What was good about the dog was the delight it provided my husband and daughter over the years. They loved the dog from the day they picked her up from the Genesee County Humane Society. They played with the dog, provided for the dog and trained the dog.

The dog was a reason for dad and daughter to play outside, to walk outside, to talk.

Amy's exploring gains her collar

of trash can lid
The dog helped ease the transition from city to suburbs for my daughter when we moved in the midst of a middle-school year.

The move was sparked by anger that her school (or the local newspaper) did not see the setting of her hair on fire in a classroom as a big deal.

The move meant we finally had a back yard bigger then a sandbox, removing the excuse for not having a dog. The dog helped as we adjusted to a lifestyle without  museums, the library and friends within walking distance.

The dog helped ease the transition of losing our daughter twice now to a community 624 miles away for my husband.

The first time she left for a household that already had a dog and so left "her dog."

The second time she left it was clear "her dog" was her dad's dog now. Plus, the move would be tough on the rapidly aging dog who already seemed to forget where she was or what she did. Besides, our daughter had another dog of her own.

This dog was the third in my life. I barely remember the first - an Irish settler that lived outdoors. The best thing about the second dog was its litter financed a dishwasher for my family. That was almost enough to forgive her for throwing up in my shoes.


Amy never needed forgiveness.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry Mary Ann. We've lost all three of our dogs in the past five years. Each one was harder than the one before it. I asked God to take them in the night so I wouldn't have to do the humane thing the next day. But each time we had to face the hard decision to euthanize them.

    We will have another dog someday, but not until I'm pretty sure that the next dog will bury me and not the other way around.

    Not sure my heart could take it again. Please accept my condolences for the loss of a cherished family member.