Skip to main content

Saying Goodbye

No, not to blogging; though you'd be excused for thinking that, based on my posting rate lately.

Instead, I'm talking about saying goodbye to a long-time friend: our dog Duke. We had known the decision to put him down was coming. It was no surprise. At somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 years, he had already lived a longer life than was probably normal for a dog of his size and assorted minor health issues.

Add to that the fact that his health slowly faded over the last year, and then took a nose dive over the summer. By the time August rolled around he was not doing well. We managed to make him a little peppier, and more comfortable, but there is only so much you can do for a 15-year-old dog with what I'll paraphrase the vet as describing as "either 1 big problem, or 10 little ones."

I had honestly hoped I would just walk down one morning and he would be lifeless. As bad as that would suck, at least I wouldn't have to make the call. But no. Man in the sky love him, the dog who was beside me for three-quarters of my adult life and pretty much 90 percent of my time with my wife, the dog who took countless walks with me and played seemingly endless games of fetch (until they ended) was stayed with us right until the end. He wouldn't be the one to abandon us; we would have to let him go.

So we knew the day was coming. I had already teared up and cried over the decision and situation a couple times. The knowledge was supposed to make it easier. The inevitability supposed to smooth the emotions. At least in my mind. So much for that.

I'll probably never forget the day for a couple reasons. I woke up to my wife informing me that Donald Trump was our next president. So with that bit a joy already percolating, I headed downstairs to let Duke out. By this point in time he had needed help getting up off the floor for about 6 months, maybe longer. So I went over and hoisted him up. He took two steps, collapsed, and pee ran everywhere. So while half our electorate was mourning the election of Donald Trump, I was mourning a different loss.

I made the call I dreaded and took him to the vet later that morning. I'm not ashamed to admit I cried a bunch. Heaping bunches of crying occurred. When I brought him in and the receptionist cheerfully greeted me, during the procedure, afterwards, in my truck. Countless times after that.

The house was quiet for the next month. I'd catch some movement out of the corner of my eye and think it was Duke. I'd watch the yard for him.

Life was a lot empty.

I'm not saying Duke was a lap dog, but...
The crazy part was I kind of expected it to be rough on the kids. As much as Duke has been a part of my life, he has been around their entire life. And its really their first experience with death or the loss of a beloved living thing. So I kind of expected tears, sadness ... something.

But nope. They handled with no problems what so ever. Zilch. The kids are amazing. And sometimes they surprise you. Like when they handle something that seems so monstrous and overwhelming to you with the air and ease of a summer breeze.

I had Duke cremated, because why not? Except it took me approximately two months to even go get his ashes, despite the fact that I was in the area constantly and actually took a couple trips in that direction where the vet was one of my destinations.

But eventually I made it - cried some more - dumped his ashes at the park he loved so much in his younger years. And I cried some more.

An aside here: I'm not a huge crier. Never have been. Now I cry at This Is Us and other sappy things. I blame the kids.

Anyway, I think that is out of my system. I think. Since I teared up writing this damn thing, who knows. But one thing I know: we won't be getting a dog any time soon (or will we?).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Parenting As A Two-Edged Sword

A) The other day I took time out of my schedule to play dolls with my daughter.

B) The other day, I took time away from playing dolls with my daughter to cook dinner.

Which really happened? A, or B?

From a certain perspective, both are true. As Obi wan Kenobi warned:


What I told you was true… from a certain point of view
In the moment, I considered myself a heroic Dad. Here I was, valiantly cooking dinner for the kids and their Mom while also managing to get in some one-on-one time with one of the kids. And playing one of her favorite things, too boot. That is perspective A. 
But it occurred to me that from her perspective (B), what I was saying might not be true. 
Instead of a Dad demonstrating superpowers of multi-tasking, she might simply be seeing me as too busy to really give her my full attention. 
When I look back in 10 years I might well remember the hectic but great times when I played dolls with her while cooking.
And as a teen, she may well look back as at a Dad too consumed with…

I Really Should...

... write an ode to Yunnan jig tea. It's great, honestly.  Smooth and delightful with just the right amount of punchy flavor.  Not coffee, but nicely caffeinated.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, find some loose leaf Yunnan jig and brew away.  May I suggest something from www.adagio.com?

... creatively write more.  I have a few story ideas.  At least 3, including the one I've already written and desperately need to edit and round out.  But its such a ... chore.  I really like reading, and I don't mind writing.  I actually enjoy writing one-off stuff like I do here.  But putting together 75k-100k in a complete order that makes sense and completes a story arc?  Ugh. Its all ... so much.  Blame my years in journalism, where I write tons of one-off stuff where the narrative is kind of half written for

(Speaking of this blog and writing)

... post more here.  As with all things, I guess, time is hard to find, whilst being a poor excuse.

... think before I agree…

The Dark Months

The holidays are over.  It only seems like life is over.

There is a solid three month period where holidays of various degrees are hitting you one-two-three style.  You have Halloween, which takes some of the sting out of the cooling temperatures and the disappearance of summer.  You have Thanksgiving, with rare foods and the promise of Christmas. 

Then you have a month of prepping and joy for Christmas.  You are so busy, you hardly notice how cold it has gotten.  And this year it got pretty darn cold.  And then Christmas itself.  My wife and I take a week off between Christmas and New Years, so we have that. 

Its a period so full of life.  And then the aforementioned NYE - when the cold decided to take it up a notch.

With triplets, its a little like being shot out of a cannon and taking three months to land.

But when you land, you land firmly in what I call the Dark Months.

There are no more holidays.  Yes, I realize MLK and Presidents Day are in January and February, and yes, I know…