Friday, January 9, 2015
Sniff Prints on your heart
Losing a dog is hard. When you lose a person, everyone understands that it's a heart wrenching event and that it's not something you'll get over anytime soon. Everyone is a person person. Not everyone is dog person.
You tell someone that your parents had to put your family dog down this week and you get a lot of "oh no that's so sad.. but it wasn't your dog.." "Oh no when did it happen? Tuesday? And you're still tearing up over random dog pictures?"
Buddy was our first family dog, we got him when we moved to Oklahoma 11 years ago. Eleven great years of watching him chase squirrels, having him follow me around when I eat because he knows I'll drop something. Eleven years of not having to clean up food when I drop it because I know he'll eat it, probably before it hits the floor.
A couple months ago my parents found out he had cancer and it was absorbing all his white blood cells, after a blood transfusion and several weeks of sitting on pins and needles, a blood test showed that it was all for not. The cancer was still absorbing all the blood cells. It was officially going to be his last Christmas.
When my dog-person friends asked me how I was, it was a lot easier to let it roll off, "I'm fine, it's best this way, he's in pain." But the week my brother was here it was a lot harder to act like we weren't going to think about the year my mom gave Buddy paint rollers for Christmas, then because he was soooo excited, she took them away because she was afraid they were laced with something.
Or the time Brandon and Buddy were playing on the floor when he was a puppy and Buddy just stopped and peed on Brandon's back.
Or how when Buddy was a puppy and I was learning how to play the flute, he would howl the whole time I played. Even if he was outside.
Or when I made up Buddy's song "Buddy Bear you have black hair, Buddy Bear you have your own chair, Buddy Bear you look like a Bear." And my Aunt said he didn't seem to like it, but I gave him my left over dinner, so I'm sure he did.
It's easier to not think about it, to not think about his hairy feet or sniff prints he left on your pants.. but is it fair? When people die, they're remembered and there's a funeral and they're talked about for years to come. There will probably be a memoir for Stuart Scott every January for the next 5-10 years. But for all the great years and memories that Buddy gave us, all he gets is a mold of his paw print and a vinyl sticker for our cars. It can't be enough.
But then again, maybe that's the way he wants it. Dogs come in our lives already with the greatest capacity to love. They're here for a short time gracing our lives with laughs and then in the end tears, so many tears. And for them, that's enough. All they want is to be loved in return (and maybe a couple pig ears to pass the time). And boy was he loved. That shedding, chair stealing beast was loved to the fullest capacity.
So here's to that dogs fully lived, fully loved life. May he have his own chair wherever he is now. And an abundance of pig ears.