I Need to Stop Talking about My Dead Dog Friday Round-Up

There are way worse things than having your dog die. But it’s not a hangnail either. The one big plus about having your dog die is that you no longer have to worry about your dog dying. That seems a curious thing to say although I’ve thought it before – about my mother’s wedding ring which I worried obsessively about losing and then finally did lose at a Cubs game a few years ago. The ring was gone so I no longer had to feel for it hanging on a chain around my neck, wouldn’t have to have that exquisitely awful premonition that the ring had disappeared. Now, I don’t have to get up in the morning and go see if my dog is breathing.

The other dog is still breathing. And laying about and eating his kibble mixed with rice and going to the dog park and trotting down the trail with his tail in the air. Yesterday, Swirl stopped at nearly every tree to sniff. “Do you think he smells Punchy here?” my husband asked. Absolutely, I thought, the park is like a scrapbook of their finest moments.

In other news, I bought a pair of bellbottom jeans, along with platform boots, and a paisley top. I’m going to visit my daughter in California next week and she is having a 70’s party. I have to tell you – all modesty aside – I look like a million bucks in those bellbottoms. And the platforms. Well. Yes.

Yesterday, I learned that a lake in northern Michigan was a place where many African American families bought summer cabins in the fifties and sixties. A friend, whose parents bought a cabin which she still owns, told me that it became a place where no one would be hassled even though the cabins for African Americans were clustered on what was described as the bad side of the lake. Not so, she said, the sunsets were far better from that side of the lake. It’s true. I’ve seen pictures.

Almost every day, we see our friend which is what we call the man walking along the lakefront at all times of day in both directions – north and south. He wears heavy black insulated coveralls, boots, and a thick black hat. He always has big headphones clamped over his hat. He changes his gear depending on the weather, but the coveralls are a constant. He doesn’t change his pace or look up, he’s never with anyone, never conversing or even stepping around someone or glancing at a dog. At the beginning, I wanted to go ask him why he was walking so much but, really, what business is it of mine?

15 Comments on “I Need to Stop Talking about My Dead Dog Friday Round-Up

  1. On another note — HAPPY NEW YEAR, Jan. Thanks for all your wonderful posts.

  2. I worry about Morrie missing Diego. He lies in his bed in his cage for most of the day, open door, always. He does come out when I’m outside and sometimes plays with the others, has started to fetch a bit again but lets the little girls steal the ball and does nothing to reclaim it. Listless. Breaks my heart. Diego was like this after Frida died.. took him a good year to resume his old personality after assuming hers for a year. Nothing ever prepares us for the next loss of a loved being. R.I.P. Punchy. Have you told us how he got his name?

    • I really can’t tell about Swirl. He seems pretty okay. Maybe sticking a little closer to us at the dog park. Punchy refers to punchy snow – which is snow that has a hard surface with soft snow underneath. I think it’s an Alaska thing.

  3. When our dog Gibbs died a couple of years ago while he was sleeping on the sofa, perfectly fine and then, without a squawk or a moan, dead MANY people said “Oh thank god, at least you don’t have to go through that last terrible year waiting to see if your dog is ready to go or not.”

    The weird thing was I understood and they were right. I’d stood watch over so many loved pets. Wondering if today would be the day or maybe we could make it a few more days. We had to go through the same thing with Bonnie a few weeks later. We seem to lose them in pairs. Both PBGVs, both Scotties. Sometimes, because we got them at the same time, three in a year. It never gets easier.

    • It doesn’t ever get easier. This one was especially hard because it came on so fast and the situation was so quickly very dire. But either way – it’s very weird to suddenly have such a presence in one’s life gone.

      • Yes, it is weird and you can’t replace them. You get other dogs and they eventually fill your heart, but they still are in the shadow of those who have gone before. I’ve always had dogs, usually two or more. Now, just one. I was almost afraid to get attached to the Duke because they get old so awfully fast. Yesterday he was a pup and now he’s just turned seven. I’m trying not to worry in advance, but the losses mount up over the years. I still cry over pets I lost more than 20 years ago. It seems just yesterday…

  4. Don’t forget the blue eye shadow for the party and perhaps a headband? Remembering Punchy is worth every word you choose to write about him Jan, but I get the sense of relief you speak of.

  5. When someone has a longtime pet die, a dog or a cat, we tend to want to say “It’s only a dog/cat.” We would be wise to take the other approach, to realize that over the years these guys are with us 24 hours a day, and their loss leaves a huge hole, and we’re entitled to some grieving. And I know when our pup looks at me with his big eyes, I’m not sure at all about the “only” part. So Jan, no need to feel you have to stop talking about Punchy for a while.

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