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We have a very empty house. My youngest son’s companion of more than twelve years left us very unexpectedly last week. Her departure has left us with a very large hole in our hearts. While she loved each and every one of us, she loved Tim the most, with her entire heart and soul — and he loved her back just exactly the same. Her death is very surreal and difficult for all of us to accept. We keep walking into the house or a room and looking for her. After all, for her whole life and a good chunk of ours, she was around. It took me a long while to decide whether or not to write this post. I didn’t want to share our grief, our very, very personal sadness with the world. I was being selfish, because honestly I didn’t want to have to field all the “I’m sorrys” as heartfelt as they were, because they couldn’t help to make the sadness in our hearts go away. In thinking about it, long and hard, I realized that I was wrong. Jinx was a good dog – no, she was a great dog — and she deserves a proper eulogy. So here goes….
She came into our lives an energetic and adorable black lab puppy. She grew up with Tim and the two of them shared so many good times and so much snuggling and cuddling. He wanted desperately, as a tiny guy to have her be “his dog” and there is absolutely no question that she was. She loved him with every ounce of her being and he gave the same huge amount of love back to him. If there could be such a thing as a “perfect” death, she had it. She died in his arms and his face was the last one she saw. Tom and I swear that she waited for him, although don’t get me wrong, we had no idea that she was going to die. She had been asleep on the couch in my office, as she usually was during a “work day” and he came home early from school because of testing, anxious to share a beautiful day by taking her for a swim which is something she adored. They never made the swim, in fact, they never made it out the door. She collapsed and died just a few minutes later, within minutes of his arrival home. She was a smart dog, she kept us on schedule for dinner (6 p.m. was the time she decided dinner should be served) and she was always quick to let us know what she wanted and what she didn’t. If she was being pesky and we thought she had to go out, she was quick to back up and lay down when we tried to open the door and let her out telling us we had gotten it wrong. She had Tom and I on a schedule, our lunch was always the time for her snack. She would patiently wait for us to finish eating and then “urge” us to get up and give her a well deserved (in her opinion of course) snack. She loved cucumber almost as much as meat and you couldn’t break out anything crunchy without her coming running from across the house to share it with you. If we left her outside too long, she would come and stand at the window in the living room, staring at us, until we let her back inside. I’m sure that if she could figure out how to open the door herself, she would have done that as well. She enjoyed trips to the transfer station or any outing in the car and she loved being boarded at Wundrland, she would go crazy, whining and crying, when we mentioned the name. She loved all of us but would go absolutely crazy when Tim got home from a trip, especially last summer when he was gone for weeks at a time. She was my work buddy and lived for “let’s go to work” where she would promptly follow me into my office and take her place on the couch while I worked. She loved keeping the chipmunks that live around the house on the their toes and would run after the squeaking noise the second she heard it. She loved, loved, loved frisbee and swimming with Tim as well as anytime that she was able to snuggle up with him. She was very special to us and can never be replaced. In addition to the obvious, one of the things that always strikes me about death, is the words that will cease to be spoken. I remember when my dad died since that day, no one has every referred to me as “baby” or “my little girl”. Those words died along with my dad, never to be spoken again. Similarly, there are words that will never be uttered again in this house “jinxy dawg”,”let’s go to work”, “back up the truck” or “beep, beep, beep” when she used to try to go backwards around the coffee table. I hope that with these words and pictures, I have done her justice. We gave her a good home and she gave us a lifetime of love. What more can either of us ask for? Rest in peace, puppy dog — you deserve it.
We made a lunch run to drop trash off at the transfer station. We were gone 25 minutes tops. In that time, utter destruction ensued. My months of seed growing, my onions, scallions, leeks, lettuce and flowers which I had tended to so carefully over the past weeks was reduced to this
The most mature of the plants, including our berry bushes which I had transplanted were trampled.
As heart wrenching as this destruction to my pre-garden seedlings and plants is, even more disturbing is what caused our dog, which never has gone near the plants before –ever– to trample through the plants to get to the sliding door and whatever was on the other side of it — whatever it was caused the dog to go nuts and trample through the shelf with my plants on it to get to the door…..now I am off to clean up and salvage what remains there might be…..sniff, sniff.
For the past few days, we’ve noticed that the newspaper has made its way from the entrance of our driveway to the steps by the door. At first, I figured that our neighbor who plows for us, must have seen it and threw it in the area of our door as he plowed the driveway. Yet, the days he didn’t plow the paper still mysteriously made its way from the end of the driveway to just by the steps.
The mystery was solved when TJ commented that he noticed that the dog has been picking up the paper and dropping it by the steps. Once, we figured was a freak accident. She saw the bag in the snow and picked it up, she is after all a retriever. Yet it has continued to happen.
So, who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Heck, who says an old dog can’t teach herself new tricks?
A (pooped) boy and his dog…………..
Tim has been keeping a crazier schedule these days than the adults in the house. In addition to school, he is involved in Writer’s Club, Reader’s Club, Odyssey of the Mind, Boy Scouts, guitar lessons and skiing lessons.
No wonder the poor kid is tired.