“Where do you think we should bury her?”
This was not the question I was expecting to ask Chase two weeks ago, when we drove Honey home from the emergency vet’s office. She was still alive and breathing in the back seat, but just barely, and the writing was on the wall of the decision that faced us. We could have already decided to call her life quits back at the vet, but neither of us could stomach her last moments taking place in a vet’s office, where she was most likely confused, panicked, and wanting nothing more than to go home. So we drove her home, tears streaming down our face. Chase and I sat on the floor, petting Honey while she took a nap, and Henry called our regular vet to make an appointment for that afternoon.
Henry left, letting us know that the appointment was 2 hours away. Chase and I lay on either side of our beloved friend, petting her softly while she slept. We cried and held each other’s hands, and then 2 hours later we lifted her, dog bed and all, and carried her to the car. Honey slept peacefully while we drove. Chase parked the car in a sunny spot at the vet’s parking lot, and I sat with her while he let them know we were here. I had insisted that she not be brought inside the vet’s office, since it would only cause her to panic, and so they agreed to come out to the car. When I saw our vet, a kind and gentle man, begin to walk toward the car, my heart filled with a panic I have never known in my life, and continued while he tried to find a vein in her dehydrated, depleted body. This man was going to kill my dog, my friend, and it seemed inconceivable that my job was to simply sit by and watch it happen. For the benefit of her state of mind, I managed to keep it together and reassured Honey with a constant chant of, “Good girl, good dog,” until he had checked her heart and told me she was gone. The memories are vague from there, but I know that I wailed and cried like I cannot ever remember doing, and I hope that it is a long time, forever even, before I see my husband in the state he was in for the next few days. People told me it would be hard, but in the moment I felt wholly unprepared for the loss of our dog. Continue Reading →
We got a new puppy last month. And no, before you ask, “Santa” did not bring us a puppy. Facebook got us a puppy, in that someone in a group I belong to posted that they needed to get rid of her, and they attached an irresistibly cute photo, and I had an out-of-body experience and commented on the photo, and when I came to, the actual dog was in my house, peeing on the floor.
She came to us with the name Bella, but we quickly re-named her Stella. As one of our friends put it, her name is far superior now that it is after a beer and not a Twilight character.
The number one question that people ask us is how Honey has been handling having a puppy around. I can’t think of a better response than this video:
A page from the diary of my dog, regarding the last week we’ve been in North Carolina:
We have now been staying with the family of my humans for over a week. Although they have regularly discouraged me from joining them in the big bed, (which I will never understand given that my shedding fur provided an added layer of warmth) I assumed that in this new space my humans would prefer us to band together as a pack in one bed. I’m sure of course that their kicks and jabs to my ribs are intended to guide me to the most comfortable spot, but they don’t seem to be aware that it merely causes me to opt for sleeping on the floor instead. No worry, I’ve found if I simply wait until they fall asleep I can slip onto the bed and slowly stretch myself out until I have all the personal space I need. Although they never say it I’m sure the humans agree that it is better that they cling to the edges of the mattress while I sleep at the center, since their claws are much more adaptable for such things.
It is of course important to be vigilant when staying in a new place, so I have taken it upon myself to arise at 5:00AM each morning and take a tour of the house. This of course means I have to scratch at the bedroom door until my human, usually the female, lets me out, but I’m quite sure she is appreciative of my efforts. If a predator were sneaking around the house, no doubt they would run as soon as they heard my nails loudly clicking on the hardwood floors. And just in case that isn’t enough to scare them off, I like to throw in a few barks for good measure. It makes my heart swell with pride every time my humans yell my name in gratitude. I wish I could tell them that no words are needed – I would happily protect them without any recognition at all.
All is safe for now. This is the watchdog of Old House, North Carolina, signing off.
Honey has taken to scratching to be let out about 30 minutes before my alarm goes off, which is arguably the worst time to wake me up. It’s too late for me to actually go back to sleep, but too early that I should go ahead and get up.
Every time this happens I have to control my urge to throw things at her. Like a pillow, or my shoe or maybe the table lamp. I also have to bite my tongue so that I don’t go into an angry rant along the lines of:
“You know, some of us WORK in this household! Some of us aren’t able to just lie around the house all day, not pulling their weight! Who, exactly, do you think buys your food?? I DO!! I work SO HARD just so that you can live a comfortable life and you can’t even do me the favor of BEING QUIET FOR 30 MINUTES while I’m trying to sleep?!?”
I, of course, do not say any of this out loud because my stepfather Henry would think I was weird. (Chase wouldn’t bat an eye) And because Honey would probably figure out a way to flip me the doggie finger, and then I would have to kill her.
For just one day, I want to be able to lie around and do nothing. I want my main concern to be, “where am I going to sleep once the sun becomes to hot?” I want someone else to prepare and bring me all of my food.
In short, I want to be one of my pets. For just a day.
What a bitch.
Normally, I live in in Los Angeles, but for this summer I was offered a job in Asheville, NC and jumped at the chance to be in my hometown for a few months. Instead of leaving our dog, Honey, in LA with Chase where she would probably spend most of her time lounging on our couch alone in the apartment, I made the decision to drive across the country so she could come with me. If at any point I had questioned my decision to do so, it was erased completely when I took her over to my grandmother’s property to visit her backyard pond. For a good 10 minutes all Honey could think to do was run. Everywhere, all at once. She would run in one direction until she almost ran into things, and since that worked out so well she immediately would turn and do the same thing in another direction.
Then, to prove how impressive of a canine specimen she is, Honey spent a few minutes leaping over random objects that could have easily been avoided.
And then, oh heavens, she finally gave some attention to the pond.
This is her swimming for no particular reason. Not because I threw a stick, or she was chasing ducks, but because swimming in a pond just feels awesome.
Honey is not realizing at this moment that she will undoubtedly be getting a bath later, but I don’t think she cares.