- The weight of her against the backs of my knees on a cool night
- Her complaints if the food bowl wasn’t filled within seconds of my rising in the morning.
- The warmth of her snuggled into the living room chair next to me.
- Her purr when I scritched that perfect spot, and the way she rolled her head into it.
- The sounds from the bedroom while Andy’s getting dressed of the two of them playing.
- The way she’d follow me into the bathroom as if to say “You’re not doing anything important while you’re sitting there : pet me.”
- Her snoring, which on a quiet day could be heard across the room.
- The “how could you be so thick” look she’d level at me if I didn’t do what she wanted.
That was his name, really. Tonka for short, like the big yellow trucks we all used to play with as kids. Most of the time, though, we called him Boo or Boo-boo, often with the definite article. (Yes, it makes me think of the song, too: “Me and you and a dog named Boo…” But that’s a coincidence. Boo was a manglement of “boy” originally.)
We got the Boo from the woman who made my wedding dress. I’ve been married 15 years. I’ve had a dog 15 years. As of last night, I have to learn how to do one of those without the other.
We’ve been preparing ourselves this last year or so to let him go. Eventually. He was, after all, 15. He also had a degenerative neuralopathy, which meant he was slowly losing control over his back legs. And he was a bit senile. Eventually, we figured, when he was no longer enjoying his daily raid on the cat food bowl, when he stopped begging like a fool for the bits of chicken and hamburger that my mother liked to save for him, we’d have to make that hard decision.
But last night, what the vet called “twisted stomach” got him instead. He seemed OK when we got home from work. Around 10pm, he died in my arms in the back seat of the car on the way to the emergency clinic. Happens that way sometimes, apparently.
I’m just glad it didn’t happen when no one was home.
Today we’re both staying home from work so we can start learning how to live without him underfoot.
Two of our friends got Andy a 12″ tall remote control dalek for his birthday. It was almost as big a hit at the party last night as their six month old daughter.
The cat is going to need therapy. Possibly the dog, too.
My husband and I spent the weekend visiting his relatives, which is a 4.5 hour drive from home. In the span of time between Saturday and Monday, here’s what went wrong:
- We had tickets to see Wicked with our 2 nieces. One of them couldn’t come because her ketones were way off (she’s diabetic) and there was concern she might need to be taken to the hospital. This was supposed to be her Christmas present.
- The Patriots lost the Superbowl. While my husband and I were sitting in a room full of Giants fans.
- We were supposed to come home on Monday. An hour into the return trip, our radiator basically fell apart, stranding us in Danbury, CT. My inlaws had to drive out to rescue us and the dog, and we both had to beg out of work today because the parts couldn’t be got until this morning.
- Overnight last night, one of my inlaws’ three cats died.