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As an aspiring writer, I blog about whatever happens to move me at the moment -- though some posts contain serious content, my big-picture goal is to bring a little humor into an often humorless world! Welcome, y'all, and make yourself at home! Please make sure you update your bookmarks!

When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A kingdom rearranged

The last week has been a strange one -- the sorrow at the loss of Darcy combined with the joy at seeing Adam Lambert and the other American Idols (but mostly Adam) on tour. Talk about a low and a high all within the space of a few days. Now, coming down off of that high, it's time to take stock of where we are in this household.

First of all, the humans are depressed. Today marks a week since Darcy died. I've had a hard time sleeping because, when I close my eyes, all I can see is the picture which greeted me when I found him already near death. I've always wondered how I would react in an absolute emergency -- I guess I've been blessed in that I've never really had to make decisions, by myself, before about something which was literally life and death. All I can tell you is that adrenaline -- or something -- kicked in and both Carrie and I did what we had to do. Neither of us thought about getting blood all over us -- or that both of us were in need of a shower -- she because of volleyball practice, me because I hadn't gotten around to taking one yet. It didn't matter that she still had on her practice clothes or that I had on the bummiest clothing imaginable. Or that I didn't have one bit of make-up on. We just grabbed him and ran. Looking back, I'm not sure how we even got from Point A (our house) to Point B (the vet) but we did. I am so proud of Carrie who, in her grief, did everything just right as we tried to save Darcy's life.

I've always wondered what dogs "think" when one of their pack is no longer with them. Do they understand death and dying? Do they miss the one who is no longer here? I don't know. What I do know is this -- that no matter how much I love my dogs, no matter how much I think they are feeling and thinking , in the end, they are not humans and they don't process things the way we do. I have to stop fretting about what was going through Reese's head when she attacked Darcy -- was she trying to kill him? Or was it just a moment of frenzy gone horribly wrong? No matter what, it was a moment -- I was gone for less than 15 minutes -- and it's still hard to believe that when I left all was well and when I returned it was not. I really just have to put everything out of my mind because it really doesn't matter now -- and nothing can be changed.

The canine behavior in this house has totally changed and rearranged. Now that Reese is no longer here, the frenetic rough-housing between her and Liesl is gone. Liesl has calmed down considerably -- she's cuddlier, quieter and calmer without her partner in crime -- and, yes, I think she had a hand in Darcy's death, though I don't think she was the instigator. Madigan, the old deaf Boston, has returned to her former feisty ways as if she'd put a lid on it while Reese was here. Neville, the new Boston, is finding his place in the pack. Clayton, our big boy, is as accommodating as usual -- once he established, with Neville, that he is, indeed, the big boy. And Spencer, the blind, old Boston, doesn't give a flying fig as long as he's getting something to eat.

Awhile back, I would have called our house the peaceable kingdom. For a year, it really wasn't, though I never expected the alignment to change the way it did. As the dogs realign and figure out what's what -- and while the humans in the household are still on edge -- peace has not returned entirely. But I think it will as time creeps on its petty pace from day to day.

Joy and sorrow...joy and sorrow...

That's life in a nutshell.


  1. I think that Maggie knows Teddy is no longer here. Missing him? Maybe. Teddy was much more attached to Maggie than Maggie to him. If the situation were reversed, I think Teddy would have been very sad. I have noticed that Maggie comes around and stays around Dom and me more often. One thing definitely different - Maggie no longer wants to go outside. I have to coax her with treats to go into the yard (Teddy died in the yard) and then she wants to come right back into the house.

    Dom and I are adjusting, but we still miss seeing and hearing Teddy. Hope you and your family are adjusting as well. {Hugs}

  2. We're adjusting -- because that's really our only option -- one day at a time. And, as always, it's not the first pet we've lost and won't be the last -- but we keep on getting more because the love is worth the sorrow.