Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Death of a Dog

It's been forever, or so it seems, since I've written. I have an entry in progress because of something that happened yesterday but what happened yesterday afternoon has made me submit this for your reading. I have written the events to a friend, Sophia...and then figured it would fit here.

I was giving piano lessons, the first of the 3 kids after I had hung up from chatting with Sophia for at least 2 hours. Strangely during the first lesson, the phone kept ringing from Cara which was unusual. I don’t answer phones during lessons but it was odd for her to call like this. So I got up from the piano and called her back and she’s SOBBING.

I couldn’t make out what she was saying and then feared for my very breath, my very family.

She said something about being hit by the school bus twice. I was sure one of her kids was dead but it turned out just as bad in a way. Their amazing Golden Doodle, Phineas, ran out, excited to see his kids home from school, and ran right in front of the school bus. He was hit by the front wheel, tossed around under the bus and then hit by the back wheels…all the while Cara, her 4 boys, and her 12 cub scouts watched. The cubs were there for a meeting.

The bus, driven by a MEAN driver (and haven't we all had kids who had to endure this sort of driver) didn’t stop. Everyone was screaming and crying. Luckily the Landscapers were in Cara’s back yard taking photos of their work for their brochures. They heard the commotion and raced to the front. Saw the poor dog, and asked to be allowed to take care of the dog. They gently loaded Phineas’ body into their truck and took it to the vets.

This didn't stop the tears that are still falling on me and I know for all Cara’s family today…but I thought "those landscapers come with wings. And halos, too."

When my Lady died, a friend sent me to D&C 29:24. See, she said…even our dogs (beasts) will be resurrected and made new in the millennium

I really have to stop crying. I look at my Niko (Italian greyhound) and think….when he has to be put down, I’ll probably be at least 70. I know how hard this is. I've done it before I don’t think I will be able to do this again when I’m 80. So Niko will be my last dog. and I will be a worse person without a dog. I will just hope that just as I did with Lance and with Lady, I’ll be able to hold him as he is put to restful sleep.

But this morning, as I wiped away my tears (again)I thought of the song from Wicked, For Good. and the words kept ringing in my head. "I may not have been changed for the better, but I know I have been changed for good". and that's what I sent to Cara...I do believe that pet owners and lovers have been changed for good and sometimes even for the better because we take into our homes and our lives, pets. Pets who need us as much as we need them.

Some people rescue dogs. Some people buy them new. But whichever way you choose...have a pet. I had agreed to take on a bird for my mom actually. I had gotten the bird from a friend of my aunt's (who had the bird because her daughter {who acutally had once dated Jordan} didn't want it)who didn't want it. I got it for my mom who was dying of cancer. I thought she'd enjoy some lovely color and life in her room. She did too...but she just wasn't well enough to enjoy it (plus it kept biting her fingers). So the bird became mine. I figured..it's small..it's old...it won't live long...but live it is still doing! I have no idea how long it will live. It's a peach-face lovebird and still fine. And does not bite my fingers but will jump into my palm and allow me to pet it. Marissa named it for us...Absinthe...because it is green and reminded her of the movie Moulon Rouge. So even having had birds forever (Jocelyn's Snowball is buried down at 809..as well as Snowball's companion but I can't remember that name) and all (and there were a lot) are were cried over when they died and then buried with honor. Same with all the weird pets my kids got from CoSi. Most of Jordan's fish when dead were flushed to a joyful watery grave. But each one of them have given me something...usually joy. Yes work, too...but I am so glad my kids experienced pets and death in the home of their youth. I wish all my grandkids could feel the love Cara's family felt for Phineas.

No, I don't wish they all get to witness such a horrific moment but even that will soften them in some way. Right now Niko is out in the backyard, chasing the squirrels from our fence and yard ( I made the mistake of feeding them corn....will stop now that they venture near the back door for some reason...do not want them IN my home). But each time he goes out I tell him..."do not run out of the yard. I want you to live". We are going to go back to training him to STOP when we yell STOP. COME when we say COME. I was told it would save a pet's life if we taught him that much. We did it initially but then got lax. After Phineas' death yesterday I learned it's time to reinstate this lesson.

And Finally, while telling Jocelyn's about Phineas, through tears she told me about a book she read with her kids...how a Dog wanted a Boy. I think you'll probably be reading about the story and how Guy got a dog on her blog one day soon. and that makes me happy. When the grieving gets done in Evansville, I hope to hear that my Kennedy grands have a new pet. Not to replace Phineas cuz that won't/can't happen...but to replace the heart sorrow with something to love and train and teach.

As Marissa wrote on FB...RIP Phineas....and to the Kennedy's: find peace today. I have since talked with Cara and they went as a family, retrieved their beloved Phineas. They had a friend with a huge lot, perfect for burial. So they dug the grave, had a prayer and interred the dog. That's what I would have done. That's what I have done.

Ran into an old neighbor and she was also in tears as I told her about Phineas. She's a Golden Retriever lover and always makes sure she has one, as hard as it after one dies. The one she has now she brought home before the last one died. As the pup waddled down the hall to Brian as he came in, Brian said, "Karen, you didn't!?" Karen said, she did. she had to. And when the older dog finally was put down, Brian thanked her and admitted she had done the right thing.

Boy there are a lot of us dog nuts out there, aren't ther?

And as a PS...and a thank you to Teri: When I was relating these events today to Teri after she had given me her own Chapter 8000something, I said, if it had been one of the grands, I would have dropped everything and driven to Evansville. She said, "No, you wouldn't...I would have dropped everything and driven you, driven with you." Now that's friendship. Another friend who comes with wings and halo. They are all around us. Look for them. You will find them.


Lin Floyd said...

wow at first I thought it was your dog that died...the last dogs I had were when I moved to Utah as a single parent with 3 young sons. We got two puppies and put them in our garage of our house but they wouldn't stay put so we had to give them away. I found out a puppy is as much or more work as a son...so that was my last pet. But animals do need loving homes and can teach us lots...

JP said...

I am soooo sorry! That's terrible. How a person treats an animal tells a lot about that person.

Dawn Mercedes said...

Glad you let us have pets too.

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