It's been a bit like living in the twighlight zone here this week. Everything is real and tangible here in the house but I keep looking around for her.
This is a picture of Bailey. She was the present that the Muffin Man and I gave each other for our very 1st wedding anniversary almost 16 years ago. I wanted a dog in a big way and pretty much badgered him into driving down South about 45 miles to a kennel that was a bit like visiting Deliverance. A man with no teeth in a double wide trailer brought 6 of the cutest puppies you've ever seen into his living room. We sat on the floor and played with them all for a few minutes. I had my heart set on a black and white puppy that was Bailey's sister. But the Muffin Man would not hear of it and he had to have the brown and white Bailey. We brought her home at 5 weeks old and she fit neatly in the palm of my hand.
She was the most rambunctious in the litter, she was forever HIS dog. And we paid dearly for many years to come trying to tame that most willful and rambunctious pup. She failed out of puppy obedience school, she obtained a "note" in her file saying she wouldn't be invited back to stay at a local boarding kennel here in town. She ruined countless yards of carpeting. She peed on my mother's antique persian rugs. She barked obnoxiously for 12 years straight. She bit me when I brought Ava home from China. She pooped on my pillow once. She and I had an interesting relationship as she loved and doted on the Muffin Man and turned her nose at me. But like any semi-disfunctional family relationship I still loved the little gal. She had spunk. She lived life her own way and took a cat's philosophy of "I'm the queen...I'll let you know when I need you." I am canine...hear me roar. She had a little Gloria Steinem in her.
Ironically as she became quite old and arthritic and sometimes sick she also became more lovable. She softened a bit. She would come sit next me at night when I would read or watch television. She had this inate routine of circling several times before she sat down all curled up in a ball. The other night after I put the kids to bed I wholly expected to see her rumble into the playroom and watch Law and Order re-runs with me.
But she was already gone for two days when I absentmindedly looked for her tail wagging in the air. I had to help her pass if you can believe that. It wasn't exactly said out loud but I don't think the Muffin Man could do it. It took him several weeks to come to believe she needed a little help moving on. After kidney failure was uttered by the vet the decision was a tiny bit easier.
The weirdest of all weirdest things is that I'm the one having the hardest time moving on. I'm the one who casually and callously told friends I had new frisee' carpeting picked out for the MINUTE she went to doggie heaven, or wherever she was going. But I don't want new carpet, not yet. Ava was totally fine with the situation. She is already asking for a new pet, of course her father wants a new puppy right away. I can't even think of it. (Not to mention we have no business taking a puppy now with him traveling for business and me holding down the fort with the two kidlets.) At the grocery store we looked at Beta fish.
Can you get emotionally attached to a Beta fish? If so, I don't think I want one.