Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Letter to My Four-Legged First Born

Update: It with great sadness that we update this post. Kate, McLovin and the children said goodbye to their beloved beagle yesterday. Kate is devastated, because even though she's known for years that it was coming - it doesn't really make it any easier when it finally happens.

Love you, Kate and we're so sorry for your loss.
xo, Lydia & Louise


Dear Dog,

Thank you for getting me up at 4:34am this morning so you could pee. For seven minutes straight. Had I known it was going to take that long, I would have just gone back to bed until you whined to come back in.

This is a new thing for you. You used to be able to crawl under McLovin's side of the bed at about 10:30 every night and not emerge until about 7am. I suppose it's all those meds to blame. I think I'd be a candidate for the Nervous Hospital if I was taking your daily 27-pill regimen. Who knows, you could totally be trippin' all the time and loving life. Well, with the exception that I shove stuff down your throat all day long.

I think that's where the getting up all night comes into play. I really don't mind. You're twelve. You're only here for a while longer. Actually, the vets are shocked. Last year sometime they said you had maybe six months, and here you are, 18 months later. I bet if you could talk, you'd tell them all to go Suck It. But, then again, how much money have we spent on your medications? I wonder sometimes if you're taking 27 placebos and they're driving that Mercedes I see in the parking lot with the "SUCKRR" license plates.

When you were a pup, you did the same thing. Up all night. Wanting to play or eat or just not sleep. Which was kind of OK because you were SO cute and I loved that you were afraid of mirrors - or possibly it was just that other dog in the mirror? - and you'd peer out around the corner to growl at yourself. And I'd hide mirrors all over the house just so you would run into a room and yelp and then your hackles would stand up and you'd be all fierce. You were going to kick some ass. That make-up compact was a goner.

You were perfect training for children. Well, with the whole leaving-you-at-home-alone exemption. I do recall a fair number pairs of shoes that you ruined.

Fortunately for you, that was before I converted to
Christian(Louboutain)ity, otherwise I would have long ago turned you into a rug in front of the fireplace. Like a bear. A beagle bear.

And then McGee came along...then Lefty...and finally Happy. And you did such a great job of being the entertainer and the cleaner of hands and faces and floors and the occasional used diaper (which was soooo not necessary, but I'm pretty sure you considered it some culinary masterpiece...and it also explains why we don't ever let you lick something we plan on continuing to eat, like a popsicle.) And they pulled your ears and your tail and used you for balance when they were learning to walk and you silently consented to being dressed like a princess, or Darth Dogger or even that time they painted you green.

Every once in a while, despite that ridiculously long list of meds you have to take all day, you'll find some of that energy and play with them, and they gather around you like you're Mickey Mantle coming back for one last inning. Last week you got your new tags and for those four minutes you were sans-collar, I think you thought you were on Spring Break. Just because you don't have on your collar doesn't make you naked. Streaker.

I've noticed in the past few weeks you've sorta taken on this split personality that's part infant and part elderly grandfather. At night, you're once again beckoning me from a deep sleep so you can eat, or pee, or just generally not sleep, which means you wander around the house. And, during the day, you've taken to doddering around the house, barking at the chest of drawers in Happy's room and walking into McGee's closet like you think it leads somewhere. Which is kind of funny, except that you continue to go in there. The kids told me you found the portal to Narnia and you go hang with Aslan while they're at school.

I know I should be worried. And I am. Because I know our time is short. And I want to do the right thing for you. Problem is, you can't talk. So you'll have to get creative and figure out a way to tell me when it's time, OK?  And hiding in the closet isn't going to work, because fortheloveofMaude Tom Cruise has been hanging out there for years and no one has had the good sense to take him to the vet yet.

The other morning I woke up and it was past six and you hadn't woken me up all night. It's sort of strange to be like "YES! Full night's sleep!" and "Crap. Where is he?" at the same time. You were where you always are, tucked under McLovin's side of the bed with your tail hanging out. I was kind of scared to touch you. Because if you don't move, then it means I'm going to have a really bad day. But if you do move, then I just woke you up from probably a really good nap, which makes me a douche. Can't you just snore? It would make things a lot easier. And, with enough time, you and McLovin could probaly produce a rousing rendition of Deuling Larynxes. Sn-Snu-Snor-Snore-Snor-Snore-Snu-Snor-Snooooooooorrrrrrre.

Lydia just had to say goodbye to Woody Dog a few weeks ago. We haven't talked about it much. I think she doesn't want to let me know how horrible it's going to be. But I'll be with you to say goodbye and Woody will be waiting for you when you get there, OK, so you don't have to be scared. I'm the only one who has to be scared.

Hello there. You've just planted yourself down at my feet. Which is awesome because they were getting cold. And you're always so warm. But maybe you could stop licking them because now you're just making them wet...and colder...and ohmygod, what is that smell?

Ugh. What have you been eating? Someone didn't flush and you thought it was Toilet Happy Hour, didn't you?

It's OK, we'll totally blame the dog in the bathroom mirror.

I'll feed you dinner in just a minute, I promise. You just have to promise me you'll wake up tomorrow morning, ok? Please? Even if it's just to go outside and pee. Even if it's 4:34am. Maybe I'll take off your collar and you can go pre-dawn streaking through the neighborhood. You do know you're not actually naked, right? Silly dog.

OK, let's go fix some food.

I love you, so much...

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