I used to call myself a Cat Person.

There’s no leash hanging by the front door.

I’m not tripping over dog toys on the living room floor.

The baby can no longer play in the water dish in the kitchen.

There’s no insane barking when someone knocks on the front door. No late night ‘take the dog for a pee, will you?’ requests of my teenage son. No need for my husband to get up 20 minutes early to take her for a walk. No click click click’s of her nails on the hardwood, no thuds as she lays in front of the front door, no tail wags, no slobber..

It sucks. I miss my dog.

Her crate still stands in my oldest son’s room, at his request..her dishes, toys, etc are in it.  Her garbage can full of kibble has been taken down to the basement until I can find someone to donate it to. It’s all I can make myself do for the moment.

She is gone, but her hair lingers on our furniture, small tufts underneath and in corners, that I don’t yet have the heart to remove. And the ghost of her presence is in every room.

I didn’t think I’d take it this hard..I’m tougher than this, I keep telling myself. Apparently not, looking at the mound of kleenex piling up in front of my keyboard. And to think, I used to call myself a Cat Person. No, really..at one time I owned 3. I can show you pictures.

The day we went to the pet store, though..we were supposed to get a bunny. I remember it like yesterday..I was holding a soft little champagne coloured dwarf rabbit in my arms..hemming and hawing a bit. Four year old Austan was at my elbow, my husband looking at me with that “Aw, come on, ” look of his. A jingle at the front door, and a woman entered. “The puppies are here..where do you want me to put them?” My head whipped around, and I deposited the cute fluffy bunny in Shane’s arms, all thoughts of becoming  Thumper’s owner now long forgotten.  “Puppies?” I asked the woman. ” Where are they?”    ” Out in the truck, ” she replied. ” I’ll show you.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Funny how there can be ten people in this house, and without just one dog, it feels empty. My house just doesn’t feel like home without my Daisy-doo in it.

We took her to the vet last night. It was time, although none of us was really ready. I questioned the wisdom of letting Austan come, but he was adamant..and when I asked the question of Evan, he was slightly contemptuous that I even asked..the look in his eyes seemed to say ” Are you crazy?! She’s my dog! You think you’re going without me?”  It’s at moments like these you know, absolutely and without reservation ‘I raised him right’.

I am extremely proud of my youngest son..it was heartbreaking for me, watching him go through it. But he stayed, and he was there for her, told her what a good dog she was and that he would miss her. He got to say goodbye, which I think was important for him. He understands responsibility better than I thought. He knew it would be hard, he knew he’d be hurt, and he did it anyway, for Daisy.

Rather than a private cremation and keeping her ashes ( just a bit creepy in my opinion..mental note, tell the kids I don’t want to be Grandma On  The Mantle, EVER), or burying them in the backyard, we decided to get a memorial plaque made, with her pawprint on it. It might be cliche, but the inscription will read ” Daisy- You left your pawprints on our hearts, and there they will stay forever.” Sometimes cliche is nothing but the plain truth.

Damn..maybe I should buy stock in kleenex.



8 responses to “I used to call myself a Cat Person.

  1. I’ve been busy (and sick) lately, but I’m so sorry for your loss. Hopefully things will feel a little more normal soon.

    Grandma on the Mantle. I love it. I totally want to be the Crazy Aunt on the Mantle.

  2. Man, you went through exactly what we went through last October with Gina, except my two were too young to understand “putting down”, so we just said she died at the vet. The ghost of her in every room, the clicking of her nails on the wood floor, the loud thump as she laid down on the floor, I have the same memories, tho mine are growing dimmer. It’s raw right now for you, but it gets easier, I know you know that… but it does get easier (I say as I blow my nose in a kleenex) :OP I’d be proud of your boys too, they acted like little men. :O) I’m sure Daisy felt safe and comforted with all of you around her.

  3. A- Thank you. Crazy Aunt On The Mantle is going to take some convincing. Glad to hear you’re feeling better.

    Lin..thanks hon. I know it will get easier in time, and I know you understand our feelings all too well. You had your Gina a lot longer than we had Daisy, which makes it better in some ways, and worse in others. ((hugs))

  4. I have my husky’s ashes on the mantle, put her down 4 years ago and still can’t look at her photo without bringing tears to my eyes. It’s not about being strong, it’s about losing a family member. One that no matter how much you scold, she was always there with her tail wagging looking for a scratch.

    You did raise your boys right, hold your head high – and don’t be afraid to let them see you cry. Life doesn’t make sense sometimes. But the paw print has left a mark that will be in your heart forever.

    *hugs* and warmest thoughts to you and your family

  5. I am so glad that you let your boys go to this to be with Daisy. I love that your son said “she’s my dog too!” It is so extremely hard to lose a pet, they are part of the family. I still think about my cat who we lost two and a half years ago often.

    Remember all the good times you shared with Daisy. She had a good life! My thoughts are with you and your family.

  6. I’ve been through too many times – and I know it’ll happen again. It never gets easier. Saying goodbye sucks.

    I’m so so sorry.

    Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears,
    but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you…
    I loved you so…
    twas heaven here with you.

    ~Isla Paschal Richardson

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