Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day One A.G. (After Gracie)

Last night my wife said something that made me realize why losing Gracie is especially hard on us (aside from the obvious reasons). Gracie was the dominant personality in our household. Her actions and spirit sort of drove everyone else along. It was the same way with Teddy from 1998 to 2005. Both were always around my wife or me, bugging us to get out of bed or keep them entertained. They would not be ignored. Rosco isn't that kind of dog. He comes to us for affection when he wants it, but he seems content just lying around and sleeping. Ginger wasn't either -- she was happy to follow the pack. So while Ginger was a sweet love sponge of a dog, her death wasn't the end of an (all-too-short) era like Gracie's was.

Rosco seems to be taking the loss in stride. If anything, he's been perkier lately.

I told a few neighbors about Gracie today. One said she hopes pets go to heaven because she's looking forward to seeing her dogs and horses again more than any people! I said every time I read that "Rainbow Bridge" story I fall apart. Incredibly, just my luck, she had never heard it, so I had to try to tell her about it without busting up. Needless to say, I wasn't too successful.

Then I stopped by Ruff Haus Pets, our neighborhood pet shop, to thank the clerk again for giving me some freeze-dried lamb patties on Thursday night. Not only did Gracie love them, but on Friday night when we offered her a bowl with canned dog food, homemade ground turkey and rice, and one of those lamb patties, she chose only the lamb for what was to be her last meal. Sometimes I get on my wife's case for patronizing expensive boutique pet stores, but I think we'll shop more at Ruff Haus in the future.

I went to Rockwell's for brunch. One of the managers there has a dog that Gracie bit years ago when both were puppies. We are still grateful that he didn't sue us -- or ask for a rematch since his dog has grown to twice Gracie's size. He was very sad to hear about our girl, and he said at least there's a little reminder of her on his dog's nose. He says the scar gives her character. He doesn't hold any grudge; in fact, he comped my meal today. I settled in for a couple of hours to read a book after my meal. I had chosen The War for Late Night carefully, not wanting to read anything that might remind me of Gracie (my wife and I ate breakfast there yesterday after putting Gracie to sleep and cried in our eggs). I figured at worst there might be some mention of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Hits of the sixties were playing on the sound system. I was okay until I heard
What becomes of the broken hearted
Who had love that's now departed?
I'm glad that song is only three minutes long because I cried through every second of it. I know it will get better, but it will take some time.

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