Saturday, February 10, 2007

as promised...

Here is the Beaner. This was taken two summers ago when she was in full health. I think what's been really sad for me, is the regret. Her last few years were nothing compared to her previous nine. When we lived in Minnesota we went mountain biking all the time and hikes and lots of other things. Then I became pregnant with the twins, put on bedrest, and then the mother to newborn twins. After that, she was sorely neglected. I try to take comfort in the fact that the last few years of her life she was in fact older. Her activity level couldn't have been sustained. She wouldn't have been able to do all of those things as before. Heck, I know she couldn't because the last few times we went biking with her, we had to go back early or leave her home. But, still. She didn't have the same attention. And that makes me regret.

I haven't talked about this guy. This is Fargo. He was Beaner's canine companion for nine years. That's how old he is. He has never known life without her. He was a very attentive and protective companion, eventhough his early years were filled with the jealous Beaner bullying him. (pushing him down stairs, yanking him off beds) When they would play fetch with us out in the fields, Beaner would fetch and Fargo would run holding onto her tail. During Beaner's end days, he would try to cheer up by bouncing around enticing her to play. And she took great comfort in his presence.

Now, I remind you, I was raised by scientists. I have always been strongly cautioned about anthropomorphizing. So, whether Fargo misses her, or is sad, or depressed, or lonley doesn't matter. He is plainly out-of-sorts. He is factually not eating. He is observedly listless. The kids and I are doing what we can. He has the same full bowl of food he's had since Tuesday. I went and bought him new bowls because when Beaner was declining, he wouldn't eat until she had eaten. I worry he is still waiting for her to eat. The kids have been giving him his senior nutrient dog treats and trying to get him to perform the same silly tricks he did before. But, that was before...

The kids appear to be alright. But, as I learned Thursday appearances really aren't what they seem. Jellybean was a right pain in the butt. She was completely obnoxious and difficult. She had not spoken of Beaner other than a casual mention of her being dead, now and then. When she finally was sent to her room she threw a nasty tantrum but was screaming and crying, "I want BEANER!!!" This broke my heart. Jellybean became Beaner's never tiring caretaker in the end. She would set her bowl of water right before her face. Jellybean handfed her, and since Beaner would never want to disappoint a child, she ate. She would sit and brush her and sing her songs. It was all very dear. Sometimes Porkchop will simply cross his arms defiantly and demand, "I don't want Beaner dead! huh!" and stomp his foot. Meatball will just look at you out of the blue and with a croak of a voice say, "I want Beaner to come home. to our home. not God's home. She's our dog. God can have another dog." God suddenly seems selfish...

Me? Well, I don't feel like I'm mourning. Chowder and I have talked about how disconcerting it is to have a life in your hands. To make the decision, to have the power to put that light out. To take from the world Beaner's life force. But, I haven't been crying. Maybe, I'm more like the kids. I was a wreck right up until she was gone and I laid her head down on the table. Then, the nurse told me we could have some time with her and I asked her, "Why? She's gone now. I just wanted to be here for her when she went." And I washed my hands and blew my nose, and haven't cried since.

But, I can't stop thinking about it. about her. I can't stop seeing her shadow.

5 comments:

julie said...

What a beautiful doggy. I can see why you miss her so. She looks like such a sweety.

blessings,
julie

valerie said...

you might not be crying, but I am, reading this post. They're both beautiful dogs - I'm sorry this had to happen. I hope Fargo comes through okay.

As a little aside, I found it interesting that you named a female dog Beaner, because we have a female cat (Beans) that we call Beaner (or Beanie). Most people think she's male because of it.

Cakes said...

Thank you Julie...she was a sweety.

That is funny Valerie. I don't think I ever assigned a gender to Beaner. Does the "er" make it male? Thank you for your encouragement.

The Mom said...

Aww, they are both gorgeous dogs. Reading this does make me misty-eyed as it brings back memories of the deaths of my own pair of dogs. I hope that Fargo finds new cause for enjoyment. I found that our surviving dog took about 2 weeks or so to mourn. What a tough but inevitable lesson this is for Jellybean.

Jenni said...

What an absolutely beautiful dog Beaner was. It is so, so much harder to deal with loss than I thought it would be. I told Jim the other night that if anything "truly awful" (read: death of a child who is present in the flesh at this moment) happened, he would have to lock me up immediately. *sigh* It's not fun to see how really helpless you are.