Butchey Hudson’s Momma here. It has been a very bad couple of months for a lot of my doggie friends. I lost count at how many dogs crossed the bridge in such a short period of time. Some were Tripawds, some still had their spare. Some had cancer, some enjoyed life into their elder years, and some were too damn young. But all of them were somebody’s best friend, and all of them left a gaping hole in somebody’s heart when they left this world.
I have spent many an evening in front of the computer with a box of tissues, reading on a blog, Facebook or in an email about another loss. Sometimes, after I’d blown my honker for the upteenth time, I would get a nudge under my elbow. Somebody on his three legs thought I needed a big smooch. I think he likes the saltiness of the tears. Then that would make me cry even more. And then I would get down on the floor with him, or we’d go to the couch and snuggle. Dog people get this. Non-dog folk would think I needed to be committed after reading this.
I was relieved that Butchey had clean scans on February 3. Almost 8 months, and no signs of metastasis. I feel guilty for being able to say that. But we cannot kid ourselves, all of our stories end the same. Our canine companions just got screwed and got the shorter (and sometimes much too short) lifespans. We take the wins when we can get them, but we all wait for the other shoe to drop after getting the Big C diagnosis.
What I need to remember to focus on is the all the little bits in between. One of my favorite movie quotes is from Shawshank Redemption “You can get busy living, or get busy dying”. So every morning starts out with a belly rub and every day ends with a long ear massage. And there are lots of other good fun stuff to get those tails wagging throughout the day. Enjoy every moment, and I hope I have no regrets when that dreaded day comes.
My husband and I have a regular saying when the dogs do something funny or sweet or just plain awesome. *Never. Gets. Old.* We have lots of favorites, but one is when my husband takes the dogs out for “last call”. He will say to them “Go tell Momma!” Both Butchey and Lola come racing in all excited to tell me that I missed out on the festivities outside. I am usually stone cold asleep on the couch and wake up to 2 dogs giving me a slobbery face wash. It is a great way to end any day, in my world at least. Whether it’s me or my husband on the receiving end, we both always say never. gets. old.
Another is when Butchey enjoys his butt scratches while on laying his back. He used to kick both rear legs and being the goofy people we are we would sing “Wheels on the bus go round and round”. Now we just sing “WHEEL on the bus”, and it is just as good.
At every meal time, Lola gets so impatient she opens one of the drawers in the kitchen with her paw. I’ve had so many bruises from turning around and walking into it (you’d think I’d learn). It is still funny to me, and it never. gets. old.
These are the things I want to remember…Not the cancer, not the end.
I miss when my old dog Barney (at the bridge 3 years now) used to say “Herrrrooowww”. A beagle mix, he used to belt it out nice and high. But when I lowered my voice and said “lower” to him, he would drop his to imitate me. I have it recorded, but it’s just not the same. The memories are much sweeter.
So on the eve of Butch’s 8 month ampuversary, I would like you to share with me your favorite moments and/or favorite memories. What never gets old? What do you miss the most? Keep the memory alive in your hearts, because they are still curled up in there, right where we can can remember them.
I gotta go, someone is nudging me for a butt scratch.