Thursday, April 01, 2010

Sweet Dreams, Hamburger.

My Mom and Dad's dog died the other day. Naturally, they are devastated. I'm rather heartbroken as well, even though they got the dog long after I had moved away.

Her name was Amber. She was a weird mix of possible golden lab and something with a curly tail. She was in her teens and had hip problems but was otherwise in good health. When Incrediboy was a toddler and was learning to talk, he inadvertently dubbed her "Hamburger". To his little ears, "Amber" and "Hamburger" coincided. He hadn't called her Hamburger in a long time, but it still comes up.

She was a sweet girl.

One of my most dreaded future moments (that I really try hard not to think about) is the day Most Beautiful Dog will leave us. Longtime readers will recall that we got MBDog after a long and loss-burdened struggle with starting a family. This incredibly smart, painfully cute bundle of pain in the arse became the center of our world, and we still love him more than we love ourselves. When Incrediboy came into our lives, we never shooed MBDog away and conitnued to lavish him with love. He was unsure of the little intruder at first, but in no time they were fast friends.

One of my favorite things in the world is storytime, when Incrediboy and I will read a book together before bedtime and MBDog will hop up on the bed and listen as well. Then I'll tuck them in together and often there he will sleep with his little brother until Mom and Dad go to bed. I have a bajillion pictures of the two of them snoozing together, but I still take more. I can't get over how much love explodes from my heart at this scene.

MBDog, as you all know, is so beautiful. SO beautiful. His mom and dad were of fine breeding stock and accomplished gun dogs. MBDog himself would have made an excellent showdog. He's practically perfect in every way, except for his herniated bellybutton. (It should be noted I strongly advise adopting from shelters and rescues rather than going to breeders. But this boy may have met an otherwise untimely doom thanks to this "devaluing" defect. Breeders can be cruel.) A few years back, another dog that looked like his twin won best in show at that big dog show, you know the one. She was ALMOST as beautiful as he is.

But beauty isn't everything. MBDog is such a sweet and sensitive boy. He's so affectionate and wants nothing more than to just be with us. He is brilliant, has a great sense of humor, and his luminous golden eyes study us with such great intent that we're sure he understands every word we say. He has taught me things about life and love I could never hope to learn on my own.

He's still in the prime of life, but he's been slowing down. The once distinct line between the white and brown of his muzzle has smeared with encroaching gray. It takes him far less time to calm down from excitement, and he sleeps a lot more than he used to. Those last two points aren't all bad - but it does bring his mortality into focus.

Everything dies. I try not to waste moments of life with worrying about death. I will drink up the serendipity that MBDog brings to our lives as long as I can. When it's time to say goodbye, I'll take comfort in knowing he'll have Hamburger, Shamsky, Copper, and all the other dogs I've loved before to keep him company until we can join him again.


Smalltown RN said...

Well hello....thank you for stopping by my blog for a visit and leaving a comment.

Ah I am sorry for your parents loss of their dog. Your story of your dog reminds me of our Bert. Bert wouldn't win any dog shows...but he wins our hearts everyday. We got Bert from the SPCA when he was 9 weeks old he's now almost 6 years old...he is a constant companion and friend...I love having him around...he brings me great comfort.

That was a lovely post about you dog....yes like anyone or anything..they won't be here for ever so we must enjoy them while we can!

Tracey Leeder said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and directing me to yours! Thank you for your words reguarding my Tyson. I had him for 13.5 years and even though he was getting up there in years, he was as healthy as a horse until 2 days before his death. Unfortunately, I had to make the decision to end his life myself. This is never an easy thing to do, but sometimes it must be done. He was in mulit-organ failure due to a blockage from a kidney to his bladder. I also have a dog much like yours. His name is Maddux and he is my best friend, my rock. I think about losing him someday and I almost panic. I truly dont know what I will do. His face is the first thing I see every morning and the last thing I see before I go to sleep. He listens to me as no human does, although he is the silent type in the way of advice....haha! Take care! Tracey

Coffeypot said...

It is funny and interesting how a dog can clam so much attention and affection from us humans. They truly become part of the family and it hurts just as bad when you lose one. Good post, Miss Clew.

Stacy said...

It killed me when my mom's Schnauzer died a while back. She got the dog just a few months before my oldest was born. They grew up together. When my daughter was born Lady had slowed down but still had so much patience and love to give. My daughter's first word was not Mum-mum or Da-Da, it was Yay-dee. She was with us for 16 years before cancer claimed her.

We have two boys now that the kids joke I love more than them. I don't but you know how some dogs are something extra special and that's these two. I will not be worth a darn when anything happens to either of them.

Good post, Clewy...but I should have had some Kleenex handy.

chesneygirl said...

So sorry for your parents dog :(

My parents Fox Terrier, Shelby, died on MY birthday almost 3 years ago. They got her about a month after I graduated from high school and since I lived at home off and on (more on) until I was 26 she was kinda my dog too. I was so very heartbroken and devastated when she died, especially to have it happen on my birthday while we happened to be temporarily living at my parents house. But I don't think any of us took it harder than my brother. He was a freshman in high school when she joined the family and they were the BEST of friends.
I still think of Shelby from time to time and miss her so much.

Cassie said...

Sorry to hear about Hamburger.

I sometimes think I have more empathy for animals than I do for human beings.

It is indeed a strange thing that many of us choose to bring pets into our lives when we know full well that their life spans are relatively short, and that we will experience loss and sorrow. But what joy they can bring when they walk among us!

Let's try not to dwell on such things.

Rick said...

Our little dog has been with us many years now. 14 years old. I don't look forward to the day when she will leave us.

Thanks you Clew for becoming a follower of my blog. I am honored - truly. Stay "tooned" for more.

Martie said...

SO sorry for your parents loss........dogs are so much a part of the family that grieving when they are gone is a natural thing to do.

And I notice the MBDog's buddy, Bails is also slowing down and sleeping more. I think they are about the same age, right? Prancer sleeps more too............she will be 8 n August! I simply refuse to think any further ahead than today as far as our four-legged fur children are concerned. The thought of losing another one is too much to even think about. Love you, Clewy! xoxoxo

Ann said...

i've heard of some who teach their children that animals will not be in heaven b/c they do not have souls - how cruel.

we look forward to seeing our pets again, in heaven, and we find comfort in knowing that when our little dog, Ruby, dies, we will see her again in heaven (though we hope that's a long way away)

stacief said...

Sometimes our lives have similarities that are spooky. My parents had a dog named Amber (1985-2002) that we got right after I graduated from HS. My dad was out of town when we got her....I remember telling him her name was "Amber". He said, and I kid you not, "Hamburger?? What kind of name is that for a dog?!" She was amazing.

I feel for your parents, please let them know that some crazy Texan sends love and prayers.

My two "four legged kids", Ladybug and Oscar are also getting a little older. Ladybug is almost 9; Oscar is almost 8. Ladybug is getting a little grayer...Oscar is moving a little slower. I tell myself they'll live forever, simply because I cannot imagine life without them.

"He has taught me things about life and love I could never hope to learn on my own." KUDOS, CLEWY!!! XOXOXO