August 30, 2015

Lessons learned from Mel our Labradoodle

It just happened to be National Dog Day and my FB feed was full of pictures of dogs with their owners, which I am not sure made my grief any easier.  It definitely did bring joy to see that other families had made the most precious investment in having a pet.  For us this week, we reflect on what Mel taught us and the joy she brought to our family at all stages of her great happy labradoodle life. 

I fully admit I am more a dog person.  It’s the ability to take them out walking rain or shine.  She kept me moving and I commit to keeping that healthy habit up. I followed Mel up Mosquito Creek many times but when she started following me, I knew something was wrong. 

Mel hated the rain.  She pranced around under the overhang, which covered the back of our house only to jet out to pee and gun it back for protection.  It’s pouring today here in Vancouver as I write this but I doubt it’s raining in doggie heaven.  (Which BTW is busy this week as a couple other friends’ dogs headed there too).

We all grieve differently but I had no idea the impact that having a family dog would have on our family and the hurt we are all feeling.  Such a loyal companion.  Such a big presence in our house.  I saw her develop bonds with both our kids (and their friends) during their various stages and truly she became someone who would listen unconditionally and only smile back with those deep “whites of the eye” we teased her about.  She always made an attempt to sleep in each of our rooms during the night and my motherly instinct knew by the claws on the hardwood floor where I could find her. 

Thank you Mel for bringing such joy over the 11 years we shared with you.  We saw big potential in you, the cheapest dog of the litter with the bad droopy eye we had to get fixed.  When BK said we were going to Abbotsford “just to look” we had no idea we would bring you home so unprepared.  We were definitely not trained dog owners but we tried our best.  Anne Jackson told us we were doing it all wrong.  Maybe we fed you the wrong food from Costco or maybe it was the scraps I gave you the odd time under the table or the pigs ears early on.  I think maybe it was a combination of all the socks, the Kleenex, the kitchen cloths or maybe the hair elastics you ate over the years!

Teresa our neighbour will miss you.  You had a way of bringing sunshine to her life when we would visit or you would sit on her driveway gazing into her big front window anticipating her door to open. I know the cookies were stale but you always accepted them politely.  I think you gave her a reason to live as she started deteriorating herself.  We shared a tear together yesterday when I told her.

You definitely got me through heartaches and I thank you for that.  We don’t know what to do with your stinky “baby girl" stuffed toy and sadly my home office just isn’t the same. 

PS. Grammy misses you too.  She wrote a poem for you and posted it in our Family Facebook Page.