Thursday, May 27, 2010
A Fond Farewell
I did it. This morning. I made the grown-up call. Poor Audrey had been waking up every morning on a dog bed soaked with urine, and sometimes worse. Her back legs had completely given out; in the few moments she was awake I would help her get around by holding up her back end so her front paws could wheelbarrow ahead. She was barely eating, she wasn't happy, and there wasn't anything we could do to make her better. So, I did it. I made the call.
My awesome brother came over afterward and helped me bury the last bit of my twenties. Audrey came to me the year after I graduated from college, 1994. I was at a pet store picking up food for my puppy (Peak, who passed away three years ago this month), and there was a sign on the cage of this weird little leggy puppy: "Free with any 20 pound bag of puppy food". Well, I mean, really. Could you have walked away from such a thing? Of course not!
She was skinny, and long-legged for her size, and her tail was a whipcord with a fraying end that slowly unravelled as she grew until it was a glorious waving plume. Her paws looked like fluffy bedroom slippers and she ran on them in a dead sprint whenever she slipped the leash, not stopping until she'd treed something or (once, horribly) was hit by a truck. Whenever I came home, she'd greet me at the door, head down, doing a full body wag, with whatever scrap of tissue she could find poking out of her mouth in a papery offering.
She and Peak travelled with me from Ohio to Boston to Vermont. And now she's under the lilac in the backyard.
This afternoon I was feeling all apprehensive about Sarah coming home from school and finding Audrey not there, and I'm trying to anticipate her questions and SHE DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE THE DOG WAS GONE. She ran into the house, goes straight to the couch in the living room where Audrey's dog bed is not for the first time since we've been in this house and... nothing. Thank god for the self-centeredness of a four year old.
I'm missing my silly mutt. And all I've got to console me is this: