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:

Good grief.


Anonymous said...

Oh for the love of dogs. I was just about to sign off for the night and then thought, Tia!... let me check in on her. And then to see Audrey (Laundry's) lovely face that I'm so used to seeing, oh, just damnpissshit. And when did you write this, 10 minutes ago? I've had Shim all around me this week- Maggie put his picture right next to her bed, Jen had a sweet dream about him, and John caught a fly in a manner that I can only say brings Shim to me instantly as they used to hunt flies together. Anyway, now I know why he's been about: to welcome dear Audrey to his happycat world where I'm betting he's been partying with Peak. I'm so sorry t, I will miss her loving eyes. You loved her well.

mommatosena said...

WAHH!!! I am glad that Audrey is running leash free and chasing what ever object she dreams of. I am so sorry that this is what your day held for you cause this is the worst! I am glad that it wasn't noticed by Sarah today but I am sure that she will get ya when you are least expecting it as that seems to be her MO. Dogs are special and I miss my Ted. I am sure that you loved her well and I know she loved you well; you can see it in her eyes. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

I’m sorry Tia. As difficult as it was, it really sounds like she was ready. I can tell from the pics and the loving way you write about her that she had a wonderful life and that you loved her well (I really like that). I’m sure she loved you well too...


Erica Houskeeper said...

Hi Tia,

I'm so sorry. It's such a difficult call to make, and it's never easy to lose a pet. Take comfort in knowing that Audrey lived an incredible life with lots of love and happiness.

Take care,

Cindy said...

Oh Tia - you've made this difficult passage bearable with your love and your beautiful words.

I feel like I know Audrey - and what a darling she must have been!

(I have also had that experience with kids ... it seems to me to be yet another nudge from the Universe that I'm supposed to love my kids, not worry about them so much!!)

Hugs to you and yours .... you make me want to get a dog. And believe me THAT takes talent!!!

(not because I don't love dogs, but because I'm a big planner-outer-of-things-ahead-of-time and that usually precludes the next step of actually getting one!)

Blue said...

I know I am a consolation, and lack Audrey's intelligence and spunk, and sure, I am dumb as a shovel, but I am also kind of sweet and like to put my head on your lap:)

Anonymous said...

Hugs :( XXX

mommatosena said...

Blue we are sad for you too! We know that you lost a friend and I am sure that Audrey left you with some idea of what to do; head in lap is a good start!

Anonymous said...


I am sorry to hear about Audrey. After having had you taking care of her for so many years she is now in a place where she can run free and be a puppy again. You need to give yourself a pat on the back for being such a good puppy mom. She was blessed.

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