Today I bought myself a metal chicken at the dollar store.
It’s nothing special, just a cheap little ornament for the garden and given my affinity for chickens, it seemed like an appropriate and inexpensive pick-me-up on a day I’m feeling a little low. I stuck it in the box where my runner beans are trying to grow as slowly as possible. And it’s the weirdest thing … the metal chicken keeps disappearing and showing up somewhere on the lawn. In this respect, it’s not unlike a real live chicken. However, it can’t move on its own … this means either it’s MAGIC, or somethievingorangedog keeps stealing it from its roost.
While at the dollar store, I also bought the dogs a giant soft flying disk with a big butterfly on it. It’s didn’t last very long, because it was cheap. But the BEST thing about it was how pissed off it made every single dog, because it was awkward and nearly impossible for them to carry, which you can totally tell in the photos.
You like seeing me suffer, don’t you?
This is the only time I’m retrieving it. After this one, you can suck it.
I try and I try to be a good boy, and you repay me with this bullshit.
I am SO over The Food Lady. Her and her stupid metal chicken can blow me.
There was an even bigger one; I think I’m going to go back and get that one and torment my dogs some more :)
I was looking through old photos of Tweedles as a puppy, because I am having an acute attack of Want-A-Puppy-Real-Bad-isis. Currently I am obsessed with this working bred cutie who is, of course, located in Serbia, of all places:
(The Internetz tells me that it will cost between “$70 and $1000” to ship a puppy from Serbia, which is less than helpful)
He was *the* cutest puppy in the world. I wish I had a DSLR back then (did they even exist yet?) because I have only a handful of photos of him that I am pretty sure I scanned into the computer, and he presented so many opportunities for adorable photos. This one was from the first time he went to the beach, when he was just 7 weeks old. He walked right into the water because he thought it was a solid surface, and he was right pissed off when he sank.
Playing with a giant ferret! I had really ugly furniture back then!
But this is one of my favourite pictures of Red Dog “eating” Tweed. This was shortly after Briggs decided he didn’t want to murder Tweed and that he was fun to play with. Considering Briggs spent much of his life on a mission to destroy other dogs, the fact that he played with this itty bitty vulnerable puppy belly so sweetly is an amazing memory to have.
I expected it to feel weirder without him around, but it doesn’t feel all that different. Maybe it’s because there are so many other little faces popping up and down for attention, but I’m not looking for him, or forgetting he’s not here any more or any of those sorts of post-loss experiences that I thought would happen. When I think about him, I’m often sad, but its not hitting me in the gut over and over again on a regular basis.
This in turn makes me feel bad. I worry I’m grieving *wrong* – shouldn’t this be so much worse? The problem is I’m a “thinky” person – even in the middle of feeling sad, I think about it instead of giving into it. A friend of mine, upon hearing from her vet that her beloved dog had terminal cancer and had very little time left, SLUGGED HER VET! She screamed at her and then punched her. I LOVE this story – not because I think we should go about assaulting our veterinarians when they give us terrible news (don’t worry Dr. Jeff, I won’t ever pop you one!), but because I love how much passion she had for her dog, and how thoroughly she could give into those emotions. It’s just not in me to do that. It was hard enough to cry in front of the clinic staff and my friends.
So that’s why, when yesterday I received this amazing gift in the mail at work, I was so very surprised.
This is from one of my readers, Fay, and came along with a lovely card expressing her condolences for Tweed’s passing, and it looks just like him, ears and smile and all. An ACO dropped off the package, so I opened it rather idly, thinking it was something I had ordered for work. And when I opened the little box and saw what was inside, I burst into tears.
As I was in the middle of completing the adoption of a dog to a woman (she was doing some paperwork when I opened the box), it was a bit of a shocker for everyone. I told her I had just lost my 15 year old dog, and she started crying too, and gave me a big hug. And all my staff stood around with their mouths agape like I had just started singing an aria from Carmen or something.
My friends have been amazing, and have surrounded me with lots of love around the loss of my boy. And you readers have sent so many wonderful condolences and memories of Tweed stories that stuck with you. Work paid for Tweed’s cremation so I could keep him with me. Aldergrove Animal Hospital gave me a clay paw print they made right after he died.
The Sadist, and my Bestie Fiona, and Auntie Corey all paid for Dexter to enter the pre-qualifier for Nationals because he had to miss Regionals and I’m broke (vet bills). I am lucky. I am blessed.
But this was the most amazing gift, Fay, not only because it’s beautiful and it means I get to keep Tweed close to my heart at all times, but because it gave me the gift of raw, honest emotion. I cannot thank you enough for this amazing present. Thank you so much!
There is no right or wrong way to mourn. Your relationship with Tweed was unique, and how you respond to losing him is also unique. Personally, I go in for occasionally bursting into sobs for no apparent reason, generally when it is most inappropriate. And I’m surrounded by people who will take their lives in their hands to tell me “it’s only a dog.”
Ruth and Gibbs says
You made me cry again – glad you felt and let it show. Glad you had people around you who let you feel it. Glad you and Tweed had each other for so many wonderful years.
Laura in California says
I just keep crying right along with you and everyone else. What a beautiful gift you received! It really does look like Tweed and so many people are lifting you up, you will be ok. Thanks for posting the puppy pics of Tweed and the one with Briggs is especially good to see.
Looking forward to the Nationals stories when you go. Keep moving forward!
Katharine Swan says
I think we get on with life because we have to, but at times — like when someone shows an unexpected kindness — all the grief we’ve been setting aside so that we can function hits us like a tons of bricks. You’re not grieving “wrong.” You’re doing it much like I do, much like any of us do when we have a household of other animals that still need us, but it doesn’t mean we miss the ones we’ve lost any less.
Janice in GA says
I miss Tweed too. Something about just knowing he’s gone…
It doesn’t help that I currently have an 11 y.o. Aussie that’s starting to look like an old dog around the face.
There’s no “wrong” way to grieve. Just as we (and our dogs) are individuals, so is the way we grieve. You are a unique snowflake, don’t let anyone tell you how to be.
Debra Moody says
We are all members of the Tweedle Fan Club. You grieve, we grieve. Your boy sparked in us all the reasons we have dogs in our lives, including yours. Thanks, Tweed.
What an awesome gift! Sending so much gentleness your way. He was a big part of your life.
A lovely thank you; I laughed (an aria from Carmen!), and I cried.
Robin L. says
I was happy and sad to read this. I still can’t believe Tweed is gone. And Fay, that is one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done.
RE: Cutest puppy in the world. I think you may have forgotten about the REAL cutest puppy in the world – Seamus, aka Mike – the white merle son of Mona who you fostered from birth and who still makes me happy every single day. Thank you for that.
I was so sorry read about beautiful, sweet Tweed. Wishing you the very, very best.
I am so sorry to hear about Tweed. He was an amazing dog. I just recently (just shy of three weeks) lost my 16 year old border collie and I miss her terribly. So I think I can empathize a bit with how you are feeling.