Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I'm not even sure how it came up, but we were talking about Blue's age with Em tonight. Jason laughed as I did the mental math of a) how old he is and b) what this means in dog years. I have my Master's degree yet STILL have to count by 9's to get to 63. I'm going to pretend this is a MS thing. Just go with it.
Emily suddenly said, "I'm going to be sad when Blue dies."
This was a moment. Pet loss is a big deal to kids. I've worked with several kids on this topic and felt like I should say something important here. I hate those moments. So much pressure! I remembered the message we heard at church on Sunday that centered on grief and realizing that the time we have with loved ones is a remarkable blessing to be appreciated no matter how short.
"We'll all be very sad when Blue dies, but we'll also remember all of the times he made us happy."
Em replied, "I don't remember that."
Oh, my sage 4 year old.... This quickly turned into banter between Jason and I recounting the many times this dog has brought joy to our lives....
Remember the time he ate the walls?? That was a happy time.
Remember when he had an accident in your parents' house?
I remember the time he ate your earplugs.
Remember when Blue nipped at a toddler?
Or lunged and growled at a family friend?
Happy, happy times.
I remember when Blue ate a plush toy and had to be taken to the emergency vet.
And when he ate a baby sock. And an ornament. There's a theme here.
Remember when we had to replace ALL of the flooring in our house?
Or when he damaged the wood floor in our new house? Good times.
Remember when the groomer asked us NEVER to bring him back for nail trims?
Or when the vet told us to feed him boiled turkey and rice because he has food allergies?
And then I didn't feel like cooking because I'd already cooked for the dog.
Remember when we had to buy $90 prescription dog food?
Like it was yesterday... Because it was.
Believe it or not the pros outweigh his many neurotic behaviors and expensive health issues. We make him wear boots these days to save our wood floors. It's a fair trade. I love our goofy dog. It will be a very sad day when his time comes. It will be an amusing day when one of the kids asks a friend, "Hey! Where are your dog's boots?" Could be worse. It's not like we make him wear a jacket. Oh, wait...