December 09, 2005

Another old dog, some other old tricks

Ever since our old dog diva died about a year ago, Bando's been lonely. It's a rather obvious thing, isn't it. You spend your whole life with someone -- someone to terrorize, to love, to chew on, to sleep on in the winter -- and then one day you find her curled up, asleep for the last time. I mean, that's how it was for him. And he's not the brightest biscuit in the box, so add that to the mix here and you'll get an idea of his emotional state a year later.

Blogging helps you remember things. Or makes it harder to forget them. I hadn't realized that it was the anniversary of old Diva's death, but I think Bando has. A couple of weeks ago, he started escaping from the yard. By hook or by crook, by digging under the fence or hopping over. These are things he could have been doing for six years. Same house. Same fence. Same ground. Same dog. For some reason though, he's determined now that his yard will not have the boundaries they once had.

Or he's looking for Diva.

He howls still--something he started the week after she died.

It would make sense, wouldn't it, for us to have spent more time with him this last year. To play with him not just at dinner time and in the morning, but more often. I did take him to carpool once. But that's pretty lame.

Partly, it's hard for me to recognize that he's not a young bothersome puppy anymore. That was always his role when Diva was around: Bando, the pain in the ass puppy. But now he's six, and his muzzle's gray, and he's not really so young anymore.

Except that he can jump a four foot fence. And he runs up to meet the kids at the bus stop.

Anyway, I'm writing this post partly to remember Diva, whose absence somehow grows the longer she's not here, and to say to myself it's time to change up how I see our little mutt, who's not so little anymore, and not so young.


Jessica said...

Aw, make me miss every pet I ever lost. They do become such a part of the family, don't they?

We are starting to realize the same thing with our 6 year old Rott/Shepherd mix, Thisbe (from a Midsummer Night's Dream). Although still overly excited by company and very playful, the gray around her mouth is undeniable.

DeanLand said...

My faithful dog died 19 years ago. Her picture remains in a few spots around my abode, and she still appears in my dreams from time to time.

Nothing quite like having a dog, a relationship that lasts to the very last moment.

Having her pictures around is a good thing. That dog was a great companion, brought a lot of joy into a lot of hearts, and was my daughter's original best friend. Her first word (my daughter's, not the dog's!) was, "DOGGIE!"

That dog had quite an effect on my family. She died before my son was born, but even he perceives her as a family member.

Her name was Jasmine, I got her while living in Raleigh from a friend of a friend who had saved the entire litter while living on the NC State U experimental Farm . . she moved to Massacusetts with me, drove around the country with me for about four months, and then lived with me in three or four NY addresses until the end.

What a dog!