Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Good Girl

We've had a lot going on around these parts in the months since I last blogged. One of the most recent, and unfortunately, the saddest, was the passing of our dog Sweetpea. Mr. Daddy and I got Sweetpea the first year we were married (twelve years ago) and in those pre-children days we did everything with her.

We took her on long walks, we took her to the park, we took her on rides in Mr. Daddy's truck. She had a good life. But she, like many dogs, was terrified of thunderstorms. Once, when we were living in Savannah, we came home from a night out during which there had been a horrific storm to find Sweetpea gone. We walked around our neighborhood calling her name. We drove around the larger neighborhood. We called Animal Control. We even called the police.

No Sweetpea.

As we walked into the house, devastated, we heard the tiniest bark.

Somehow, Sweetpea had managed to crawl under the house and wedge herself into the tiniest portion of the crawlspace. I was so thrilled and so pissed at the same time! Hadn't she heard us calling her.

But, as things often go, when the kids came along, Sweetpea didn't get the attention she used to. At least until the kids got old enough to start playing with her. In some part of her genetic makeup was some kind of herding dog and she used to love to trap the kids between the sofa and her body, herding them. But if we're being honest, things were never the same for her as they were in her heyday.

About three months ago, we noticed that she had lost a lot of weight. A LOT of weight. So we took her to the vet where she was diagnosed with diabetes. We began giving her insulin shots twice a day and she put some weight back on and she perked up a little, but we could tell she was getting old, fast.

And then one day, about three weeks ago, we realized she was blind. We think she could see a little, but her vision was definitely mostly gone. You could hold a treat right in front of her face and she wouldn't even know it was there until she smelled it.

And then one morning about two weeks ago, I walked out of the house and found her. She was gone. Mr. Daddy and I buried her in the backyard with her "soft squishy." Mr. Daddy created a headstone for her that said "Good Girl, Sweetpea." And oh, I cried. I cried for that sweet dog who loved us unconditionally.

For two weeks I looked for her in all her usual spots, running to greet my car as I drove up, looking through the windows of the kitchen as we sat down to dinner. Every time I threw away some scraps of bacon or a hotdog, I'd think "I should give this to Sweetpea," only to be reminded that she wasn't there.

This week we got a new dog, Toby. Some people might think it's a little soon, but I think that it's a testament to what a good dog Sweetpea was that I wanted to get another dog at all. She was a good dog and she will live in our family's hearts forever.

9 comments:

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Lauren said...

I am crying! Sweet Sweetpea...I'm sad that she is gone-thank goodness all dogs go to heaven:). Toby has some big shoes (paws?) to fill....but I think he will-

AndreAnna said...

Aww, poor Sweetpea. I know she lived a good life with you and she's somewhere in Doggy heaven licking her butt.

calicobebop said...

What a touching post. I lost my cat back in October and it's been lonely without him. I think getting another pet is the healthiest way to grieve. Hooray for Toby!

el-e-e said...

I'm so sorry about Sweetpea. Our old dog, Napoleon, is going deaf among his other ailments. Your post made me cry, thinking about him.

Glad you're back. :)

Wooda said...

You know I had to replace Weezie almost immediately too. I am sad for you about Sweet Pea, but happy about Toby.

Burgh Baby said...

:( It's the worst when a pet passes away. THE WORST. Sorry about Sweetpea.

But . . . congrats on the new pup!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

That is so sad. What a heart breaking post! our puppy is doing well at only 5 years old. Years ago we had a dog that was 13 some years old when she passed. That was hard for us all. . . it's definitely like losing a member of the family..because that is what they are.

Katie in MA said...

Poor Sweetpea! I lost my dog this past year, too. Reading about your loss made me tear up all over again. There's nothing like losting a beloved pet - hope the kids made it through okay!