Late last week, following the flu and a zillion remodel things, I felt like I was getting back on top of things. I felt more organized than I had in months, but then, as we got over the flu, it was clear the dog wasn't doing so well.
Our home turned into dog hospice, with us carrying her outside a few times a day, moving her into the sunlight, as she loved, helping when she rolled off her new bed, and always wondering if it was time to take her to the vet.
Maddie died peacefully at home this morning. The kids are upset, mostly railing about how we've said we will not be getting a new dog. We are now pet-less, cried Rocket, forgetting Pagoda the Turtle. "It's not a LAND ANIMAL!" he railed. "Only land animals count!" Screw you, Pagoda.
We never thought she'd live through the remodel. She was old and had been on a steady decline for years. But there she was, still going strong as we neared the end of the job (we're perpetually two weeks away from the remodel's end). I bought a special bowl to protect the walls (Maddie was a sloppy eater), and a new pillow to replace the one that was over 10 years old. She hated the new pillow, rolling off of it twice, and pooping on it daily. Do you think I can return it? I mean, it's only two weeks old.
It was a sad day punctuated with awkward moments. Maddie died before the workers arrived, but I had to tell the first painter to give us some room when he arrived, followed by the builder, who offered his regrets, then launched into a talk about the faulty decomposed granite outside. A loopy designer we're using to buy blinds for a single window, made me hug her twice, then told me she'd either like to go like Maddie (calmly falling asleep) or in a state of orgasm. I couldn't unhear it. I just want blinds to cover our front window. I didn't need to know how this woman wants to go out on top or how her husband would feel about it, but she told me anyway.
Tonight we remembered youthful Maddie and how she loved inhaling Greenies bones, and perching herself at the top of her couch. We got her before we were married. She was a small test of what it would be like to have kids, and in the end, was a sample of what elder care will be like. If offered a new dog tonight, Kevin and the kids would have taken it, but I'm content with Pagoda the Swimming Turtle.