Good Grief?

Yesterday, my daughters lost an old friend. Fiona, the 14-year-old toy rat terrier they grew up with passed away. She was always a rather nervous dog and, early on, whenever I spoke to her, she’d pee a little bit. But, as time went on, she became used to my frequent visits. And, though she never seemed overly excited to see me (or anyone else for that matter. She was a very laid back dog), she certainly accepted me. On occasions when I’d dog sit for the girls mom, she’d even sit in my lap. I don’t think it was because of any great affection for me, personally, however; she spent the vast majority of her time in someone’s lap or wrapped in a blanket on the couch. She wasn’t a working dog by any stretch of the imagination, but she earned her keep through the love and companionship she gave two girls who mean the world to me.

Fiona was almost 14 years old and beginning to get decrepit. Not living the most active lifestyle, she became overweight as elderly dogs will (Olivia once said she looked like a keilbasa) and she had trouble getting around. My ex noticed a lump on her side in the last couple of days, so she took her the vet. While there, they found she had fluid in her lungs and around her heart and they had to put her to sleep. For my girls, Fiona was more than just a pet; she was a member of the family and this decision, while understandable, devastated them and their mother. Last night was rough for everyone involved.

Growing up in the country, my take on pets is different from that of my daughters and their mother. As a rule, I don’t give animals human attributes like dressing them up, celebrating birthdays, buying Christmas presents, etc. While I’ve loved every dog I’ve ever had (always dogs, I’m not a cat person), I’ve never considered them my children. And, though some might consider it cold, I’ve never seen the sense in spending great sums of money to prolong their life. Especially when the quality of that life would be significantly diminished. From a strictly logical point of view, the death of a 14-year-old dog isn’t really a sad thing. Hell, 14 in dog years is equivalent to 82 human years, which is a pretty good run in anyone’s book. But, love isn’t logical. Love takes us beyond logic and into things that make no sense. Because of love, we mourn the loss of a sweet, silly looking, kind of lazy little dog. A dog who brightened the lives of everyone she came into contact with. We’ll all miss you, Peahead.