Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy 14th Birthday

In November, we had to put our beloved family dog, Churchill, to sleep.  I still can't write about it without crying.  His bowls reside where they have for the last 6.5 years.  I can't bear to get rid of them.  I actually decorated the wall above them for Christmas, hanging the letters to spell "JOY."  It was only afterward that I realized I had decorated completely around them, centering the letters on the wall above his bowls.  When I decided it might be time to take the bowls away, I couldn't because JOY now looked ridiculous and off-balance.  So I had to put them back.  And there they have stayed.

Tomorrow would be his 14th birthday.  

I miss him so much.

We're getting used to the difference not having a dog makes.  It's quiet.  Less vacuuming.  More vacuuming (crumbs abound under our kitchen table now).  The freedom to come and go as we please.  It would be easy to get used to it.  

Too easy.

But I look around the house at all his photos and, quite like my arms ache for my children sometimes, my arms ache for something warm and furry and wiggly.  Christmas is over and a long winter stretches in front of us.  T is turning 6.  There are no babies in our house anymore.  And we all love babies.

Especially the kids.

I'm ready for the next chapter.  I will always miss my baby Church, but I look forward to a true "family" pet, one for which we all can be responsible and with whom we each can form our own unique bonds.  I'm eager for the kids to know what it's like to hold a sleepy puppy, to play with a dog that has the energy to match theirs, to experience the first time that lab puppy perks his ears and cocks his head at them.  I want them to teach her tricks and to take her for walks.  That's right, her.  This is the closest Meems will get to having a sister.  It's our main requirement.

The kids are ready, too.

Now we just have to work on their dad...    


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