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Just a Dog

January 10, 2011

The ‘Puter Hub and I lost one of our beloved family members yesterday. Dorothy, our 2-year-old goofy doodle, ran away for a last romp in the snow and was struck by a car. It was late at night. She is black. It was dark. One thing led to another. They are animals. These things happen.

Even though we only had her in our lives for a short (too short) two years, she filled that stint with laughter, happiness and unconditional love. I’d like to recall a few memories of her in honor of my precious puppy dog:

The time we picked her up from the breeder. I was elated. Cloud nine. She vomited all over the ‘Puter Hub on the car ride home. Deep down “inside,” she was elated, too. She showed us by showing her dinner.

My mom gave us some advice. “Talk to her.” That’s when the ‘Puter Hub started his daily conversations with the dog. They formed a man’s best friend bond. After all, he renamed his man cave to man’s best friend cave.

That night, she cried in her kennel. I cried, too. I wanted to crawl inside there and comfort the poor puppy. Instead, I slept on the oversized chair next to her kennel. Far too much mac and cheese for us to both fit.

She had stitches from the removal of her womanhood. We carried her up and down the stairs while potty training her. It didn’t go as planned. She peed all over the place to spite us. There were arguments.

“Why is she peeing on the rug?! I just took her out! Argghhh, bad dog!” – Puter Hub

“She is a dog. That’s what they do.” – me, giggling

The conversations with the ‘Puter Hub and Dorothy continued and she quickly learned to go poop and pee outside. She also learned how to spell t-r-e-a-t. With the crux of her black, furry head, she yearned for the t-r-e-a-t during Hagood Happy Hour.

I quickly taught her how to climb on furniture. There were PowerPoints. “Dorothy, this is how you climb on the couch. Step 1- place front paws. Step 2 – place back paws. Questions?”

The ‘Puter Hub loathed how Dorothy the Diva took on every couch cushion, chair, bed, human pillow as her own. But, he allowed it which leads me to believe that he thought it was cute. She was my 50-pound lap puppy.

While the ‘Puter Hub was still in school, I taught her how to sit, give us her paw, lay down and then go bang, bang. That’s shooting her with a pretend gun and she plays dead. The ‘Puter Hub didn’t believe me. Probably because when he got home I was slurring my words over the bottle of wine and gallon of patience it took me to do it.

Then there was the time she ingested a bottle of pills. She tried to go all Jimi Hendrix on us but we wouldn’t have it. She threw up the bottle of pills and after a quick stint at rehab, aka me showering her with treats, she was wagging that ferocious tail again.

The time she ate the ‘Puter Hub’s Chapstick. His laptop cord. His phone charger. My socks. The candle that looked like a ball. The apple that looked like a ball. The ornament that looked like a ball. The tennis ball that was a ball.

Then the time she went for the wine (cork). Where there was wine, there were corks. D somehow managed to get a hold of any wine cork no matter the vintage. Like mother like puppy, she wasn’t particularly picky when it came to wine. She loved the dog bar, so many dog crouches to sniff, so little time.

Unconditional love. Being there for us during times of loss. Celebrating with us during times of success.

Barking and chasing squirrels in her sleep.

Visiting her grandduke while we were in India. The grand-duke (grandpa of the dog aka my dad) Skyped. We like to think she was the first dog to ever Skype, the equivalent of landing on the moon (To us, at least).

I could go on. But, I won’t. My sister told me to inform my readers of the loss. Consider you all informed. I will leave you with this reading. It basically says if you’re one of those people that doesn’t think it’s socially acceptable to grieve the loss of a pet, eat it. Hey, I had to include something about eating in here somewhere.

It’s Just a Dog

From time to time people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or, “That’s a lot of money for just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent or the costs involved for “just a dog.”

Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog.”

Many hours have passed and my only company was “just a dog,” but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a dog,” and, in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it’s “just a dog,” then you probably don’t understand phases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.”

“Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.

“Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person.

Because of “just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.

So for me, and folks like me, it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past and the pure joy of the moment.

“Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog” but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a human.”

So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog.” just smile .. .because they “just don’t understand.”

– Anonymous


14 Comments leave one →
  1. Barbara Brown permalink
    January 10, 2011 6:47 pm

    Oh gosh Evie, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your Dorothy. There is NO SUCH THING…as “it’s just a dog.”
    Thinking of you.
    Barbara and the two pooches.

  2. Becky permalink
    January 10, 2011 7:16 pm

    I just shed a tear for dear Dorothy. That sweet girl will be missed.

  3. ruthie permalink
    January 10, 2011 7:22 pm

    this is so devastating to hear, especially since you lost mimi this past year in the same manner. so very sorry evie and richard. there are just no words at this time.

  4. Julia permalink
    January 10, 2011 7:23 pm

    I’ll miss Dorothy and her craziness….not as much as I’ll miss you chasing after her and screaming at the tops of your lungs.

    XOXO to the Hagoods,

    Julia

  5. Sarah permalink
    January 10, 2011 7:52 pm

    Evie, so sorry to hear about Dorothy. Sending much love to you guys.

  6. January 10, 2011 8:17 pm

    Just a dog? No such thing. In fact, I’m amazed you are able to compose yourself an type a blog entry today. My motherboard would have shorted out from being drowned in tears. Our doggie is only 2.5 years old, and loves the snow. I could never imagine losing her while she was doing the thing she loved most. Perhaps you can take solace in that though- she was very very happy before her accident. I hope you and Richard can get through this. When you are ready, I recommend reading “A Dog’s Purpose”. It’s a great book told from the perspective of a dog and his multiple lives (each time he dies, he is reborn into a new dog life and trying to figure out his purpose). It makes me wonder where my dog has been, and where she is destined to go next. It may help you to think that lovely Dorothy is out there somewhere with a new purpose, and that someday you’ll be lucky enough to cross paths again! Thinking of you guys:) Mo

    • entertainbyevie permalink*
      January 14, 2011 1:46 pm

      Thank you! I actually purchased the book on Kindle … but I’m going to wait a while to read it. Too soon.

  7. Sandy permalink
    January 10, 2011 8:18 pm

    So sorry to hear about Dorothy.

  8. Drew permalink
    January 10, 2011 8:22 pm

    So sorry Evelyn! 😦

  9. Doug Hanson permalink
    January 10, 2011 8:25 pm

    I have had several “just a dog”s. I have watched them pass one at a time,each one leaving a void, but yet a twinkle of tear in the corner of my eye. Is that twinkle “just a tear”, no it is a sweet memory, happy and sad at the same time.
    I loved the way you wove your words.

  10. Suzy permalink
    January 11, 2011 1:46 am

    Oh, Evelyn….I am so sorry. 😦 No dog is “just a dog” SO sad.

  11. Karen Mathers permalink
    January 11, 2011 7:16 pm

    So, so sorry Evelyn. She was such a good dog. She is now with Mimi and your mom in a happy place with those who love her. She was loved.

    Karen

  12. Laura permalink
    January 11, 2011 11:08 pm

    I can’t believe she’s gone. She was such a sweet, playful puppy, and I will miss her very much. Definitely crying after this one, Evelyn. I’m so sorry for both of you.

  13. Kathy B permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:30 pm

    Evie and Richard,
    My heart goes out to you over your loss of Dorothy.
    Lost our first dog that way, and understand how it feels.
    I am sorry this happened to you. Kathy

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