You don’t really think about your pets dying. I mean not in the same way as you think about people dying. All that stuff about dog years/cat years/gerbil years makes it all a little bit confusing and generally leads you to think they are more than a little bit invincible. That’s why it came as such a shock to be when I got a call from my Dad this evening telling me my dog had died.
When I say died, he had been put down. I don’t really like the term put down, I don’t know why. I guess because it’s so forced. The whole thing is forced why should you put something down why the fuck couldn’t they have just picked him back up again, made him like the dog he was 9 years ago but perhaps without the scratching up the sofa covers and pissing everywhere bit. No instead you just make him dead, where’s the good in that?
Bruin was I guess, for all intents and purposes a pretty crap dog. He was shit scared of everything, he was not really that good at dog things like eating meat (what kind of a dog doesn’t watch to eat meat) or fetching things or scaring people off but that was what was so good about him. He was decidedly odd, kind of a bit like me. If you threw a stick for him sometimes he would run and sometimes he would just kind of look at you like “Yeah, what the fuck do you want me to do with that, it’s just a stick”.
When we first went to get him there were two dogs left for sale, one which bounded happily around like a wannabe Andrex puppy another who sat unmoving under a chair and didn’t move, that was Bruin. Six months on he was still resolutely “different”, we even had the dog psychologist have a look at him and I come from a normal family, the type of family that should never have even considered looking at a dog psychologist let alone hiring one. His results were inconclusive, perhaps because he was really just a normal man masquerading as some kind of poor mans vet and really knew no more about Bruins problems that my 4 year old sister did.
"My welcoming party of one is now a welcoming party of none."
The best thing about him was that he always knew me, I only go to my Dads once or twice a year and yet he would always know I was coming, as soon as I walked in the door there he would be. Sure he’d lose interest about 3 minutes after I’d walked into the house but for the 2 minutes 59 seconds before that he would be so excited, the kind of excited you just don’t get when you see people. People don’t jump up and down wagging their tails (yeah, ok, so people don’t have tails), practically salivating at the thought of my arrival, granted if they did you would probably have them sectioned but that is not the point.
What’s going to happen now when I go there? Absolutely bugger all that’s what. The cat might come over and sniff around at my bag a bit, the chickens are too stupid to even know anything’s happening my welcoming party of one is now a welcoming party of none. What am I going to do when I want a cigarette and I can’t “go to take the dog for a walk”. He’s left this rather bizarre fluffy animal shaped hole that has left me even considering attempting to tame one of the foxes in the garden just to have some company.
I think the thing that really got me about it all was the moment when my Dad said “I just keep walking into the kitchen and talking to him but he’s not there”. See that’s the thing with animals just like people you don’t really truly appreciate them until they’re dead and gone.
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