I gave my dogs their Christmas chewy and new food bowl. All four were excited about the feed bowls – of course, food memories are attached. The chewy – eh, not so much.
Like in Christmas past, Shadow, then the main (alpha) dog, the serious chewer of the bunch, took all the chew ropes, gathered into a neat pile, next to his pile of balls to engage a human in bowing to his wish to retrieve. Another loss to us this year as he went on to join his master Paul, at the age of seventeen or 119 if counting dog years.
The four remaining dogs are getting up there in age for their breeds but we are hoping that they will stick around as did Shadow years beyond expectation. All the dogs went into mourning when my husband died shortly followed by Shadow.
The youngest dog, a Pitt Terrier who is mostly white and ninety percent deaf was welcomed into the home when ‘Bridgegate’ in New Jersey was occurring – she was only eighteen months and Shadow was taken to meet her before we adopted her. He liked her, she liked him, so she came home to meet the rest of the crew, another part Pitt/Lab, a Beagle/Dachshund, and a cock-a-poo. All rescued animals, set for the needle, unwanted, unloved.
Serafina has the imprint of angel wings on her back and on her butt. She and Shadow would play in the yard with a tug toy or with balls as they were thrown. The last year Shadow changed in personality and got more puppy-like but decided he would no longer play with Sera and her too in mourning that Paul, at rehab, was too sick to be home.
After Shadow passed in May, she found the ball he no longer played with her. She took it and slept with it, but did not attempt to play with it. One afternoon I glanced up and thought I saw Shadow. I blinked and it was Sera. Soon after that, I heard a racket and looking saw Sera throwing the ball, and running to catch it, returning and doing it again.
When I gave the dogs their Christmas presents early, I gave her first choice of the chewies – she picked the one I had thought would be hers. As did the other dogs, but, Shadow’s spirit is back. Each of the dogs gave their toys a cursory chew and gave them to Sera.
Even with tears in our eyes and heart, we know there is hope and for that, we celebrate.
Wreath shared on Facebook