Today marks the first day in over 28 years that the Bird family has been dog-less. Today the beloved family dog, named "Dog" was put to sleep as age took a greater and greater toll on her health. Its funny that we had a dog for so long but never learned where she came from. One of my Dad's employees brought a puppy into the office one day and left it on my dad's desk. She found it in a box filled with a litter of abandoned puppies. Dad brought the puppy home but warned me that we were not going to keep it so I was not to get attached to it. Instead of naming the puppy, we simply called her 'Dog'. After a couple of weeks deciding what to do with the dog, we had to leave her at home while my dad and I traveled on a week long fishing trip.
When we returned home we were greeted at the front door by a bounding little puppy and a floor littered with shreds of foam padding. When my dad walked into the living room, there sat his favored leather recliner minus all the leather. While we were away the teething puppy found satisfaction for itchy gums by chewing all the leather off of the recliner! After raising her personal value by consuming $500 worth of leather, my dad could no longer simply give her away. Thus dog gained permanent status in our family.
For more than 13 years Dog was a confused 50 lbs lap dog, beloved by children and one of the best beasts a boy could have grown up with. She was dedicated backyard cat chaser, early warning detection system betraying boys sneaking back home after blowing through curfew and our version of a green, low-energy alternative to the power hungry vacuum cleaner. There was never a green tennis ball that could escape her jaws or an empty bowl of ice cream that couldn't be licked back to shinning cleanliness. She even served to screen potential girlfriends by wriggling herself between my dream dates and me.
First here eyes began to be clouded then her hearing went. A fatty tumor developed on her breast as her once fine short hair was replaced by dull bristly hair. She began to stink like old dog and grunt and groan with every movement. Finally one hip gave out leaving a leg shakily supporting her body. I guess this is what happens to a a dog at the end of thousands of miles of walks and years worth of afternoon napping.
It's silly sentimentalism but there are things in God's creation that we can become quite attached too .