Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Idle hands...

I like to draw out special dates, for example, my birthday is in August and I prefer to start celebrating Mid-July and continue the festivities into...September-ish? So, really, it should come as no surprise to my husband that I'd do the same with wedding presents.

See, The Hubs got me Jack as a wedding present, 9-1/2 years ago. Pretty sure he thought that would be the end of it, "get her the cutest dog ON THE PLANET, and she'll leave me alone." Well, funny thing about that, when said-dog dies, the gifts just keep on coming. This one came in the form of a brushed metal dog-bone shaped urn to put his ashes in. And, to say I'm in love with it is an understatement.
Lets be real people, its perfect. Its sleek and unique and perfect for my puggle. My biggest concern about the dog-bone urn was that it was a teeeeeeny bit expensive (as if Jack over the years wasn't expensive, with his allergies, and sensitive skin and allergies, and sensitive belly, and allergies and ear infections, oh, and don't forget about those allergies!) But, when I told The Hubs, in typical Action Hero fashion (my uncle dubbed him the Action Hero on our first anniversary when he put out a fire with his foot...stray piece flew out of the burn barrel...) he got right on it and placed the order. Yup, that one of mine, he's a keeper alright!

So, now that Jack is in his final-final resting place, I've got to keep my mind busy. What have I been doing? What haven't I been doing...

You know when you walk around your house and you think, "oh, I should really clean that" or "man, that wall really needs to be repainted/touched up" or "wow, its time to (fill in the blank)" and that's what I've been doing. All of those things that have piled up and have been staring at me, mocking me.

Task one: (finally) stain the nightstand I assembled for Lil' Dude's room. I'm not joking, one of my girlfriends took a trip to IKEA in like, September. I assembled it within a few days, and then it just sat in the garage. Unstained. Unloved. Until, that little saying popped into my head "idle hands are the devil's workshop". Crap. So, I grabbed a brush and the stain and went to work. Lil' Dude picked out the new hardware for it...its Spiderman
Task two: round up the best plumber I know (The Hub's grandfather!) and ask him to install my utility sink in the laundry room. Ask and you shall receive...

(I know there's no sink yet...but the plumbing lines have been installed...the counter and the sink are being installed on Friday! YAY!)

Task three: Repaint the base boards and touch up the paint in the corner where Jack's house was. This one I don't have pictures of. For a lot of reasons, mostly because I didn't want to remember doing it. 

Task four: Tackle the back door.
 See, prior to us pouring the patio last summer, we had this back door...with the dog door (which, when we bought the house nine years ago we were all "OMG, Jack is going to use this ALL the time!" Except, that never happened. Jack hated the dog door. We have one photo of him near it.) which lead into the side area of our garage. And, prior to the patio, it was like the door to nowhere. No one knew about it. No one used it. It was just, well. It was just there. But then we pour the patio and the guy was all "let's add a walkway, and lets have the walkway go up to the door!" (uhm, what door?! Ooooh yeah- the door that goes to nowhere! Forgot about that!) And, when the patio was finished, that's exactly how the door looked. Like it had been forgotten. It was awful. Paint chipping off, awful caulk job. So, I took my idle hands (which, really given the other two tasks I've undertaken, they really weren't that idle anymore...) and got to work on the backdoor. Once the weather cooperated, it was smooth sailing...
All I need to do to finish the door is re-caulk around the dog door!

Task number five is coming up. I'm excited about it too because its going to change the way the front of the house looks...I'm going to paint the garage door the same color as the back door...which is the same color as the shutters on the front of the house! SQUEEEAL! I'm excited; its going to be a big change, but I can take the challenge!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I miss my dog.

I've found the best way for me to grieve Jack, is to talk about him, talk about our relationship and why he meant so much to me. Its been three and a half weeks, and I don't know if I'm getting visited by him constantly or being tortured. Here's what I mean:
- Its late Spring, so the birds are outside chirping. I can't tell you how many times I've mistaken it for his whine at the back door. I instinctively think, "let him in" and then, in a split second it comes crashing in on me that he's not there. That day did happen. He's gone. He's not there. 
- During the afternoons, if someone stops by and knocks on the front door or opens the garage door, my instinct is to flinch because Jack is going to start barking, and Lil' Dude is sleeping. 
Except Jack isn't here to bark. Or whine.

Its these awful daily reminders that he's gone that I don't know if they are helping me or hurting me more. Prior to receiving Jack from my husband as a wedding present, I had a hole in my heart and my life that needed to be filled. Jack filled that hole and then some.

We've talked about getting another dog (eventually!) and here's the thing, with Jack, I knew him. I knew he would never hurt my son. I knew he loved me and would (and did, on two occasions) protect me (even if the one time it was my husband who came into the room, but it was dark, and no one uses our front door...so, I appreciated Jack's response to an "intruder" in my bedroom!)

When I say I knew him, I can't explain it and I know its going to sound silly or strange or weird (really, you can insert whatever adjective you'd deem necessary here) but I knew OF him prior to meeting him. Jack was born September 21, 2005. On October 21, 2005, I'm walking in a parking lot with my mother-in-law. I said to her, "I don't know why or how or, really anything, but I KNOW something big has happened in my life and I'll never be the same." She said, "you're not pregnant are you?" SAY WHAAAAA?! No. So NOT preggo! It wasn't until November that we met Jack. I have no idea how I knew he was already born and that he would impact my life forever, but I did. God told me.

So when I met Jack, my husband held him in his arms, and his eyes met my eyes, I knew. I just knew he was mine and it was meant to be and he'd be mine forever. Again, I have no idea how, or why. I just knew he was mine.

And now he's gone. And I'm left with lots of beautiful memories of him and pictures of him but none of them can help this lump that's been in my throat since mid-April when we learned of his diagnosis. So when people walk into our house and say "Its so strange that Jack's not here" or I vacuum and realize there's a finite amount of Jack-hair left in my home, it makes me so sad I have to honestly stop what I'm doing and redirect my energy otherwise I'd be reduced to a pile of tissues. Everyday.

I know everyone has lost an animal and I'm not alone. But I can't tell you how attached I was to that dog. I was his and he was mine.

Today my son walked to Jack's box (which, we've got the dog bone urn on order!) and said, "mama, I miss Jack." (I wanted to break down right then) "What do you miss most about him buddy?" "when he'd run and play with me" and he walked over to Jack's toy basket (its still sitting out) and grabbed this tennis-ball-material-wrapped doughnut toy that we always played tug-of-war with...and Lil' Dude grabbed one end, and I grabbed the other and we played.

I can't remember the last time Jack was healthy enough to play. And that makes me sad. Its been at least nine months. I miss my dog. My family misses our dog. I know time will help heal this pain but for now the wound is open and fresh and painful.