Sad

December 20, 2011

Usually when something sad happens, it’s….um…..sad.

And I’m not talkin’ tragic-sad.  I’m talkin’ about sad-sad.

As in your dog dying.

When a sad-sad thing happens here, I try to find some way to lessen the impact it has on the children.

That usually means finding something funny or cute in the sad-sadness.

So here goes…… 

Our dog died on Saturday.

It probably isn’t as bad as it may sound because we only had her a year.  And she was free when we got her because she was so old.  You ever heard of an animal shelter having a Buy One Get One Free deal?  Well, they did that for us because we wanted her as a companion for another dog we chose and, because she was so old, they gave her to us for free. 

But she was a good dog.  

In a doormat kind of way.

Saturday morning, she was bloated and not acting normally so I told the kids to keep an eye on her.

We kinda checked her throughout the morning.  I checked on her before I went upstairs for my 15-minute nap and I saw her ear twitch which I considered an all-clear. Twenty minutes later, however, 11-Year-Old shakily informed me that she wasn’t just sleeping peacefully out on the patio.  

She was, in fact, dead.

Being the brave mother that I am, I asked him if any of the other boys had checked her out and proclaimed her dead also.

He said that they both had and that I just needed to quit being a big pansy, mother up, and just come out from behind the locked door already and take charge.

I’m not good with dead things.

One time, I was at my parent’s home alone with both of my elderly grandmas and one of them was sleeping longer than she should’ve.

Plus, she was really still.

And when I may have dropped something loudly so that she would jump, she didn’t.

So I did the brave thing and went and got my OTHER grandma and told her that I thought it might be possible that Granny Gumdrops MIGHT be…..um……gone.  

She got her walker and creaked her way to the bedroom of her sorta-relative and checked on her.

I know.  It’s shameful and I AM ashamed but not really because Granny Gumdrops was okay.  Just sleeping really soundly.  And being all pale and still and scaring me really badly which, if you think about it, is NOT a nice grandma-thing to do.

So basically, it was her fault that I was scared and she should’ve been scolded later on because I’m the cute, little granddaughter here who shouldn’t have been put in that horrible situation, right?  

Ahem. 

Okay…… where was I?

Oh!  Dead things.  Check!

Here’s the thing with the dead dog episode.

Yummy Man was gone.  It was gonna get dark in less than an hour. And?

It’s Alaska in winter which means that this poor little dog was NOT going to get a burial.  

We needed another option.  So Yummy Man found out that the animal shelters here take dead pets.

Except that it was Saturday afternoon which means that there was no one there and WOULDN’T be anyone there until Monday.

Then he found out that you could take your dead pet there and leave it in a special part of the shelter.

Kinda like a night-deposit box at a bank, but bigger and hairier.  I’m assuming this, of course.

And that’s when the dilemma began.

Drop her off at the Dead Pet Night Deposit Box where she would lie for a few days, maybe in a heap of OTHER people’s dead  pets and then get cremated at some point…….OR……we’d have to drag her into the woods and realize that someday in the near future, something large would have her for dinner.

See the problem?

So I did the brave thing and told the kids to choose. 

They chose the dragging/woods/bear fodder option which I maybe sorta encouraged a tiny bit because the pile-‘o-dead-pets thing started to bother me a tad.

But then Almost-15-Year-Old informed me that Yummy Man wasn’t going to make it home before dark and gently alluded to the fact that I was going to have to have some part in the dragging/woods/bear fodder option.

And then my mothering gene kicked in and I realized that this oldest boy of mine was sad by the death and may not want to help in this.

So I told him that if he couldn’t do it, or didn’t want to, that I would figure out a way to get the job done myself.  I would be a Real Woman and suck it up and just do it.

But he told me that I couldn’t move her by myself and that I would need help.  Then I reminded him that I pushed an 11-pound baby from my body without anyone’s help, including an anesthesiologist’s, and that I COULD do it and WOULD do it if he couldn’t.  I would totally understand if it was too hard on him.

But I think I was bluffing because if he had said “No”, I would’ve started crying and begging and then I would be that Mother That I Can’t Stand.  The wimpy kind.  With the Cheetos and the Pay-Per-View and the inability to do anything hard in life.

But he told me that he’d certainly handled more dead animals than I had and it wasn’t really that much different.

Except for the pet part of the scenario. 

So he went and got the 4-wheeler while I got dressed in Dead Dog Dragging clothes.  We hoisted her up into the trailer and then I hopped on behind him and he drove to a place back in the woods where he thought would be far enough away from the house.

He drove us there while I prayed inside that I would be able to do this whole thing through ’til the end.  He found a good spot but we had to leave the 4-wheeler and carry her body back into some thick brush. 

Serious prayer happening during those few minutes.

We covered her with snow (and Yummy Man asked why just like you probably are but I can give neither of you a good answer.  We just did.  Maybe it was for her dignity or so that I could sleep at night thinking that we hid her really well and nothing was going to find her and she’d just kinda fade away in the night and go to Dog Heaven where all good dogs go, okay?)

The whole thing with this was that my almost-15-year-old was the man.  THE MAN!  He was so much better than I was and he told me what we were going to do and how we were going to do it and he thought of the best place and took us there and he made himself do an icky thing that he really didn’t want to do because he was the only other one here who could’ve done it.

And I hugged him a lot and told him how proud of him I was when it was all done and then yesterday, I hugged him again and told some people how great he is.

But then I thought about it all and figured something out.

It was the 4-wheeler.

He did it so that he could drive the 4-wheeler.

He LOVES the 4-wheeler and even if it means taking part in a chore that is less-than-pleasant…..hey!  He gets to drive the 4-wheeler!!!  So let’s go do this thing already!!!

But he really did rock the whole incident like a man and I love him even more now, if that’s possible.

Even WITH the 4-wheeler thing.

And that’s how I turned a sad thing into a not-so-sad one. 

*****In loving memory of our sweet dog, Salsha.*****

 

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6 Responses to “Sad”

  1. pberlanga said

    so glad Salsha had a loving home to live out her life…it was probably very lonely and confusing at the shelter and having a place where she was loved was such a gift to her

  2. Heather said

    Good bye, Salsha!
    Do you feel any better, Allison, knowing that we now have a dog? (Though, it was in no way my idea..you’d never catch me saying, ” I really want a dog in my house”)
    Someday you’ll come by and meet him, won’t you? 🙂
    His name is Shadow and he is an Alaskan Malamute. AKA will grow into a giant, time consuming, not sitting on the couch eating Cheetos while your dog eats the wall kind of dog.

  3. Trina said

    Don’t you just LOVE that sons-turning-into-men stuff??!! I sure do, it’s awesome! With or without the 4-wheelers. That was funny, and SO could’ve happened here!

    Farewell to Salsha, I agree with pberlanga–it’s good for a dog to have a loving home to live out her life.

  4. Mother said

    OK. I was doing all right until you POSTED THE PICTURE AT THE END!!! Then I lost it. She was Such a nice dog – know you miss her.

  5. Mother said

    A great tribute. Thx. palmettoboy

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