vacation was pretty good, a lot of drinks and a lot of red meat. We stayed up til the wee hours of the morning watching the sky rip itself apart over the lake during that lightning storm. The time off ended with my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary, which was a nice way to cap everything off, seeing the whole family. I need to take more meaningful time off.
My dog died while I was on vacation. A month to the day from when she was going to be 11 years old. From what I understand, she fell on Wednesday night and broke some ribs and maybe punctured a lung. When my folks took her to the vet on Thursday, they also found a previously undiscovered tumor. Unfortunately, the tumor was inoperable and that, in combination with her other injuries, forced the hand and she had to be put down.
Our new house in Sable River (well Mom and Dad’s house, not really mine as I have a dwindling number of possessions left there) has these stairs that go into the basement family room. They’re wood and lacquered and kinda steep and the dog, with her bad hips (like Labs are prone to having) had a hard time getting up them at times. Often you’d have to sort of support her back legs, because the stain on the stairs was too slippery for her paws or something. She couldn’t balance herself. I don’t know if that’s where she fell, but…well, I blame those steps.
When Mom and Dad showed up at the cottage on Thursday, as soon as I saw them I knew something was up. As silly as it sounds, I remember thinking that I was a bit relieved that it was just the dog, as the mind has a tendency to race and jump to conclusions at times.
Everyone has asked me if I’m ok, because well…she was a member of the family. If you know my family, you know how much we loved that dog. The quickness of this all, the shock of it, it’s almost cauterizing, cutting off the nerves because it was so fast.
Out of everyone, Mom and Dad will take this the worst. Hell, Mom’s eyes welled up every single year on the first day of school when my sister and I would leave the house for the bus. She still does it when they leave us after a visit here in Halifax, or when we leave them in Sable. The dog really replaced my sister and I when we moved out, making the house a little less empty. Spending Sunday night at the house, it now is empty. Everything seems sterile and quiet. At the same time, a lot of the decorating and knick-knacks around the house are yellow Lab related, like wall hangings or a cross-stitch or a door stop. It’s…well not really morose or creepy…just sad. An empty house filled with constant reminders.
They buried Tasha in the field beside the house. Dad showed me the plot when I was home. Then he got choked up. It was only the third time I ever saw my Dad cry.