52-Week Project {Everyday Life | 2017 | Week 4}

We are nearly a month into the new year already!  How does that happen?  I literally feel like Christmas was just a few days ago.  Crazy.  Anyway.  I hope that you have all had a great week!  I’m taking my turn with a nasty cold that is working its way through our house, which hasn’t been fun, but I feel hopeful that I’m on the upswing, and the weekend is nearly here, so all is well.

It was rainy and yucky outside when I decided to get started on capturing this week’s post photo, so I opted to catch a few snaps of our sweet geriatric dog, Molly.  We celebrated her 15th birthday in October.  ★15th!★  She is an old, old girlie.  She has become quite frail and stumbly during the past year, but we are keeping watch, and she still gets excited for her egg yolks {doused in fish oil to ease her achy joints} every morning and tries and often succeeds in bouncing along beside me as I carry the bowl to her chow zone.

The vet has assured us that she is doing fine and suffering no more than arthritis pain.  We don’t euthanize our grandparents or parents when they develop arthritis, so we are treating her creaks and loving on her…and developing some crazy routines to help her make it outside for pottying.  Seriously crazy.  There might be some fist pumping when she makes it out without dribbling in the house, and my carpets are possibly the cleanest they’ve ever been owing to the moments that lack fist pumping.

She has been with us for our entire marriage.  The beginning seems so very long ago and is tied with so much emotion, and the journey of years that she has shared with us just increases that emotion.  Anyway.  How she came to be with us.  We used to house-sit for a family who had a beagle named Cooper who was a LOVE.  We may have mentioned to my dad in passing that we wouldn’t mind having a beagle someday, not thinking it would be soon or that he would file that tidbit away.  Well, he did file it away.  He worked for our local energy provider doing turn-ons/shut-offs (that is of power, for patrons who neglected to pay the bill and then, on occasion, amended this neglect).  As part of the job, he and his coworkers often encountered abused and neglected pets, which they would either report if they couldn’t remove or just remove to the city humane society.  They would also deliver bags of dog food regularly that they just happened to stumble across (at the store) and couldn’t think of what else to do with (like feed it to their own pets).  They were big-hearted people.  In this capacity, Dad developed friendships with the folks who worked at that humane society, to whom he may have mentioned our interest in adopting a beagle.

You can guess where this went.  He got a call that they had just taken in a 12-week-old purebred beagle from a family whose daughter ended up being allergic to dogs.  He called me on his way over there to tell me the exciting news.  He arrived to discover that she was not, in fact, a purebred beagle, though she did have one white paw…and a piercing bark that was really not beagle-like at all.  While working to talk me out of adopting her, he let slip that her name was Molly, and I melted to pieces and insisted that he bring her home.  You see, we had lost another Molly just three short years prior to this moment, so it seemed serendipitous that he should have found himself with an opportunity to rescue another Molly.  She came home with him that night, and she has been with us ever since.

Mind you, we were not yet married.  We were not yet living together.  I was living AT HOME (that would be the Mom and Dad home).  A puppy plan was not even in our minds.  A puppy, however, was in our lives.  She was perfect from the start, and we haven’t had a moment of regret.

I know it’s cliché to say that she has been the most amazing dog for our family–in all the different forms our family has taken since she joined us.  It couldn’t be more true, though.  Any pet-loving pet owner feels that their pet has been the best pet.  We are all absolutely and utterly correct.  They are, each of them, the best pets for each of our individual families.  They give us love and companionship and security.

Anticipating life without her is kind of unbearable.  Pet lovers the world round know that our furries are as much our children as the human variety are.  In a fire, I would not be able to choose…I would need to find a way to save them all.  We try to focus on the now and enjoying her and laughing when she wags her tail after she potties outside–because I think she is as excited as we are when she makes it out.  It has been difficult beyond measure to watch her age.  She used to tear up and down the stairs to, as we dubbed it, get her crazies out.  When Eldest was a toddler, it was his greatest delight to watch this spectacle.  He would laugh and laugh as we squished against the hallway wall to try to avoid getting our feet shredded as she tore past us for another pass up the stairs.  Even before that, at our apartment, she could run around in a circle since there was open hall all the way around the layout, and we’d have to try to stop her if the neighbors downstairs were home as they didn’t appreciate the thundering noise.  I miss hearing her thunder.

So many memories.  So many beautiful moments with this girl.  So much loss and so much utter joy that she has endured with us.  SO many moments she has carried us through.  It’s something of a cruelty that these furries who fill us with so much love and companionship can’t just live alongside us for the duration, although I suppose that would offer its own difficulties.

Sometimes I wonder, having lost my first Molly and suffered a grief I had no capacity to process at that time, if loving a pet so deeply is worth the pain I will inevitably feel when I have to say goodbye.  Unequivocally, I know it is more than worth it.  My life is full because of our Molly’s presence in it.  She has been snuggled by our dads, who both passed away within the two years following our wedding.  She ties us to…maybe not happier times, because these times now are happy, but…different times.  To so many things we are losing those threads to.  Other than the threads of memory.

So today, I observed her resting on the floor in “her” room.  Comfortable.  Completely at peace on a quiet morning.  She was so relaxed and so sweet.  We shared some soft snuggles, and now I have this captured moment of just one amongst a trillion memories she has left on my heart.

On a technical note–and to somewhat lighten the mood…this was really hard to write–I do love having fun photog gear because that allows me to take what would be an unremarkable candid snapsot like this and instead end up with something I would not hesitate to print and frame.  That’s the boys’ bunk bed in the background.  Not an especially interesting backdrop for a photo.  It doesn’t detract, really, though, as it’s nicely blurred (that’s bokeh!), and Molly is just perfectly bathed in light from the window.

So now you have met our sweet, beautiful, old girlie.  Send her good vibes that she continues to be comfy and happy.  We, too, will focus on these basics and soak up her love and fill her with ours.  When it is time for her to cross the bridge, please send us good vibes that we will handle it well for her sake.

♥ ♥ ♥

Wk4 | 52-Week Project | 2017
Photo specs:  Nikon D810 | 35 mm | f 1.4 | 1/80 s | ISO 640

Sidebar:  Because I received a request, I will now include the specs for the photos as a caption.

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