Friday, May 23, 2008

A dog-shaped hole

I.

I miss Woody terribly.



Mr. Trillwing misses him even more.

II.

When we asked once what breeds Woody might be, the vet called him a Canardly--"because you can 'ardly tell," she quipped.

III.

There is a roving, Canardly-shaped hole in our household's space-time continuum.

Thursday, 7:05 a.m.: Mr. Trillwing stoops to put the leftover milk from his cereal bowl inside the dog's dish. But there is no dog dish. There is no dog.

7:45 a.m.: I strap on my bike helmet and turn to say goodbye to Woody, to scratch him behind the ears and maybe get him to give me his characteristic Elvis-like snarl, the one a tickle just behind the hinge of his jaw would bring out every time. But there is no dog. Elvis has left the building.

7:55 a.m.: Mr. Trillwing returns from dropping Lucas off at daycare. He dreads coming home to a dogless house. Is greeted by the plush dog I left propped on Lucas's tricycle in the front hall.



11 a.m.: Mr. Trillwing begins to pull a lunch entrée from the freezer, but then freezes himself because he knows at the end of the meal, there will be leftovers, and nothing to do with them.

All day: We scan rooms without realizing we're doing so, checking on the dog. Woody used to do the same thing for us. "He's very good at triangulation," my sister observed, as Woody placed himself in the one spot where he could monitor the movements of everyone in the household.

3:30 p.m.: Mr. Trillwing has to leave the house. His body clock is reminding him of Woody's 4 p.m. feeding time, and Woody's own usual 3:45 p.m. entry into Mr. T's office to begin bugging him for food.

It goes on like this for some time.

IV.

Friday, 7:30 p.m.: I call my parents to chat, to get my mind off the dog-shaped hole.

In the middle of our call, Lucas finds and starts playing with one of Woody's toys, a little dachshund with a crunchy water bottle inside.

Suddenly he looks up at me, asks for the first time, "Where Woody go?"

He wanders around the living and dining rooms, peering under the dining room table and checking the kitchen for Woody.

"Woody's gone," I say.

My mom, on the phone: It's OK to tell Lucas you miss him.

Me: I have to go, Mom. Love you. (beep)

Me: I miss Woody, Lucas. (tears)

Lucas: Woody sleeping. Woody sleeping.

V.

Yes, he's sleeping. Sort of.

Every once in a while, Woody awakes just enough to remind us he's gone.

VI.

Mr. Trillwing wants me to jot down the good times, to blog about the youthful Woody.

That time will come. For now, I need to become accustomed to his absence, to find someplace to put this old love that keeps spilling over into grief.

8 comments:

Bardiac said...

I'm so sorry about Woody. But you wrote beautifully and exactly about how missing a dog feels. Take care of yourselves.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oh, Trillwing. I'm so sorry.

The History Enthusiast said...

I am so sorry. I know how you feel and it really sucks.

I hope that Lucas is ok, too. It is especially hard for the little ones.

ArticulateDad said...

So sorry!

susan said...

I am so, so sorry. Woody was a wonderful dog and so clearly very well loved--I hope eventually those memories start to comfort you around the edges of the dog-shaped hole in your lives.

What Now? said...

My condolences to all of you on this loss. That dog-shaped hole will ache for some time, I know; eventually the time will come for the happy Woody stories, but they won't really fill that hole, sadly.

Stacey said...

It hurts to lose a furry part of your family. One of our friends sent this quote to us and I've kept it:
"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we would still have it no other way."

Go ahead and cry...sending you a hug!

JustMe said...

i know i'm really late on this, but i am really sorry for all your loss. take care.