I had a dog for almost as many years as I’ve been married. I don’t know if she ever thought of herself as a dog because we never treated her like one––we always treated her like a child––for 15 1/2 years.
We gave this small, little Lhasa Apso the name Booches, a slight take on the Jay & Silent Bob saying “snoochie boochies”. She almost never barked––kinda like Silent Bob (a non-talker). She didn’t give a shit about the other dogs in the neighborhood. She was cool like that. She eventually earned a few other names: Boocheena, Booches-Booches Galli, Boo Boo, and the list goes on and on. We used to change the lyrics of songs and sing to her. My Sharona became My Boocheena. There were a bunch of those, again, too many to count.
A couple of weeks ago she got to go on her last vacation. She liked it up in Maine. She liked the long car ride, roaming around in the grass, and even walking by the lake. I think she especially liked sleeping on the bed in the boathouse while we all listened to the waves roll against the shore at night.
The house is so quiet now––too quiet. There are no more squeaky alligator toys to pick up, or the pitter-patter of her long nails running around on the hardwood floors. The zebra striped blanket that she used to lay on is gone, so are the dog bowls and random dog food kernels on the floor.
I used to speak to her and tell her, “I love you, do you know what that means?” I think she did, although she would never kiss me back or lick my face––ever! She always ran to her mother––my wife seemed to be the calm to my wake. My wife would tell me that when I was away, she always used to sleep on my side of the bed––that probably was the only way that I knew that she missed me. Every time I left the house, I would always say, “Be good. I’ll be back soon.” She would look at me probably thinking, “hurry up and leave, so I get my nap on.”
Pet owners will understand this rant more than anyone else. I wasn’t trying to get all sappy and depressing––I actually should have used the hashtag #NSFW (not safe for work) on this story since some people might have a tendency to tear up while reading it. I did before I even finished writing the first sentence.
Anyhow, I feel a little better now. I need to thank my wife for being my rock, the kind folks at the MSPCA Angell for taking care of us yesterday, and for the folks at Regeneration Tattoo in Allston for making sure that I never forget her.
I hope you get to eat an endless supply of cooked chicken wherever you are.