08 July 2008

When one of them just vanishes.

Someone asked me today, do the other dogs know Timmy is gone? I wonder that too. He was such a big part of our life, and really, so much of our life revolved around taking care of him. He was our clock. Not that they did anything to help, but they could only eat or walk at certain times based on Timmy being awake or asleep or up or down. None of them had a life with me that was a life without Timmy. We were a package deal. They never got asked, "You want fries with that?" No choice. You got what you got. That's how it goes when you're a dog.

So I made sure they all saw him that day. They were in the next room, locked in crates with chewies, the whole time the vet was over. I wanted it calm and quiet and no spontaneous howling events or frantic chases after stuffed squirrels. The other dogs, the vet, they all were subjected to my endless loop of slideshow on the computer that I made for Timmy. Come to my house, you will be sat down and perhaps tied to your chair through this parade of the endless photos I have of him while a special song loops over and over. It's sort of high tech moody teenager with a mix tape and photo wall, but you know. I may have sort of stunted developmental personality disorders.

Afterwards, his little chest no longer rising and falling, not moving in my arms, Gary let everyone out and they all came and saw him. Don't know what they thought. Actually, probably they thought, where did my chewie go? I got them really god chewies.

Gustavo? Um. His little world didn't much revolve around Timmy. The Timmy he knew was always old and sick and not a whole lot of fun to play with. Timmy was no Otterpop when it comes to bitey face and chasing and attack missions. He was just the dog that had the slimey food and the best food bowl to lick clean is maybe what he misses. Is the dog that got cheese for treats! Is the dog that walked so slow! Is the dog we needed to jump over because blocking where I would like to be running! Is what Gustavo knows of Timmy. Which is ok. Gustavo was my birthday present last year when I was worried I'd be losing Timmy sooner rather than later. Gustavo was got as a friend for me, not for Timmy.

Otterpop seems crabbier and a little meaner. A little quicker to trigger at stuff that bugs her. It's hard to tell with her though. She's always like that. But did have one helluva dog show over the weekend. I asked her at one point, "Are you doing this for Timmy?" Not sure if she comprehends sentences that don't have the word FRISBEE in them so I'll never find out. Maybe there's a secret competition going on I don't know about for someone to fill the position of Best Dog? Like going to be like Hilary vs. Obama, making Gustavo a John Edwards? Do I have to go through a year of dog primaries? Timmy was important to Otterpop, she could guard him against evil. I hope she's not mad because she thinks she failed him and he vanished. I didn't really get Otterpop to be anyone's friend especially, found her and kept her because was afraid to unleash her on anyone else. She became Ruby's evil other half, if a dominatrix loudmouth who won't let you have the tennis ball counts as that. But ended up as Timmy's protector, the one who was ready to kick some ass at a moment's notice if anything threatened her fragile charge.

Ruby is different. She is definitely acting weird. OK, she always acts weird, but it's different weird. She spent the longest with him after, sniffing and noticing that he wasn't really there anymore. Before running off to go look for her chewie again. She was with Timmy the longest, she is 7, almost 8 years old and had Timmy in her life all those years since I found her. I brought her home with the specific intent of a friend for Timmy and got that and so much more. This whole Team Small Dog stuff, we can blame that on Ruby. My introduction to dog training and aggression and prey drive and agility. She has never been a snuggly wuggly dog. Doesn't need a spot right by me on the couch, rarely wants a lap. Kind of does her own thing, is aloof, likes to sleep in a dog crate and not up on the bed. So ever since, she's up with us on the couch. On my lap. A better friend for me. She is the one I feel a difference from. Sticking closer. Knows he is gone, maybe that she could be gone too?

I have this video a friend took, of the one actual dog show Timmy went to with Gary to watch me and Ruby. One dog show forever was enough for Gary, and Timmy didn't need to sit in an xpen all day, could be at home with Gary on dog show days, eating pancakes. In this video, every time I call "Ruby!", you hear Timmy off camera start wild barking. Then you see Ruby start to run over towards the wild barking. Then you hear me holler "Ruby!" again. And she comes back over and does a jump or whatever as you hear Timmy start barking again, and you see Ruby start to run over there again. And so on and so forth, as we sort of stagger our way around a Starters course. Halfway through the course I was laughing so hard almost peed my pants out there.


wishy the writer said...

I just love your blog and your writing and I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Lisa B. said...

I was without internet with many days so I wasn't keeping up with my blogs, and I was sooo sad to get back to the reading this morning only to find out that Timmy, my favorite little old dog, has left the building. I'm so sorry for your loss. Give the rest of the pack a chewy for me ;-)

Anonymous said...

Where do you get the god chewies? I think I'd like to chew one of those, too.

Anonymous said...

From what I've read if the dogs get to see their dearly departed friend, they do better. I think they know and just like us, they all process it a little differently.

Peace be with you and yours.

Elf said...

Can you put the slide show on the web? I'd love to see it.

Anonymous said...

Good idea. Put up the slide show with the endlessly looping special song, send us all god chewies, and TSD fans the world over will all sit mesmerized in front of their computer screens, chewing and staring and thinking about whether our behavior has changed now that Timmy has traded places with the rest of the ghosts.

Man, are you ever a good writer.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I had tears streaming down my face as read your last posts about Timmy and The Team (sorry, I'm a total dork who loves her dog so much that I tear up when I read that you lost your best friend because I can't imagine what it would be like for me to be in your situation.) I hope Timmy is pain free in the afterlife enjoying all the Timmy things that he likes to do like barking a lot.

team small dog said...

Thanks all my internet friends for your kind words.

Hmm, i am not sure if i can put timmy's slideshow up in the internet. Next time I am feeling especially high techy I will see. The really good chewies are those bully sticks. They are the personal privates of boy cows. I think you do not want to chew one Mary!

I am sad about Timmy, and I am sad you are all sad about Timmy. That is how special he was, he was able to touch a bunch of lives and he didn't even know it. You all would have liked Timmy a whole bunch, you guys that never met him. I'm glad my little blog stories keep him alive.

Anonymous said...

Well, Laura, it all makes sense to me now. (You know, that cows are sacred in India.)