For our human companions, illness and death can be difficult subjects. Some directly confront the topics, others need more gentle ways.
I go both ways actually. Sometimes, I confront my fears head on - at full bark. Other times, I like a little evasion to soften the moment.
One of Diana’s friends needs the softer way. Sad and difficult issues are not spoken of - directly - in her world. We all have our ways and need to accept this diversity in each other. Diana’s friend likes to say that animals don’t die. They “Retire to Palm Springs."
Works for me.
I took this saying as my own recently, especially regarding my toys. I barked about it to my Twitter buddies in the quise as my toy, to cover my sadness about losing a good friend last summer, Zeus the Pug.
When I first came to Diana and Michael’s house I didn’t play with toys. I stared at them and wagged my tail. Maybe I never played with them before or maybe I wasn’t sure they were for me. I’m not telling and we don’t talk to my original family to find out.
Diana kept playing, tempting me with new stuffy and squeaky plastic toys. I slowly got the hang of it and eventually showed a distinct preference for stuffy’s (with a squeaker if possible).
Ropey the Octopus showed up around Halloween time. He became my best toy friend. I couldn’t settle down at night until he was with me. I would search and search until I found him. Only then could I go to bed.
I'm a dog. I don’t really get the concept of cause and effect. I didn’t realize that chewing on his legs would hasten his “Retirement to Palm Springs."
I do not mean to make light of these issues. I am simply coming to terms with loss in my own way. We all deal with it as best we can. I’ve lost a few dog buddies recently and Diana and Michael have lost a few very close human family members too. All of them will be mourned and deeply missed for their unique contributions to our lives. I will forever treasure the joy of regular communion I shared with them when they were in my life.
Maybe it is easier to think of friends and toys as going into retirement rather than gone to the ages. Maybe it is.
^ . . ^