Our second dog—will we be quite as attached to him as we were to Gracie?

Our second dog—will we be quite as attached to him as we were to Gracie? I’m not sure. We now know dogs can die—duh—but we feared death, we feared Gracie’s death. I remember thinking repeatedly that I never wanted to bury Gracie. But we did. It was hard—it’s hard to think of such a vital dog, gone.

And yet, OK, I’ll say it—life is loss, in a way, but I don’t want to privilege loss. It’s not more important than presence. Gracie was our dog, our healthy dog, for most of 7 years. We worried more than we needed to—both of us, I’m sure, but me, specifically.

The little girl just hung back yesterday—she would lick my hand, but she didn’t seek us out like Tippy [renamed “Sammy,” seen here and here and here and here, once he was ours] did. And I don’t know why we weren’t as interested in the bigger male. Tippy got a bit startled, he’d shrink back when I moved too quickly, but he also just seemed the friendliest. He’s very sweet, T__ said. He’d come up and lick us very quickly. It was funny how quickly all three dogs would start whining once one would start. They whined when they were getting hot in the sun? She moved the whole cage wall by dragging it.

Puppies—their hair seems a little wiry—not as healthy as Gracie’s was? Well, it’s not as slick as Gracie’s was, but then maybe this will be a finer type of hair, anyway, more like Frodo’s or a German Shepard’s than a lab’s. But Lab hair by itself is a little coarse—J__’s dogs at Mom’s place on Memorial Day.

Ah, well. We so didn’t want Gracie to die, and then she did. Perhaps we were overly quick to get surgery. She might have died anyway without that last surgery. I’m sure the last one in March was completely superfluous. But now we know, like a parent with a second child (maybe?) takes the little stuff in stride.

You know, there’s just no good way to communicate my sense of loss, how harsh it seemed that Gracie had to die. Still makes me sad—how hard it was to lose her. It’s making me tear up now, as I did yesterday. M said it makes her feel bad to see me cry.

[From journal of Mon., 4 Aug. 2008, Journal 103, page 320-1]

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