Wednesday, November 9, 2011
They say that you don't miss a good thing 'till it's gone, and it's oh-so-very true for me in this moment.
There was a "certain member" of our family who always smelled bad, always left a mess in his wake, snored, slobbered, woke me up, and required us to clean up his poop & cater to him several times a day, rain or shine. No, that "certain member" is not our little man, but our stinky, greasy, gassy mutt with a wet nose that always seemed to find the underside of your elbow when you were least expecting it. He was dumb as a rock, afraid of new people, embarrassingly racist, and sometimes very clingy... but now that he's gone, I have to say that I miss the big thug.
If you've never been introduced, Gavin is/was our pit bull pup that we rescued from a life of neglect & abuse, and despite his idiosyncrasies (and my complaints), he really was a fantastic dog. Although his IQ was a few notches below Forrest Gump's, he was very obedient, sweet, mellow, super fun at the beach & on hikes, and never dug in the trash or begged for food. And in those early Nolan days, when we would forget to take him out to pee or feed him, he never complained, but patiently waited for us to pull it together. Sometimes, when Chris would go mountain biking, Gavin would run alongside him during the ascent, and then take off & meet him at the bottom, by the car with a huge smile on his face.
The only bummer was that because of his background, he wasn't a good candidate for babies, and so after months of searching for a new family & home for Gavin, Chris' parents graciously adopted him as their own.
It's been quite a relief, honestly to not worry about Nolan chasing a skiddish pit bull into a corner, and (selfishly) it's been beautiful to see how clean the rug stays now that there's not 5lbs of white fur deposited on it every day. But that first night when he was gone-- which also happened to be the first night that Chris was gone from our new house-- it felt very lonely & vulnerable without that big pit-mutt around.
A jarring noise woke me out of a dead sleep in the middle of the night, and I realized that for some reason, Nolan's baby monitor upstairs in his room had suddenly stopped working & was making a startlingly loud static noise. As I crept upstairs to see what/who had mysteriously turned off the monitor, I saw that there was a light on that I was sure I had turned off. Then creepy piano music started playing in the background, and a man with a chainsaw came out of the shadows. Wait, that last part didn't actually happen, but I knew that it could have, and that there was no 70lb dog to save me.
In that moment, I missed Gavin very, very much.
And I continue to notice his absence when I wake up in the mornings, or go out to our empty backyard, or try to explain to our baby why he can't find the "dah".
Gavin, I would like to publicly apologize for my lack of appreciation, affection, & attention this last year-plus, and especially for the lack of long walks since we bought a house with a yard. You are an amazing dog, and you deserve better. I'm so happy that you have retired to a warm, sunny home with a pool & plenty of neighboring dogs to torment. May you live a long & happy life.