Tuesday, January 09, 2007


A few nights ago, Mary was upstairs and I was getting ready to carry Tina up and get ready for bed (Tina had knee surgery a month ago and still can't climb stairs). When I got to the top of the stairs and was about to put Tina down, I could have sworn I heard Sparkey's pitter-patter of paws on the wood floor of the dining room on the first floor. Suddenly, Mary came out of the bedroom without my having uttered a word and said, "I think I heard Sparkey downstairs!" We looked at each other and then yelled, "Hi, Sparkey, we love you!"

Again, yesterday, I was walking Tina around the block before Mary came home. When we got back to the house, Tina went straight to Sparkey's grave, pulling me with all her might. (She generally shows no interest in this part of the yard, usually having much greater interest in getting back inside to the warmth and waiting treats.) Once she was next to the grave, she sat down and would not move, staring fixedly at the grave. I stroked her and acknowledged that, yes, this is where Sparkey's body was buried. She then turned around and sat absolutely still, watching a spot near the house very intently.

A few moments later, I saw Mary's car rounding the corner of our street, so Tina and I made our way towards the driveway which is not within sight of our house but lies down a wooded path between our neighbor's homes. As we came down the path, Mary got out of her car and exclaimed that she could have sworn that she saw Sparkey trotting behind us. I then told her about Tina's behavior at the grave and we both looked at one another and smiled.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Four Months

Today is four months since Sparkey left us and got his wings. Yesterday, January 1st, was the birthday we chose for him, since we didn't really know when he was born. I'm pretty sure he was born in December of 1992, though, based on when Mary found him and how old the vet thought he was.

The ache for his company is not as strong as it was at first, but I still miss him. He always seemed to be there. He was great fun at the holidays, with shiny and colorful bows stuck to his head, or those humiliating doggie antlers.

Tina does seem lonely sometimes, especially when we come home from a long day at work. Even though a teenage girl from the neighborhood spends an hour with her each afternoon at three, there's no substitute for family. She just doesn't have anyone to talk to when we're gone, but we just don't want another dog---not yet.

I know alot of people feel deeply connected on a soul level with their pets, and I am one of those people. Sparkey was much more than a dog. He was so tuned in to the human world. I still feel his connection to me even now, and I thank him for his loyal service to our family.

Is it morbid to continue to write about him and mourn his passing? Maybe, but it sure is therapeutic, and a nice way to keep his memory alive. Four months apart in the face of almost fourteen years together is such a comparatively brief time. I miss him, and feel his love still.

Four months, and counting.