All in the Family

15 Sep

While going through an old photo album tonight, I was struck by something I hadn’t really thought about before:

Dogs have been a constant throughout my life.

One of the first photos I came across shows my grandfather, his dog Caesar and me somewhere on Long Island in the early 1970’s.

Photo: Grandpa, Caesar and Todd on a fall day in the early 70’s

My grandfather seldom showed emotion when I was around, but looking at the way he’s clutching Caesar I can feel the love. I was also reminded of something he said that will always stick with me.

Upon first meeting Jasper he commented, “Pets are really wonderful, but it’s so sad when they die.” I’ll never forget seeing the emotion in his eyes when he said the words “so sad.” I didn’t fully understand then what he meant, but I sure do now.

Trapper – the dog that made a cross-country journey with our family from New York to South Dakota – appears in the next phase of my life. I remember playing with Trapper as a child, but I don’t know for sure what happened to him. He was such a beautiful dog, though.

Photo: Trapper and I in the mid-70’s

My mom always loved animals as much as anything in this world. I think that’s why I’m really missing her now because if she was here she’d truly understand how I’m feeling.

For a while my mom bred Cocker Spaniels, so we always had a lot of doggy action around the house. Her favorite – and ours, too – was a sweet little blonde named Buttercup. In the end, Buttercup died a tragic death, but I won’t go into that here.

Photo: My mom and Pepper in the Black Hills (1985)

Shifting gears, more bad news tonight. I discovered a third tumor on Jasper.

This whole ordeal is really starting to take a toll. Sleeping and eating are becoming more difficult. When I’m at work my mind just isn’t there. And I’ve started breaking down at random times, like on the drive back to the office after lunch today.

I know I’m supposed to be enjoying the brief time we have left, but I keep getting caught thinking of the moment we’ll have to say good-bye. It’s all pretty overwhelming.

To end on a positive note, V and I have decided to take Friday off and go on a stay-cation with the dogs this weekend. We have some fun outings planned during the days and then we’ll be crashing back here each night. I hope Jasper’s up for another fun weekend. I know I could use the break.

Good night.


One Response to “All in the Family”

  1. Lori Hecomovich September 17, 2010 at 9:25 AM #

    Hopefully the weather will clear up. Enjoy
    being together


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