Saturday, September 4, 2010
When we got our lab, Jackson, seven years ago, my dad got Clancy at the same time. They are not related, but are both yellow labs and coincidentally share an August 15th birthday. At the time, I wasn't sure it was a good decision for Dad to get a dog to take care of, but in retrospect, I am so glad he did. Clancy was his constant companion and not to sound trite, but he really was his best friend. He was with him when he actually died, and for that, I am inexplicably grateful. Truly, profoundly, grateful that he was not alone.
When we were cleaning out dad's apartment and carrying out the last few loads, a youngish fellow passed by in his car, slowed down and yelled out to us, "Hey--what happened to the old man who lived there?" (I gulped at the "old man" part--I haven't yet made the transition into thinking that my parents are old.) Anyway, Husband explained that he had passed away and I was his daughter, etc. The guy paused for a second, looked out the front window and then looked me squarely in the eyes and said, "he was a good man. told good stories. and he had a killer dog." And then he took off. And I took a deep breath.
So Clancy the Killer Dog came to live with us for a month or so until we could find him a home. I would have really liked to have kept him, but as I mentioned, we had our own 100 pound hunk of hairy love and our delightfully Not So Big House--nor our Dyson vaccuum cleaner-- could handle two Big Yellow Dogs. Our almost-4 year old got really attached to Clancy though and i don't know if it had to do with her transference of emotion about Dad's death or if she just really loved the daggum dog, but telling her when we found him another home was excruciating. Her little lip quivered and she tried so hard to hold back her tears before they flowed freely down her sweet cheeks, and wow, that is hard for a mother to watch. We talked alot about the confusing emotion of feeling "happy and sad at the same time"--happy that Clancy has a wonderful new home and sad that we will miss him so much in ours. The "happy/sad" thing seemed to resonate with her and she has mentioned it countless times since then.
And sweet Clancy has a wonderful new home with a dear friend and her mother and a new sister dog. So Clancy, you big goofy shedding, humping, huge-pawed hunk of love, I am happy/happy for you, happy that you have such a Purposeful life--first as friend and companion to my dad and now with a new family who may need you here in the second half of your life as much as dad did in the first. Go well. Go with purpose.
Ciao a tutti.