A Hard Transition
This last couple of weeks brings with it a bit of a transition, one that many of you will identify with. Our last puppy--and by puppy I mean 17-year-old dog--passed away. He was a dear friend, a member of the family...and the last of our familial brood.

After twenty years of living with cats and dogs, I am petless. And it feels somewhat lousy. I was prepared for the empty nest syndrome when my sons left home. I expected it somehow, because, well, I knew it was an end that led to a beginning. I guess I figured that when they left, they'd go off and somehow bring someone back with them, which they did. My sons ran off and found brides and they had children and so now I'm a grandma. So they left and came back exponentially enhanced. Brenuf, however, did not go out and reproduce (we had him neutered, as we did all our animals), so there's no hope of his offspring, gifted with the same soft fur and big grey eyes, showing up at our door demanding hugs and kibble. That kind of sucks.

Brenuf was ready to go, as his good days were far outnumbered by his bad days, and beyond that, he had cancer. I'm happy that he's in a better place, pain-free and romping, no doubt, with his brothers and sisters. However, I miss him. I keep seeing him coming around the corner for his dinner, but there's no one there. I wait for him to settle himself at my feet when I write, only to find empty space beneath my desk. I come home from work and prepare to feed him only to realize we donated all his food to the local animal shelter after he passed.

I'm not ready for another pet, and I don't know if I ever will be. Brenuf was an amazing dog. He was patient and loving and kind, and I can only ever hope to be as humane as he was. How is it that having a loving pet makes us better people? Makes us want to live up to the standards that our beloved fur babies have for us? Is it the unconditional love? The trust? The friendship?

I hate to be a bummer this week, but this is really what's on my mind. I hope that all of your pets are safe and healthy, and I'm sending a prayer for all of them to the heavens. Happy Reading.


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