I miss my dog.

I miss my dog.

I could go on for pages, but if you’ve ever lost a dog you’ve loved, you know what the grief feels like. So I’ll say only this.

I miss my dog. He was a good dog, and he loved me fiercely until the end. He came to us in graduate school, soon after we were married, after months and years of walking dogs at the humane society, hoping to meet our new friend. He was six months old, wiggly and shaking in his cage, suffering (we would discover) from a severe separation anxiety that caused him to howl and destroy whenever we so much as went to the mailbox. But we loved him. We kept him. We trained him. We brought him with us to the graduate school so he wouldn’t have to be alone during the day. He lived under our desks, cuddled securely, as long as he was with us. We worked it out. We found the help he needed, and he was a good dog.

He loved everyone, after a while. He was loyal to his family, remembered his friends, and was always, always gentle with the children. He moved with us from the Midwest to Washington, D.C., tried the dog parks of the new city, and promptly decided he’d rather have the couch. He was beta dog to my alpha cocker/brittany spaniel mix, but gladly gave up his #2 spot to the series of foster beagles that came soon after, as we helped dog after dog after dog (35 in all!) find their place in the world and find a new home. He would nudge the newcomers to the food bowl, lead them to the door and wait for them to bound outside, spar with the big dogs, and snuggle with the old and tired mama dogs. He was our Kepler, our companion, our foot-of-the-bedwarmer.

When the babies came, he gave up his spot again, curious and protective of my first child, following him where ever he went: tall and gangly, slightly goofy, always present, never aggressive. He kept me company during seven months of pregnancy bedrest, and he let my second child pet him, carefully, gingerly, now and then. He snuggled me when I was sick from the chemo and never left my side while I recovered. He kept the couches warm. He was a good dog. An old dog. And one that I will never forget.

Rest in peace, Kepler. 15 March 1999 – 28 May 2009


21 Responses to I miss my dog.

  1. Amy says:

    I am so sorry. We have a grad school dog, too. We call her our “engagement dog.” He said, “I want a puppy,” I said, “You can have a puppy when I have a ring!” not realizing that the ring was in the car and he was planning to propose that night! He even waited until I said “yes” before asking, “Can I have my puppy now?”

    She’s nine. I don’t know what we’re going to do when… I’m sitting here crying just thinking about it.

    So I’m so sorry, and I understand. 😦

  2. Stimey says:

    He was a really good dog.

  3. NG says:

    I know what you mean… so sorry.

  4. Cathy says:

    Ohh… I am so sorry.

    And I miss my dog too.

  5. ohgrammy says:

    I miss him, too. But I like to think that he’s found some other good dogs to run and play with, some old friends that have been waiting for him. . . .

  6. marty says:

    Yes, old friends that were waiting for him for sure.

    And where he is now, nobody – not ONE soul – is wearing a baseball hat.

    He was an awesome dog.

  7. Linda Lawrence says:

    I remember Kepler.

  8. Alice C says:

    I am so sad for you. We lost our dog in March and I know your grief.

  9. […] Oh, Kepler. How will I possibly hold it together during book club? […]

  10. Becky says:

    Oh, Kepler….Rest in Peace….

  11. Rebecca U says:

    I’m crying too. We lost our male dog to cancer just before Christmas last and his sister two years before that. They were our “first home” dogs twelve years ago and mostly graciously made room for our son five years ago. I miss them and still choke up thinking of them.

  12. JavaMom says:

    I am so, so sorry. I lost my good dog three years ago and sometimes I still get teary-eyed thinking about him. Big hugs to you.

    What a wonderful thing you’ve done, fostering so many dogs!

  13. ella says:

    Yes, I know that grief.

    I’m so sorry that you lost your beautiful dog.

  14. Bon says:

    i missed this, when you wrote it a couple of weeks ago. but it has brought me to tears. Kepler. lovely name, for a lovely dog.

  15. Scott says:

    I know the pain all to much– I had to put my wonderful trooper down jan. 29 2009. I had her for 11 years and her loss has devested me. it has been almost 6 months now and it seems like yesterday. I dont understand this grief- I have lost loved ones– people– and this loss is worse Im almost ashamed to admit, but when it comes to my trooper, Im not ashamed of anything associated with her love.

  16. Nick says:

    I read a similar topic on another blog, but yours was much clearer. Thanks

  17. I put a chow down three years ago this summer. He was also ten years old, and got sick and grumpy. It’s terrible, but I have a 7-year-old golden and a 4-year old golden (his replacement) and I realize each dog occupies a different phase of your life.

    Some day another dog will worm its way into your heart:-)

  18. Dogs sure are one of the most amazing gods creation lol

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