In memoriam

It has been awhile since I've been granted the opportunity to blog about the dead. Long-term readers may remember posts about my grandfather and my lovely dead gay wonder canary, Desmond. I have another to add to the list now. Glory be.

My Mom and my brother have had to put one of my last remaining dogs, O'Keeffe, to sleep. I say "my", by which I mean family pets who have of course remained in the US. Growing up I had a series of dogs - Shane, Toto, Liberty, Talon, O'Keeffe and Rigel. Shane died when I was 12, Toto when I was 13, Liberty when I was 21 and visiting The Dude in the UK, Talon not long before I moved over here, and of course, now O'Keeffe.

O'Keeffe was 16 years old and had apparently gone blind within the past week, having already gone deaf awhile ago. She was already a mere slip of a terrier due to her age, and due to suspected kidney failure had started to lose even more weight. My Mom and my brother decided yesterday that it was unfair to make her carry on in that state, and she was put to sleep yesterday afternoon. I was fortunate enough to talk to my brother beforehand, so he gave her a kiss for me. My Mom was there with her when she passed away, stroking her head and telling Keeffe that we loved her, just as my Mom has done for all of the dogs that have gone before. She said Keeffe knew she was there, and lifted up her head when my Mom sat down beside her.

I'm struggling not only with her death, but with what it signifies - the death of yet another part of my childhood. So much of my past seems to slip away with each year, leaving me with memories rather than anything palpable. The pessimistic part of me, well, that being all of me, knows it only gets worse from here. The sale of the house I grew up in has already occurred, my parents have divorced, pets have died, and the rest is a slow decline. I know some of you have lost parents and/or siblings, so my pet lamentation may seem ridiculous. I do feel a bit silly for being so childish.

Sorry for being so bloody negative and depressing. All my posts lately seem to be about drama and histrionics, for which I apologise. Wrist-slashing melodrama aside, here is my Keeffe:

Keeffe as a puppy trying to get the last bits of food out of Liberty's bowl.

That's Keeffe in the centre, playing tug of war with Libby. Talon is off to the right, barking like an idiot, as he never participated in any sort of play. He was a purebred cast-off, as having only one ball and a snaggle tooth doesn't make a very good show dog. He was a complete blue blood, far too good to join the other mutts in rough and tumble stuff.

Good luck wherever you may be, little one. May you have infinite bones to try and bury beneath the carpet, no fleas to bite you, and thousands of balls to chase for miles.


DD said...

Remember my sweet, Ms. Pru, that the most cherished item we all have from our childhoods are the memories - specifically the good ones. O'Keefe sounds like she gave you many to keep close to your heart.

My sympathies (and no, it's not childish to mourn her passing, or any pets passing) to you.

fisher queen said...

I'm sorry Pru. It hurts to lose a furry one.

Nico said...

Pru, you really don't need to apologize! Losing a pet is always hard.

My sympathies too.

electriclady said...

Aw, honey. I'm so sorry. (PS I bawled like a baby when my childhood dog died--I was 21 at the time. My husband is still in mourning for his family dog, who died five years ago.)

Mollywogger said...

Poor darling O'Keefe. It's times like this when you hope there's an afterlife, just so O'Keefe and Liberty can play again.

Sorry about your girl.

Adrienne said...

Chasing rabbits and eating steak every night, no doubt. My condolences - I miss all of my furry babies, too.

millie said...

Losing a pet is always hard and often unappreciated. I'm so sorry. What an adorable dog! I'm sure she knew just how loved she was. Thinking of you, your mom and your brother.

tonya said...

I get where you're coming from. I still miss my sweet doggy girl (it's already been 1.5 years now).

Those memories and that love are part of what makes you an empathetic person. If you didn't feel a thing at her passing, *then* I'd wonder a bit.

I am so sorry for your loss.

May said...

O'Keeffe is a fantastic name for a dog. I'm very sorry you've lost her, and glad you were able to send her a good-bye kiss.

I also empathise: I still miss the family cat Zazie, who became so completely ancient her kidneys tried a hostile take-over of her entire body, and so was put to sleep. All very humane and the right thing to do, but DAMN I miss her leaping off the counter to sink her claws into my chest and demand some kitty-loving. Considering how much damage she did to my knit-wear over the years, this is almost an odd thing to say.

Lut C. said...

Don't apologize for feeling sad over the loss of your dog. Of course that's sad, even though you haven't lived together for quite some time now.

Sami said...

O'Keefe sounds lke she gave you a great many memories to hold close... and she knew you loved her. I am so sorry for your loss of O'Keefe.

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