Left to right: Harriet the Boxer, Frances the Boxer x Pit Bull, and Thomas the Boxer x Klingon
I got into a bizarre discussion on Facebook with a former animal shelter ACO who believes that folks who live in apartments should not own dogs. She thinks that a fenced yard should be required, and that lack of one is dog abuse. (And weirder, she feels that it’s also abusive to have children in apartments.)
Can you just imagine if the millions and millions of city dwellers in the world no longer had dogs (or children)? We would have to kill even more dogs than we already kill, and for what? The lack of a mythical “perfect” home? That’s kind of monstrous.
So here are the three dogs I’ve had while living in my current apartment. I don’t think they look miserable. Sure, in a perfect world, we’d all have acres of flowered fields and enchanted forests to play in, but that isn’t the world most people inhabit, and that’s okay. Dogs are incredibly adaptable, and lucky for everyone, they mostly just want a chance to play, to go for walks, and to hang out with their people.
It’s been ages since I used the big camera. This was taken in February.
I got Franny’s ashes back today, finally. And yes, the first thing I did was open the little bag and smell them. I knew they’d just smell like a fireplace, but I still had to check.
Harriet Brown 2010
Franny McGee 2013
I’ve been dogless for three weeks. It’s kind of awful and disorientating on multiple levels, but this is not a post about being sad. This is a post about being lucky enough to have had two fabulously funny and fearlessly opinionated dogs. I can’t explain what made me gravitate toward Frances, at the shelter. I think these two photos do better justice to it than any words could. That face! She sat at the back of her kennel, just staring at me with the most contemptuous, judgmental expression. It was an expression I’d known and dearly loved. When I first saw Frances, I recognized it instantly, and in that moment I fell hopelessly in love with her.
I keep finding loose ends. Yesterday it was a collar under a pile of things on the passenger seat of my car. How on earth did it get there? This morning it was my calendar telling me to give Frances her heartworm pill.
I didn’t want to make this post. I’ve been putting it off, but I can’t do that forever. And it’s not like not avoiding it is going to magically change anything. Frances had a terrible night last Wednesday. I’d upped her pain meds, but she was still miserable. I decided, at about 2am, that it was time to have her put to sleep. Even if she was a little more comfortable by morning–and she was, slightly–I couldn’t risk her going through another night like that. It just wasn’t fair to her. So I called the vet the next morning, and they were able to get us in at 10am.
That was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
And now my best girl is gone. It’s been five days, and it still seems unreal.
8 March 2013
23 May 2016
The first photo was taken the day I got Frances. She held her ears back at the shelter, like a baby seal. It wasn’t until I got her home that the Ear of Judgment made an appearance.
The second photo is the next-to-last one I took of her. She was begging for a piece of cake I was eating and judging me for not sharing. But of course I did share.
We started week 5 today, with a new batch of meds and a new meds chart.
Frances is unimpressed.
It finally warmed up enough for ice cream.
“Mostly because I refuse to even look at you.” –Frances
Yes, I sit around and play with my dog’s face.