Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

Eulogy for a dog

I may not be around much for a few days. My dog died. Yes, he was just a dog. But he was 11 years old and for the past seven since my daughter moved out to go to college, he was my only companion.

She named him Leviathan and I shortened it to Levy. He was an alcoholic that could open nearly any bottle he came across. I never had to lock the booze up from the kids, just from the dog.

He was also an accomplished thief. He always had a stash somewhere of things he had stolen.

Levy rarely barked or growled. The noises he usually made sounded like a baby crying. People used to tease me that he was trying to say “mama.”

He was a mutt. His daddy was dachshund and pekingnese. His mama was a chihuahua and when we first got him he could curl up inside Sovay’s shoe and sleep there.

Sovay had a fear of dogs. She had been utterly fearless until she was attacked by a pack of ferals who came down out of the Angeleus Crest and attacked her. They were hungry and she was food. I had to give up the rottweiler I owned because after the attack, Sovay could no longer cope with having a dog around.

three years later I got Levy. I had read about how people with phobias could get over them by being exposed to the object they feared. So I reasoned that a dog that small would help her get over her fear of dogs.

One day when we had only had Levy a few weeks, I heard her shrieking and Levy snarling, so I rushed into her room. They were faced off across the room from each other with the object of contention, a stuffed toy, laying in the floor between them. I told Sovay that if she could not deal with it, we would give Levy up. Her reply (she was 13) was “It’s just sibling rivalry, Mom.”

My daughter just called and told me she found a bunch of his puppy pictures and is going to scan them in and send them to me.

I made coffee and as I came back to the computer with it, I automatically glanced around as I have been doing for eleven years to make certain that I was not going to accidentally step on him and then I started crying again. I know it will take time, but the little things get to me. The apartment is just too quiet.

When Levy was two months shy of a year old we moved from California to Massachusetts. The apartment we rented had deep old fashioned window sills that could be sat on. I thought they were high enough that Levy could not get up onto them. Over the course of several weeks, Levy started escaping from the house and I could not figure out how. Then one day I caught him at it. He would jump onto a chair, go from the chair to the table and from there to the window sill and out the window even though the drop to the ground beyond it was almost as tall as I am. I promptly moved all of the furniture farther from the window and that stopped.

He was always very vocal, as if he were trying to talk. One day, I found that he had chewed up a small basket that I kept pens and pencils in. I ordered him out of the room, yelling “out” and pointing at the door. Levy went with great reluctance, snarling and growling, walking stiff-legged away from me. Every few steps, he would stop and glance over his shoulder to see if I was listening. When he reached the other side of the door, he settled with his head on his paws and stuck just his nose across the threshold.


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This entry was posted on March 24, 2007 by in Janrae Frank and tagged , , .

Janrae Frank

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