The Furbabies

The Furbabies

Forget how I’m doing, how are my dogs?

As you can imagine, when everything happened Thursday the dogs were the farthest thing on my mind for a while. However, when I got kicked out of my house turned crime scene I had them in the back yard with us. They alternated between bringing us toys to play with and letting me hug and cry on their fur. I’d like to say they knew what happened, but I’m pretty sure they thought it was a strange party. They kept coming up to me like, “Why are you so sad Mom when all of these nice people are here?”

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Pascale and BT were loose in the house when everything happened. Though BT loved Tim more than any person in the whole world (including me), I’m not sure she knows. On her best days, BT is not a super intelligent animal and now she is deaf/blind and a little bit senile. I try to let her sleep in my bed a few nights a week to give her a break from the bathroom, and the past week she has spent some time looking for him in his usual spot. Of course he hasn’t been there, and then she ends up sleeping closer to me than normal.

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Pascale is a bundle of limitless joy in every aspect of her life, and she’s been helping me with all of this the most. The first night I stayed at a friend’s house and brought her with me, and she’s been sleeping by my side ever since. The day after Tim died, she acted very wary of the spare bedroom. I’m sure I’ll never know for sure, but I think she knows what happened. Whether it’s the truth or not, I like to think she was with him as he drifted away.

However dogs are animals and I think animals grieve and accept things different than we do. She’s pretty much been her normal happy self. The only change has been at night she sleeps very close to me off and on. She’s an insecure dog in many ways, so I think we take comfort in each other.

This is when Tim decided to let me keep Pascale
This is when Tim decided to let me keep Pascale

Finally, Eliot is the one who surprised me the most. Tim met Eliot when he was still under six months old, so Tim was Eliot’s owner just as much as I was. However, after Eliot attacked BT Tim had a hard time with his fluffy spaniel. The attack really, really upset Tim much deeper than I felt like it should and he held it against Eliot. Tim still loved Eliot and wasn’t mean to him, but the affection and attention that was there in the past was gone.

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So it’s surreal and a bit strange that Eliot seems a lot happier. The first 48 hours Eliot was more affectionate to me than he has been in the past two years, probably because he knew I needed it. Now things have evened out more, but his mood is better and he’s much more playful than late. Of course, this could have had many factors including some of Eliot’s favorite people that have visited or are visiting, but it still makes me go ‘hmmmm’.

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Sometimes I wish I could grieve like a dog and accept things I cannot understand. Of course, my human brain is still here trying to make sense of things and of course sifting through my pile of poop.

22 thoughts on “The Furbabies

  1. I’m glad you all have each other. Dogs and horses do seem to adapt pretty well to changes like these though, and I too am envious of that!

  2. I’m glad to hear the dogs are adjusting. They’re funny creatures. I remember being oddly relieved that Levi (our farm dog) passed away a few months before Dad did. It was so hard to see Dad cope with losing “my” dog that had very much so become his dog, but at least he understood it. Levi losing Dad would’ve been so much harder.

  3. Dogs have odd reactions to life changes. It would certainly be easier to just forgive, forget, and move on like most dogs do. Idk if it would be worth the trade off of having your only source of hygiene be your tongue.

  4. I was curious how Brody would act when B was gone. The first few days he really didn’t act any differently (although strangely he stopped sleeping on the bed-he use to LOVE sleeping right between us). He did seem a bit lethargic though, although after a week his energy came back. Not sure if it’s related. But when B came back to pick up some stuff and I met him for dinner (with dog in tow), Brody went wild over him (and Brody never gets that excited when you come home). And when we left and went our separate ways. Brody was visibly confused and upset. In fact, he wanted to follow B, not me.

    Point being, dogs are weird but I do think they know, deep down, that something is weird and missing. They don’t understand it but like you said they just accept it.

    Brody was really good about comforting me (aka sitting on my face) every time I’d break down crying. No matter where he was in the house it’s like he knew instantly and would come running. I think that’s where dogs are best-they’re great crying companions.

  5. I still remember when my grandmother died, right after I got the phone call our Lab at the time climbed up into bed with me and I cried and cried and cried all over her. I didn’t leave bed for hours, and she didn’t leave me the entire time. Dogs are the best. I’m glad you have yours to comfort you – it’s interesting seeing that they are reacting and coping in their own way.

  6. Dogs are pure love wrapped in a furry coat. 🙂 It always amazes me to see them react to our sadness… they’re really custom-built to be man’s best friend! So happy you have your three to comfort you.

  7. I’m glad you have your fur babies. They are the best. I’m not sure they “understand” things the way we do, but they definitely perceive changes in some way.

  8. Dogs are an infinite source of comfort and joy, and an amazing example of taking life as it comes and finding a way to be happy no matter what. I’m glad you have them. So many mixed emotions in this post, nothing is black and white. Keep on writing them, it’s good stuff.

  9. Dogs definitely see the world differently than we do. I’m glad they are there for you though. I take daily comfort in my two furbabies.

  10. I am so glad you have your fur babies. They provide so much comfort, companionship, and friendship! I lost my 13 year old dog 3 weeks ago. In that short time, my wild 3 year old puppy has changed completely. I’m not sure if he’s depressed or if he’s decided to step up and be the mature one. So interesting how dogs act and perceive things.

  11. Dogs are the best. My Puff took things the hardest and has pretty much been my shadow. Initially she cried or whined a lot at night. Now she sleeps on me every night and I enjoy that comfort. It’s strange how they know what we need.

  12. it always kind of amazes me to see how animals react to sudden change. definitely different from people… but of course that’s natural. in any case i’m glad you’re all finding solace and support in each other!

  13. My dogs are great readers of my mood, and snuggle extremely close when I am upset. Elliot and Pascal are both so attached to you, I am sure they both pick up on your mentality and are trying their best to comfort and reassure you. Do you feel better having BT to look after some?

    It’s really sweet that Pascal might’ve been there with Tim in his last moments. I’d be inclined to believe that.

  14. Some dogs are more intuitive than others, some are more sensitive and experience stronger grief. But their ability to help us when we need it is beyond compare. They help us to continue life. After all, they still need to be fed and walked and groomed. God bless them for needing us.

  15. i feel like animals just accept things as they are happening and address it without thinking about why or the past or the future… they simply live in the now. i’m really happy to hear that they’re helping you, in their own way, to get through things.

  16. You are such a beautiful writer, Lauren. I am a long-time reader of this blog (love the Elvis stories, Spoon was my favorite, and of course I really enjoy following the Simon stories) and the way you are writing about everything that has happened with Tim is just so powerful and honest. I hope that being able to write and share through this blog is helping you some as you grieve. Much love to you and the dogs.

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