Our store was called Rose In The Woods. It was supposed to mean: “A thing of beauty in an unexpected place.” My mother in-law thought it up and I always loved the sentiment. Sometimes things of beauty are so unexpected they go unnoticed.
Recently I had been feeling very sorry for myself. My daughter’s dog Buddy died and I was blind sided by my grief. Silly old dog! Everytime I turned around that dog was underfoot. And whenever I left the house without putting the trash cans up, I could count on coming home to a mess. That dog countersurfed like there was no tomorrow. No matter how far removed I thought an item was, that dog seemed to be able to manuever his fat little body up far enough onto the counter to retrieve his prize! Like he was on a treasure hunt! I am sure if I had put up a spy camera and video taped him… it would have won the prize for Funniest Home Videos!
I would wonder who ate all of the tortillas or all of the buns and sure enough I would go out to his yard to clean up his messes and would find empty plastic bags out there. He would make me want to scream!
But that dog was so smart. From the time my daughter was young, her bus would drive by and he would sit at the end of our deck and h000owl… knowing that his girl was on board! He would roll over, high five and speak on command. He knew the difference between shaking and highfiving! He could sit or lay down and when she would call him, if he didn’t come right away, she would start counting and he always came before she reached three!
When Brookie went to look for apartments, her main prerequisite was that they had to allow dogs. She finally found one that allowed them. I am glad they had that time together. They spent many hours at the dog park near where she lived. But he howled when she went to work so eventually after several months of trying, she relented and had to bring him back home.
My dad and I started walking with him a few years ago and they fell in love with each other. Some mornings it was very dark and we could barely see my dad who lived up the street. We would meet half way. On foggy mornings, before I could see him, Buddy would start crying for me to let go of his leash, and my dad would squat down to greet him. My dad ended up paying for surgery for Buddy a few years ago that prolonged his life by three more years. Below is a poem I wrote about our walks….
It began kind of quietly in a shy kind of way
“Maybe I’ll walk with you” is what I heard him say
And when my dad joined us, it became our group of three
The day my Dad began walking, with my daughter’s dog and me…
Each morning I’d think, I don’t want to get up
But then I’d think …it’ll be good for my dad and the pup!
As I climbed the road behind those two
I heard my dad say “this is soooo good for you!”
Just a few minutes a day became my most treasured of times
In the steps that we took, and the wisdom I’d find
All fit into the little time that we had
As I would keep step as I walked with my Dad
We walked up hills and around bends
We started out as family and slowly became friends
Talking about politics and old time religion
I loved hearing his passion behind his opinions
I followed him up hills and behind doors unopened
I heard new stories I’d never heard spoken
He sparked a new interest in things I’d not learned
And made me care~ where I’d been unconcerned
We laughed and joked as he remembered times as a kid
And the hilarious things his brothers and he did!
He taught me things about the constitution
And his own ideas about different solutions
No school could teach me the things I have learned
No time I’ve invested could earn the return
And in all the gifts I’ve been given or treasures I’ve had
Not one could compare to the walks with my Dad!
Buddy’s illness hit so suddenly and before we knew it we were making the decision of what to do. Brooke was in LA at the time and was devestated. When her Dad was talking to her, I called up my Dad and asked him to call her when we hung up because I knew she was going to need her Papa! Later she said both her grandma and papa prayed with her and said the perfect things. Another moment in my Scared Of Daddy Long Legs experience of not getting to be there for every moment your child needs you.
Even though my husband and I had grown children, we realized that in all of our adult life, we had never had to make that kind of adult decision. Deciding whether or not to put down a beloved family pet.
I would not allow Brookie to drive home in her devestated condition and we did not want Buddy to suffer so she came home later the next weekend hitching a ride with some of our best friends who were coming to our area for a visit.
My husband and I had buried him and when my daughter came home she pretty much collapsed on his grave. It was devastating to watch her grief mingled with ours and we all were suffering. Unfortunately the grave was too shallow and the next day she noticed that it was unsettled and so she added more dirt and one by one carried more rocks out to it. I think in a way that was her closure and a good exercise for her to help get through the grief but it was horrible for a mother to feel so helpless as she watched her baby in so much pain over losing her beloved friend.
The other day I came home and found my son who lives in town at my house with all kinds of garbage cans filled and gardening tools and shovels out, totally clearing out the side yard where Buddy lay. I had told him the story and kind of felt he seemed a little removed from the whole situation but was blown away by his explanation of what he was doing He told me that he wanted to surprise Brooke the next time she came home and have a nice garden growing near Buddy.
At that moment I knew I had done something right. I saw the love in my son’s eyes. My first born kidlet who was stubborn and independent even as a little boy. He showed me in that moment how much he cared and how much he loved his little sister. I couldn’t have asked for a better gift that day and realized that I had just witnessed another example of a thing of beauty in an unexpected place.
We don’t always see the best in each other because we are more alike than either of us would like to admit but my son has proven that when the going gets rough, he is the first one there to step up!
Reblogged from my other blog~