Tuesday, 21 February 2012
After Hannah left us, I was curious to see if anything would change in the dog-family dynamic. Would the pugs be despondent? Would they be searching for Hannah, wondering what happened to the old goof ball?
Things changed alright, within hours.
Ming, our 12-year-old pug, became a whole new dog. Our little toothless wonder actually found a chew bone and started gnawing at it. I hadn't seen this sight for many, many years. She happily chomped away on one of Gordie's pre-chews, then started bouncing around the house like a new puppy.
I realized what an impact Hannah had made on the dog politics of the household. Just by her sheer size and goofiness, she dominated the scene from morning until night.
She spent a lot of time herding Ming. It was as if she were on defence making sure that Ming couldn't score a goal.
I had a troubling memory last night. Ming was having little fainting spells a few months back due, we think, to sleep apnea. Ming would sit bolt upright on the bed in the middle of the night, jump down and rush into my office where she would faint dead away. Hannah would follow and splay her body right on top of my poor little pug.
I nearly had to bludgeon Hannah to stop her from suffocating Ming.
Whenever Hannah was around, Ming tried to make herself smaller, to avoid the jostling of the big bad retriever, and now that Hannah has graduated to the retriever farm in the sky, Ming is free to be herself.
Last night, the whole family congregated for Family Day, and Ming bustled from visitor to visitor, jumping up on Marissa and Jeff and sniffing their hair from the top of the sofa. She seems to have decided that it is her role to be the alpha now and she's embracing that role with gusto.
Gordie, well, he spent a lot of time sniffing the pillows, but other than that, he's all but forgotten his old pal. He's more focused on shitting himself whenever the granddaughter comes up for a visit.
Chill, Gord, take a pill.
So life goes on.
We're still sad. I still build a shrine to Hannah every night.
But, as Scott says, we still have two pugs to love.
And we have a new baby.
The circle of life.