I’ve been watching the Westminster Kennel Club dog show this week. And thinking about the dogs in my own life.
So many of them — recently Samson and Auggie, and the childhood dog Snowball. And the 1990s dogs Elmo the Bassett Hound, Sam, Goldie, and Phantom, the latter two West Highland White Terriers. And Delilah.
An almost-exhaustive compendium of
photos of places I’ve lived over my 56 years
I am missing photos of the places I lived during the summers of 1981 and 1982, as I worked in Missouri between college semesters. Summer 1981 was at Southwest Baptist University in the Admissions office; Summer 1982, in Tarkio as a summer missionary.
1986. I am missing a photo of the house I rented in Bolivar while I was Director of Admissions at Southwest Baptist University. The building has subsequently been demolished.
1999. I am missing a photo of my townhouse in Owensboro, Kentucky, where I taught college for one year.
And then I bought my own dream home in November 2008. And I’ve been here ever since, with one dog and then another. I like it here.
25 Lawn Place, dressed for the season.
Tuesday evening, on the porch swing.
From the south.
Empty porches on Lawn Place.
The new, 25 Lawn Place, on January 27.
Here’s a bonus: my elementary school in Lee’s Summit.
Auggie, according to our vet, is “an extraordinary dog.”
Dr. Bret mentioned Auggie’s beautiful hips (which is true), his easy and happy temperament, his peacefulness (at least at the vet), his perfect-sounding heart.
Auggie does have some mild allergies that manifest themselves as a bit of skin trouble, but it’s nothing we can’t manage. He weighs 14 pounds.
Auggie took his rabies vaccine and his blood draw without a whimper.
And Auggie still does not like concrete or tile floors. He just wanted to be on my lap, which was endearing in and of itself anyway.
Dr. Bret looked me in the eye and told me how blessed I was to have found this guy. And then he gave me a hug.
Of course part of the hug was that I was in tears just passing the room where I held Samson as he died just over a year ago. Just seeing that room sent me into a mess of emotion.
I’ve told people so many times that grieving is like dropping a rock in a still pond. Big initial splash. Concentric circles that follow the Fibonacci series, each circle of the wake becoming less and less pronounced, but existing and stretching into infinity.
The grief occasionally rises up again, and all we can do is ride the wave.
Auggie is fearless in the snow. He jumps and bounds and frolics, and comes back inside and licks his paws. Of course, he also has longer legs than Samson.
Samson would quiver and shake and refuse to go outdoors until I had cleared him a spot on the lawn. He would then sniff and wait and circle and cogitate, all before finally doing his business.
But Auggie is fine with thunder, although he’s skittish around unexpected loud sounds. Sam would sleeps through loud sounds (think a book falling on the floor), but be terrified of thunder that was five counties away.
Dogs are strange and wondrous creatures. And when they curl up on your lap or beside you after a long day of work, they are also the most wonderful organic systems around.