After a being slow to post here and comment on other blogs due to the holidays, I am looking forward to a return to normal next week.
Happy New Year and best wishes to everyone in 2010.
One lousy yet official duty of being a parent is having to tell your children when one of their beloved pets has died.
This will be my second my time.
Though our friend has not passed away yet, it will happen soon.
A few years ago, I had to tell the oldest boy that my springer spaniel pal for so many years (I have to admit that we grew up together), was no more.
Soon, I'll have to tell the same boy and now his younger sister (as the youngest boy would not understand) that their family cat has passed.
At 16 or so, the gray-tabby is a great underdog story. She was a stray in the South for the first portion of her life.
I was walking my dog at my girlfriend/future wife's apartment complex when this skinny little fluff trotted from the woods and followed us up the stairs to the Mrs.' door. Preoccupied with trying to keep the dog from jumping the brave feline, I went inside the apartment and thought nothing more of the encounter.
Fifteen minutes later, the Mrs. heard loud meowing from the stairwell. She opened her door and in strolls this cat.
Evidently, we had been selected by "Emmy."
I still remember my father, a career Marine holding back his tears, informing my brother and I each time that one of our family canines had died. Telling children news like that does not get any easier through the years.
Last January, Bill Simmons, a fantastic writer known for his perspective on sports, authored a moving tribute to his family dog: Daisy or "The Dooze."
The entire article is worth the read, but his closing perceptively captures what bothers parents the most when family pets are no longer:
...The day after The Dooze left us, our little boy woke up and my wife carried him downstairs to feed him like she always does.
I was still half asleep and could hear her footsteps. Then I heard this: "Day-zee. Day-zee."
That part didn't make me sad.
The part that made me sad happened three mornings later ... when my wife was carrying him downstairs again and he didn't say anything.
Update: Our family pet passed away this morning (1/10/09), and the message was delivered to our kids. Thanks for your kind words.