You’re aware that our dog, Mysti, died last May and you know that our puppy, Madeline is our only four-legged family member left in our household. I say that because we have other furry family living with other parts of our human family. But Madeline is the only one living with us.
After my brother’s funeral, we had to take Madeline to the doctor because she had diarrhea and vomiting. Not a fun thing for any of us. Upon telling the vet that she was grieving for both Mysti and my brother, (she was picking up on my distress) the vet brought in a couple of homeopathic medicines. Holding them in different hands, she tested my ability by asking which Madeline needed. I indicated the hand she needed and told the vet that if she were only going to give the one, that was it. Well, it was, although she enlightened me on the fact that she’d be giving the other later. Let me tell you what the medication was for. It was for grief and to stop the diarrhea immediately. It worked.
Since then I’ve tried to be more cognizant of her feelings of grief because, after all, we know that she’s a pack animal. And she needs her family around her.
You also know that she doesn’t sleep with us since Claude’s stroke. She and Mysti had their own toddler bed. Since Mysti’s been gone, Madeline occasionally asks to sleep with us and when she doesn’t she snuggles closer to Mysti’s baby to sleep. Sometimes I just need to hold her close too. You know what I mean. There are just times your arms cry out for a lost loved one. So you cling to the one left.
Madeline is also afraid of thunder and on those nights she snuggles close to mother and daddy without worry of having to get into her bed. She had done that just the night before.
Last night I got ready to brush Madeline’s teeth before bed. Claude was already in bed and Madeline was carrying her baby dog around, prancing back and forth under my feet. I took a step towards her bed with wet toothbrush in hand and told her to come get her teeth brushed.
She dropped her baby puppy, hung her head, took a tentative step towards her bed, thought about it for a moment, broke free and made a run for daddy and momma’s bed. You know she can’t jump because of the illness she had but she made a valiant attempt.
Let me mention that getting her teeth brushed is one of the highlights of her day. She let me know what she thought when she ran away from me to try to hop upon the bed. I sat her up there and brushed her teeth but then put her into her bed.
Let me mention that I felt like a wicked, wicked person when I got into bed. I could feel the little eyes burning holes through me for my treachery. So, I asked her father if it was okay if I let her into the bed. I got the guilt thing from him. Lying there between the two, because her bed is on my side of the bed, I told him what she had done. He didn’t make it easier but finally relented.
I got her up and slipped her between us. She snuggled in and tried not to move because she didn’t want to be dismissed from our bed. I covered her and tried to sleep. As any mother knows, a mother tends to give up ground to make sure her babies or husband is comfortable and that’s what I did. To keep from being ousted she lay unmoving until about two this morning. That’s when I noticed I might have all of about six inches on my side of the bed and she was stretched across the bed with her front feet touching daddy and her back foot touching me.
Because of the way I slept, my muscles are a little tight and I keep stretching to loosen them. But you know what? I feel loved.