gone and back again

September 22, 2008

As always, sorry to be gone so long.

We had a death in the family.

Kaiju, beloved golden retriever, he of the 100 pounds and bad hips, went to where all good dogs go, after a brief period of disability.

He’d developed an ear hematoma (read big lump) on the day we went to Denver. I had the sitter watching it, and he seemed to be doing well, so I had it taken care of, by surgery, as soon as we returned.

Only to see it morph into leg infection, severe arthritis, a skin condition, and eventually, lameness and extreme pain.

A lot of things failed all at once, and we took the sad last rip to the vet. He was almost 10.

My family is made up of rational people, and the family decision was to wait, at least until the vet bills were paid, or perhaps until spring, before carefully choosing a new dog.

I am not the least bit rational.

I would tear up, whenever I made a meal that only the dog would love. In my house, this is at least three times a week.

I was writing, since I am on a March deadline, for two complete novels. And I was staring at the computer, and crying

I was not in the mood to be funny.

I was continually talking to an animal that wasn’t there, which I think is slightly more disturbing than the two sided conversations I normally hold, where I speak for both the dog and myself.

(For some reason, this really bothers #1 son. He has taken to adding, “Isn’t that right, Mr. Muggles?” when he catches me at it.)

I was surfing what I called ‘puppy porn’ within 2 days, trying to keep my spirits up. Ihasahotdog. Puppy of the day. Icanhascheezburger. Kittens aren’t puppies, but they are cute. Prozac on four legs.

But as with any addiction, I needed to keep upping my dose.

It took me two weeks to trick the family into naming the next dog, and three to get them to a kennel to pick him out.

Meet Havoc.

He’s named for my favorite Shakespeare quote: “Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war!”

Because the family decided Chaos is a cat’s name. And my first choice of Gonzo was deemed sexually inappropriate. I don’t know why. Please don’t tell me. I was thinking of the Muppet. Or perhaps Hunter S Thompson.

Havoc is a second generation labradoodle. He looks like a fake dog. Like he’s stuffed. He will continue to look that way, as he grows. Only he will be a much larger fake dog. Very smart. But dignity free. He should fit right in, here.

And right now, he is asleep under my desk.