August 24, 2013 by lesleybowen
Almost two weeks have passed since Minnie Winnie died. One of the first things I noticed the afternoon following her euthanasia was coming into the house and not smelling poop! No accidents! I could let the survivor dogs out in the backyard without dashing to the hospice suite (aka the ex-pen where Minnie Winnie slept with layers of adult pads from Target protecting the floor) to carry out one barking Jack Russell.
I have to hand it to Minnie Winnie, eliminating in the house was not something she was accustomed to doing in the five years she lived here. She was not a dachshund like Ginger, who never really has liked going to the bathroom outside when the bathroom tile is just so much more convenient and climate controlled.
I did mistakenly call Ginger “S’winnie” (Winnie’s nickname) over the next few days just because. I also would feel that shadow that used to be a little brown and white terrier at my heel. Instead I would glance down and see Petey, the 17-year-old toy poodle.
When a dog dies in a multiple canine household a change in dynamic occurs…it’s inevitable. That first evening Sophie, now the senior female at age 14, joined me in the living room. Normally, she spends her down time on the bed. Instead she wanted to be in my lap with Petey. Maybe she wanted the company or had Minnie Winnie given her a subtle signal I missed?
Minnie Winnie always slept on a dog bed in the living room where she could watch me even when she was asleep. If I got up to go into another room, Minnie Winnie instinctively got up and followed. That was just Minnie Winnie. She did not want to be left behind. I saw a depression in the bed and wondered if Minnie Winnie’s ghost was visiting. Probably just another dog taking advantage of a free place to park.
The other marked difference since Minnie Winnie’s passing is the amount of laundry I no longer have to wash. I didn’t have to wash pads at all during the week, just two loads on the weekend. I could relate to my mother’s comment about how much less laundry she did after my dad lost his battle with a cancer very similar to Minnie Winnie’s. Is that simply caregiver fatigue or is that all we remember about the departed is how much work they were?