Right now Thor is laying across my legs, and I need it.
Almost 5 years ago Mom and I took the kids to the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Celina, and there was an animal shelter booth, with dogs. Elanor said, I don’t want to ride any rides, I just want a dog. I had a baby, my dad was getting sicker and sicker, and yet, we came home with a dog.
Marceline left us in the middle of the night last night.
She was a really weird, but cool dog. I mean she really was. It took her a bit to settle in (she was afraid of men for the first couple of months). She was sweet, which is why we fell for her, but the longer we had her, the sweeter she was. A whippet mix, a runner, a climber. Her running was a bit curbed early on with us when she tore her ACL. We weren’t sure how she did it, but one theory was that she had climbed on the roof of the old shed, or on the railing at the very top of the fort (because these are things she did), and had fallen. Still, once she had recovered a bit, she was still happy and athletic.
She loved summer time and being outside in the heat and she drank very little water, and ate food like a cat, here and there. Except when there was wet cat food, which she ate greedily. She didn’t necessarily need a lot of playtime, but she really wanted company, and to be outside, so she would come in and beg Bear (as he got older) to come out. I would watch them from my bedroom. Marci laying in the grass or walking casually and contentedly around the yard, and Bear digging in the dirt or talking and playing pretend.
Chris took care of her the most, and she would lay on his side of the bed many nights with him scrunched up to accommodate her. She spent several vacations with her cousins, Ash and Lola, and uncle and aunt, Michael and Sarah, where they pampered her with ice cream and love.
This did all happen suddenly. She had a collapsed disc in her spine, which showed symptoms on Thursday; we took her to the vet yesterday, and by the end of last night, we’re pretty sure she was paralyzed. The vet says there’s no telling whether it was from an injury (like falling, or something falling on her), or if it was an ongoing long-term issue that just hadn’t become acute yet.
Chris buried her at 2am. Her favorite spot in the yard. We’ll plant happy plants at some point soon.
We’re hurting without her. Bear has had a year of being introduced to loss. Gran. Poppy. Marceline. This morning when we told the boys, Bear ran away and hid and cried, and Chris found him and held him, but that all only lasted a few minutes. After that he wanted to draw pictures of her. He and Chris drew a card together for her.
Then pretty quickly, and all day after that, Bear planned her funeral and “party.” He wanted to recreate Poppy’s funeral and wake. Jared and Karen were first on his list, and he would talk, and he would talk for Marci, and Jared and Karen would also talk. It just grew from there. Michael and Sarah also needed to talk.
Elanor, Chris, Mom, and I didn’t get much sleep last night. And we’re still reeling a little. I need to say something very clearly. Elanor is courage itself. Facing deep pain head on and helping those around her. I don’t know anyone else who can do what she did last night. And I love her.
She had a cool, weird, sweet dog.