Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A family history... In dog years.

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted!  There have been many activities, accomplishments, funny stories, and simple musings that I've wanted to blog about but just haven't had the time.  Or the motivation.   Instead I've filed them away in my memory and have just figured I'd rely on my saved picture files to hint at what I should blog about next.  But tonight it was very clear what I wanted to post about.  What I NEED to put out there for posterities sake and to give my heart some therapy...

Our dog, Bodi,  is 15 years old.  We got him on Halloween Day, 1997 just 36 days after getting married.  We had him before we were parents and when that day came about 17 months later he quietly moved aside and immediately knew his place in the family.  He loved the new little human that now got all of our attention.  When she cried he would sit right by her and look at me, whimpering until I tended to her.  He would lay silent and still as she crawled and drooled all over him poking his eyes and pulling his tail, his only movement to "kiss" her in his own drooly way.  I remember one night on a camping trip the adults were visiting at the campfire.  The human toddler began to fuss and he alerted me with that familiar stare that said, "Take care of our girl."  As I walked to the camper to tend to her he was right by my side.  When I came out the door a few moments later he was still sitting there waiting to walk me safely back to the campfire only to run off to the woods and play once I was settled comfortably back in my chair. 

They grew together, the baby and puppy.  Entering their own stages of childhood.  Then the boy came.  A new little human.  More of our attention shifted away but he took it in stride.  This new addition would soon give him all of the attention he had been missing from us but tenfold.  This boy cried like the girl but now there was a trust between Bodi and I.  He knew I would quiet the baby down and take care of his needs.  It was clear from the beginning they had a special bond.  His boy would dine with him.  (The boy thought if the dogfood was good enough for Bodi then it was good enough for him, too.)  His boy would crawl into the doghouse with him.  His boy would cuddle and pet him being careful of the painful lump growing on his elbow.  Boy and dog would sleep on the floor using eachother's bellies as pillows.  Boy and dog were inseperable.  Until school started.  The boy entered kindergarten, the dog entered a sort of adolescence.  I remember a pattern emerging.  As the afternoon wore on Bodi would start to mope around the house.  It seemed like he was looking for something.  But what he was unable to find with his eyes he sniffed out with his nose and he would plop right down and curl around it.  It didn't matter what the item was.  As long as it smelled like his boy.

They grew together, the boy and Bodi.  The dog now an adult.  Then another boy came.  I imagine by now Bodi felt like a veteran at making room for new little humans.  He'd done it twice already and this time was no different.  Less attention from us.  More tail pulling and eye poking.  This new boy loved him but gave him a different kind of attention.  This new boy would sit on his back and try to hitch rides.  At times Bodi would lay still and ignore it.  Other times he would stand up and leave the room.  Some days Bodi was patient while other days just tolerant.  But he still had his energy so when this boy would tie a wakeboard rope to his collar and tell him to "run" Bodi would do just that.  The boy in tow behind him sitting on a skateboard, all high-pitched and giggly.  I'll always remember tonight and the note this rough-and-tumble boy wrote to deal with his fears of losing the dog:  "Jesus Pleas Help Bodi to Stay Alive     Jesus pleas complet my prayer."

They grew together, the boy and Bodi.  The dog now gray and geriatric both visually and in behavior.  And what do you know?  Another boy came!  A new human toddler that sees Bodi in a perpetual slumber.  The most movement the toddler sees from the dog is the relocation from one favorite sleeping spot to the next (he has 4).    I can't tell what the old dog thinks of the toddler.  He knows his place, of that I'm sure.  This toddler that is over 100 years younger than him (in dog years) is just another Alpha.  There is not enough time for the toddler to have his own memories of growing with the dog.  He'll know him from pictures and the stories the rest of us humans have to share.  He'll hear of  the loving protection, the natural obedience, the desire to please, the fierce loyalty. So while the toddler won't remember the dog...  he will absolutely love him! 



10 comments:

Stefani said...

Tiff I'm bawling my eyes out...
You know how I feel about dogs, but Bodi is one of the GREAT ones.

Shauna Klippel said...

Such a touching post, I feel for all of you. I love the prayer it's just precious to record those moments of sweetness sometimes. Thank you for your sweet comment, it makes me feel loved. Take care and good to hear from you,

Sjauna

Shauna Klippel said...

Real nice...I spelled my name wrong...let's try again-love,

Shauna. Xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Tiffiny said...

Thanks for your nice comments. Unfortunately, we had to put Bodi down today. He had a huge tumor on one of his elbows and the cancer spread to other areas. A new tumor formed on the opposite side of his body causing the shoulder to weaken and eventually break. His poor body was just too broken to repair :'(

I knew it would be hard but even more difficult than saying goodbye to him was seeing my kids' hearts break. Pets teach us many lessons and we're grateful for the 15 years we've had to learn from Bodi. We gave him lots of love and he in turn made our lives richer by being such an awesome part of our family.

Annette said...

I'm so sorry Tiff and family. My heart goes out to you. Bradley just told me the news. You didn't say anything at lunch. I'm sure it is just too hard. Bodi was a sweet dog. I loved driving up to your house and seeing Reef cruising along on his skateboard behind or running to the corner with him when we'd leave. What a beautiful tribute. Love you guys. Hugs :'(

Kari said...

I must be hormonal today. #1 I usually don't cry. #2 I usually don't cry about dogs.
It was good to hear an update. I miss you guys!

P.S. Will you text me your phone number? Justin got me a new phone and erased all of my contacts! Ugh!

Lydia said...

oh, i'm so sad for you guys. he was such a great dog. i remember when we went to the beach in monterey and he tried to jump out of the back of Brandon's truck and nearly strangled himself with his leash (and the busybody who yelled at Brandon.) he just always wanted to be near you guys. we love you guys and miss you.

marie said...

Oh my heart is breaking for you all. Dogs become such a part of the family, they just dig a big deep hole right into your heart. We have a chihuahua and they can live up to 20 years thank goodness.

I hear you're all coming our way in August. Let the party begin.......

Caroline said...

Losing a beloved pet is such a hard thing to go through. We are crying a few tears for you here at the Anderson home. We love ya and know how you feel. Sending big hugs your way:-)

Mamarazzi said...

i heard that Bodi went to heaven. my heart is absolutely breaking for you and for your family. i never understood the kind of love a dog could bring into a family before my little Coco came and saved me when my heart was breaking from a very personal loss. she is a part of our family...so i feel and know the heartbeat behind this post.

love you guys, prayers going up!