I miss having a dog.
It has been 6 months, and my heart still breaks every time that my kid asks where our Labrador, Greg is.
“He’s gone, baby. But you can play with Cookie and Porter at school,” I respond. Every. Single. Time. (He also brings him up at school, so I know that Jasper isn’t just trying to get a rise out of me.)
I really want our kids to grow up with a dog; they learn respect, responsibility and love. When Greg was starting to get sick, his behavior changed so much that it made it easier to say goodbye. He just wasn’t the same loving, loyal and well-trained dog that he had been for the previous 6 years. It made saying goodbye a little bit easier, but the heartache a little bit stronger.
I miss Greg the most when Patrick is gone. He was a really great second set of eyes; he would let me know when someone was coming close to our yard, and he was a great backup at the front door.
When Patrick asked why I wanted another dog, the most honest answer is that I miss having someone help me watch Jasper in the backyard. The idea of having a newborn in my arms next year while I chase our boisterous toddler around seems really… busy.
Greg was great at just hanging out in the yard, but when a solicitor came to sell us something, (about twice a week on the cul-de-sac) he was the best deterrent a mom could ask for.
More than a few times, a guy would come up to me, in our back yard, and begin an unwelcome conversation about bug control or whatever else he was hawking. I would simply say “get ’em” under my breath, and the man in the polo would stop dead in his tracks at the sight of 100lbs of black lab running at him.
“Oh sorry… You’d better go!” I’d apologize, knowing that my dog might, at most, lick them.
He just made me feel safe.
We could install a fence- estimates came in around $20,000. And I know that a puppy isn’t going to add any protection -or sanity- to our house this summer. But I’m going to really miss having a second set of eyes.