Tag Archives: grief

Gone But Not Furgotten

15 Jul
The Joey picture Andrew carried in Kosovo

The Joey picture Andrew carried in Kosovo

We met him on a September day soon after we were married. His name was Martis and he was one of many who needed a loving home. We were told he was part Chow Chow and were shown his brother who was a puff-ball of fur.

We lived in a two bedroom apartment on the second floor of a complex at the time. Having a dog in the apartment meant a pet fee and multiple walks a day. That, mixed with all that fur, meant work.

Besides getting hitched and picking out the washer and dryer, he was our first real decision together. He was a good one.

We named him Joey – Andrew’s middle name and the name of a special doll I had when I was a little girl.

We spoiled him with toys, treats, a huge crate, his own food table and love. He spoiled us with destroyed toys, lots of trips to the nearby woods because of all the treats, a messy crate and house with clumps of fur everywhere and the sweetest unconditional love we could ever imagine. He kept me safe and sound through Andrew’s military deployments and kept things interesting with all of his eating adventures. (He must have hated that hardback book about the First Ladies. Tore through it like it was threatening him.)

Loved to Play

Loved to Play

People would remark what a pretty pup he was – some even asked if he was a dog model. They wondered what breed he was and as he grew up he started to look more like a shepherd/collie mix to us so that’s what he became. He certainly exhibited the herding traits of those dogs. Always under our feet and near the person he felt needed it most (babies, little kids, pregnant friends, our moms). He always had to sit right by us and when we got up for even just a glass of water, he followed.

He traveled through states with us – feeling both snow and sand. He moved three times with us and got to spend seven years of his life in the big fenced yard he deserved. He knew the comfort of our bed and couches and left his fur mark and warmth all over them. He loved to be Andrew’s pillow and my foot therapy. All of that fur he had was so fluffy and soft and he would  let me rub my feet over him as he rested near me.

Bean and Joe-Boy

Bean and Joe-Boy

He impressed people with the tricks Andrew taught him. Barking when Andrew would just open his mouth, low crawling when Andrew pointed to the ground and sitting just by Andrew moving his pointer finger up and down. Joey cared for our guests and family – escorting them around the house as well and often “baptizing” them with his dripping mouth after a drink of water. He earned nicknames like: “Joe-Boy,” “fuzz buckets,” “fuzzy butt,” “Joe-do Baggins,” and when he was in trouble “Joseph Martis.”

Joey and Andrew in downtown Savannah

Joey and Andrew in downtown Savannah

He was as old as our marriage – 14 years. He was Andrew’s first dog and the first dog who was truly mine. Our first dog to have to decide it was time to say goodbye and give him peace.

There are a lot of ways to help determine you’re officially a grown up — getting married, picking out a pet together, buying a car or a house, paying bills, replacing a roof, that kid stuff, having another life you love in your hands … He helped us grow up. I hope he liked growing up with us.

That dog. That good dog.

Sweet Boy

Sweet Boy

I’ll never forget you, Joe-Boy. Especially since I have a feeling our dark blue couches will never free some of the fur you shed. I remember when that drove me nuts. Now, it brings me to tears.

I’ll be thankful every day of my life for you.

Pretty Boy

Pretty Boy

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The Tragedy of a Tragedy

21 Apr

I didn’t want to write about this because it’s hard for me to put it all into words. In fact, I just spent way too long trying to come up with an adjective to describe what happened at Virginia Tech.  I thought of horrible and then deleted it – terrible? no – heartbreaking? – scary?  – shocking?  – when you think about it – any word would be too generic and using one makes me feel like I’m writing TV news and that just makes me want to vomit.  I’m just so sickened by how many news organizations are reporting what happened and then adding their thoughts about why it happened.

This is really why I’m writing.  A recent opinion article in our local newspaper really infuriated me this week. It was entitled “What are we teaching our boys?”  The writer used some stats to show that boys are responsible for the majority of extreme violence in U.S. schools over the last 10 years and then went on to say it’s because we’re teaching boys that in order to be masculine they shouldn’t cry. If you’d like to read it, click here.  If you did, please tell me what you thought.

Here’s what I thought – those stats about the attackers may be accurate but what about the percentage of victims who were boys?  They obviously were “taught” right.  Also, you can be the most loving, caring, peaceful parent who ever existed and your son or daughter could still have violent tendencies.  Along those lines, why is it when a woman is the attacker people tend to make excuses for her – she either had something bad happen to her or she’s crazy – but when a boy is to blame it’s because he wasn’t raised right?  I mean, how can she even say that when she really has no freaking clue how any of those boys were raised?  I just feel she totally generalized and it disgusts me that she is paid to have her opinion published.

What makes me even more disgusted and saddened is all of the “expert” opinions and finger-pointing that happens after a tragedy. Isn’t it bad enough that it happened?  Why is it people always have to make it worse by hurting others more?  It’s campus security’s fault – no it’s psychologists’ fault – no it’s the school’s fault – no it’s the parents’ fault – no it’s your fault!  AH!

I’m not pretending to know what anyone involved is going through – I know, for many, finding blame is a way to heal – I guess I just worry about what comes next for the people who thought they did everything they could and now have to live with the judgment and criticism.  Really, what it comes down to is that my heart is hurting for ANYONE who is hurting and I just wish tragedies like this would bring people together – not tear them down.

 

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