Goodbye Girl

Today I had my first moment of true grief for the passing of our ‘puppy’ Squirt.

The house has grown quieter without our crazy noisy grey – but she will never be forgotten. And that is what I realized today when I was in the garden weeding and working to prepare it for another season.

With us from the age of 4 months to nearly 12 years old, we said a loving ‘Goodbye’ to our constant spirit of youth – Squirt – on February 27th to release her from the pain that had been a constant but until recently controlled condition.

She has always been a part of the kid’s lives, and the house feels incomplete without her.

Knowing that she isn’t suffering any longer is one of the few consolations. Many around River City have had the pleasure of having met, been loved on, or spent time with our gal and being able to share stories of her wackadoo ways is one of the manners by which we’ve shared her passing.

Today I missed her not for her antics, not for her whining because the kids weren’t home and not because she barf’d on the floor for what had to be the 780,090th time. No, it was for the fact that she was always near me, with me even when she was so horribly uncomfortable (often of her own doing, by the way.)

I’ve spent untold numerous hours in the garden, often with children or Charles clamoring to be with me and share some of the magic of my playground. Rarely do I let them enter – for my garden has become a time and a place where I escape from the demands and rituals of being a mama.  The only one welcome to spend time with me in the garden without question was Squirt.

I’d enter the garden with a large floppy hat, armloads of tools, gloves and the fluffiest blankets and bed that we had for Squirt with the idea that it would be her ‘nest’ for when she grew tired of standing ‘just outside’ the garden’s gate.

She’d lie in the sunspots of grass and move to the shade when it grew too hot and her panting grew distracting enough that she couldn’t sleep. Then she’d mosey over to see how I was doing, ‘dig’ in her bed a bit and promptly lie down with her butt on the bed and the rest of her in the pea gravel that mulches the garden. It had to be uncomfortable, but that’s how she fell into it.

Today, during a momentary break from this unusually rainy spring, I wandered out to the garden to assess the weed count and trim back the raspberries. I didn’t think much of heading out there without her blankets – they just aren’t around anymore as they’ve been donated to The Animal House (where we adopted Beans from).

But it was after weeding the strawberry bed that I looked over to AunT’s bench per old habits to look to and talk at Squirt only to find that it was my memory of her that awaited me.

She was anxious, eccentric, dedicated, protective, exuberant, stubborn and often outrightly stupid (ask me about the dish soap some time), and I’m so very glad that she suffers no more. But I do miss her. And so do the kids. The loss strikes us when we least expect it, but we’ve come to recognize that while we’ve no more memories to make with her, but we do laugh over the multitude we do have.

Squirt’s favorite place to nap
– only when we weren’t home.

These were taken in her last week with us – always determined to make her own rules…

Always on the lookout when we weren’t home.


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