This is it.
This is my mom’s dog, Bo. He, I think, just had a birthday with 12 candles on his cake, making him a very old dog who has absolutely no interest in learning new tricks. He is known affectionately around my parents’ house as “my little brother” and “the ugly little dog-faced boy.” Bo has cancer, and unarguably won’t make it to 13. In fact, the vets are somewhat surprised that he’s still kicking.
My relationship with this dog is the most distant of anyone in my family. I love him, but I’ve never loved having him around. This is due mainly to the fact that having him around involves “being slimed” on a regular basis and/or watching a giant puddle of drool pool in the kitchen floor while he watches you eat. However, he is a part of my family, and E absolutely adores him. Whenever I utter the words, “We’re going to Mimi and Poppa’s,” E ALWAYS answers with, “Mimi, Poppa, and Bo?”
Since I’ve been blessed with my sweet E, I have grown to appreciate Bo more. He is very gentle with my baby, has never snarled or growled when E pulls on his jowls or pokes him in the butt hole. He cleans up the floor when E eats sloppily, and he has never given me any reason to fear that he would lose his patience with my son’s fascination with getting right in his face, giving him an uncomfortable hug, or yes…riding him.
Bo won’t be with us much longer, and here’s my concern. How do you explain to a happy little two-year old who considers the “ugly little dog faced boy” to be a member of his family, that he’s gone away and won’t be coming back? The very thought of going to my parents’ house for the first visit after Bo’s death already breaks my heart. I can already see my baby boy looking for his furry friend who is no longer there. I’m already saddened by the anticipation of the look of expectation on my son’s face, and the fact that I won’t be able to offer him any kind of explanation that will make the expectation subside.
And for possibly the first time in my 28 years…
There just really aren’t going to be any words.