I’m writing this as I reflect on losing our dog a week ago. It’s not meant as a tear jerker. It’s partially to talk about why I’m a dog lover in the lens of what she was to us and it’s, of course, a way to capture who she was. Writing often makes things clearer for me and helps me get feelings or thoughts out of my system. It’s healing and provides a kind of archive which is exactly what I need right now.
When we got Luna as a puppy, it was as a companion to our older dog who needed some activity and to add a dynamic. We didn’t have anything much in mind other than we wanted a female, rough size, and that we were going to adopt. My older son and I went to the adoption location and were there ahead of my wife and younger son. We were drawn to what we called a beagle-type-thing based on her ears and personality. When we played with her, she was a bit honey badger and a bit Island of Misfit Toys.
Honey badger (see the video if you’re not one of the ~90M views) because she’d go after what she wanted and didn’t care what was in the way of what she was after. As it turns out, she was always a dog who’d tell you she loved you by climbing on you and letting you know it. Island of Misfit Toys because her parts didn’t seem to go together. My wife swears she was a Jackabee – part Jack Russell, part beagle. As a puppy, she had the energy of a Jack Russell and the athleticism of a beagle – and beagles aren’t known for being athletic. Regardless, it made the honey badger craziness all the more cute.
Regardless of whether there was any actual beagle in her, Luna became “The Beagle”. Our linguistics changed and became very beagley. Things were measured in size by comparison with her ears (which were infinitely large). She kept pestering us for love. She pestered our older dog, Sunshine, whenever she needed to go outside or more food or water. Then Sunshine would come to us with this “Dude, The Beagle needs something” look on her face. Luna and Sunshine did play a lot and it kept Sunshine going. Sunshine taught her new sister the ropes, but eventually she passed. I think Luna absorbed all of the love we had for her plus Sunshine’s. I got to be the one she pestered when she had to go out and my wife was the one she’d nap with. Pestering was a good thing.
When people say that pets are family too, this is what they’re talking about. She was interwoven with our routine as much as anyone else. That routine was there when we went up to bed (where she’d snuggle in with us), when we came down for breakfast, before we left, and when we got home. I work out of a home office and I’d go giver her ear rubs in between calls as she hung out around the front of the house. I made sure to take pictures and post them to Instagram every Friday for #dognosefriday which I started doing because I loved them and it was kind of silly. Our dogs get woven into our lives and help us be who we are or who we want to be.
Anyone who loves their dog has to put aside all the crap, all the bullshit daily life can bring us, and simply hug them when they’re there for us. That’s the beauty of having a soft, furry, innocent, honey-badgeresque critter around who’ll crawl over anything, even 75% of your body, to show how much she cares. Each toy from the Island of Misfits was unique in its own way. I don’t know what more you could possibly want.