I didn't expect this when I got a dog.
December 3, 2008 10:05 AM   Subscribe

My dog is my best friend. She is getting older, and I worry. Will losing her wreck my (finally) happy life?

I have wonderful (grown) kids, lots of friends and a full fun life but this little dog (dachshund) has filled something in me I never knew was empty. She was slow and sneaky about it. We are together 24 hours a day and understand each other completely and communicate on a weird telepathic level. She has really helped me to lighten up and just enjoy life. She's getting older and I know I could lose her anytime. I don't even really like dogs, so I can't imagine having another one. I have a pretty good understanding of myself and I'm very sure that once she goes, I will be wrecked completely and become a sad and diminished person with a broken heart. I protect myself by being pragmatically proactive, but this one stumps me. How do I deal with a grief that hasn't happened yet but surely will? Have you been through this?
posted by Pennyblack to Pets & Animals (35 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yeah I've been through this a couple of times, and its very sad (non-pet-owners will never understand this). I know you say you can't imagine having another one, but I'd encourage you to reconsider that. Think about getting a young pup right now so that you have a chance to see them interact a bit before you lose this one. He/she won't replace this one for you, but will have a personality of its own and will be there with you in your grief. I can definitely say from experience that having the other dogs around when we lost the dobie I grew up with was a real blessing.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:21 AM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've got a cat who is at a definite elder-statesman age, and I think of this too.

I've decided to look at it like this: my cat's taught me a lot of things over his 16 years. Since that's the case, how to accept death and how to grieve for someone I've known for so long and so closely is just going to be another thing he teaches me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:25 AM on December 3, 2008 [27 favorites]


Awwwww, first, you sound like you need a hug. So I'm giving you one, through the internet.

Second, losing a pet can indeed be very painful. I was very sad when the two cats I grew up with (who really felt like part of the family) died, and I still feel a little twinge when I go home to my parents' and they're not there.

But there are two things to remember: 1. You won't lose the gifts this dog has given you, because really, what the dog helped you do was uncover parts of yourself that you never knew were there. They won't go away unless you let them.

2. Grief is hard, but it doesn't have to wreck you. I think knowing this and really believing it will help you cope with the idea that one day your lovely dog will pass. There's always help - your friends (find ones who will be supportive), therapy, and so on.

I think for now, though, #1 is the most important. Remember that as wonderful as this dog is, she didn't give you your new outlook on life and you don't HAVE to lose it when she passes.
posted by lunasol at 10:26 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


On non-preview, what EmpressCallipygos said.
posted by lunasol at 10:28 AM on December 3, 2008


I'm sorry and I know how you feel. As the pets I've had age I also start to worry. So don't think you're crazy to be feeling this way.

This is not about pragmatism; it's about your feelings. So, of course, being pragmatic won't work. I've been through this before and all I can say is that it's sad and you will grieve (and that's as it should be) BUT you will feel better eventually.

Have you spoken to your children about your feelings? It may help to share how you're feeling with someone you're close to. Often times, when I feel despair a good hug is the best medicine for me. It makes me feel like I'm not alone with my feelings.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 10:34 AM on December 3, 2008


My childhood cat died last week and though I rarely saw her anymore (she remained in my childhood home with my parents when I moved away 14 years ago), I was still pretty devastated. And I'm nowhere near as close to my cat as you are to your dog.

Grieving for a pet is normal. Even grieving for a pet in advance is normal, like you might if you had a terminally ill human relative. I've been worried about my baby cat for over a year, since she's been losing weight and having health problems, and every time I thought about her, I'd get sad. I knew what was coming, just not when.

Give your best friend the best care and friendship that you can. Enjoy the time you have with them, however long that might be. Then, let yourself grieve when they finally do go. Your life will be a little less perfect without them, and you will be very sad -- possibly for quite a long time. But there's a process for grieving, whether your lost loved one is human or animal, it's pretty much the same (other than that some insensitive people in your life will say mean things about how you shouldn't grieve your pet, but they're just jerks, ignore them).

There's lots of information on the process of grief available out there. Do some (but not too much! you don't want to feed your current anxieties) reading about it over the next few months, and try to relax, knowing you're prepared.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:36 AM on December 3, 2008


What EmpressCallipygos said. Make sure you have someone to talk to who can empathize with the very real grief and the very real diminishment to your family / home you'll feel. The last thing in the world you will want to hear is "it was just a dog, get over it."

From my experience losing dogs, I would suggest that you plan, at least a little, the physical reality of the end for the dog. My mother was left with the duty of end of life care for both our dogs and absolutely could not accompany one of them to the vet when it was time to let him go. That did make it worse for her. Figure out beforehand who will help you with that. Psychologists call it defensive pessimism when we rehearse disasters in expectation of bad things, but it can offer a sense of control and comfort in an uncomfortable situation.

Otherwise, just try to remember that the grief will pass, let yourself feel the grief, knowing that it will pass.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:47 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


It'll be like losing a family member, because that's how your heart perceives their presence. It'll be painful, but it won't wreck your life unless you allow it.

Think of how you would most like to memorialise your fuzzy friend and have the elements involved ready beforehand. Taking the steps to fulfill those decisions when the final moments come will be loads easier than trying to make those decisions.

Make sure you get any pictures you wanted to have, like of you holding her or her doing the cutest thing she does. Maybe even get video, although it will be hard to watch for a while - maybe even as long as a year or years - but having it around will be a comfort.

Some people are surprised by the depth of grief they feel for a lost pet. Being prepared for it to be difficult and wrenching, getting together what you need to get through that (making sure you have a personal day set aside or two is a good idea, for example) and letting a couple of close friends in on your worries are productive steps you can take ahead of time to make it easier on yourself.
posted by batmonkey at 10:52 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've decided to look at it like this: my cat's taught me a lot of things over his 16 years. Since that's the case, how to accept death and how to grieve for someone I've known for so long and so closely is just going to be another thing he teaches me.

What a wonderful way to look at it. You may also want to talk to your vet to see if they know any grief counselors they recommend -- I know our hospital has one that seems to work well for people. You would, of course, want to contact them once something finally happens, but perhaps you could have a session ahead of time, to help you prepare yourself for what you may feel.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:57 AM on December 3, 2008


Dachshunds are particularly loyal to their owners..I owned one for 11 years and spent all my time with her..She had epilepsy, Cushings, two disk operations and finally died of a liver tumor--We still miss her very much but have gotten a new dachshund. The new one is sweet but not as devoted as Minnie...I think that there are once in a lifetime pets..just like once in a lifetime companions...When we found out Minnie was dying, we spent every minute taking her to the beach, out for ice cream and with us everywhere. Relish the moments you have and eat ice cream every chance you get!
posted by AuntieRuth at 10:58 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I could have written every single word of your question, except that my dog is not even old yet. I so understand how you feel. I don't even like dogs, either, but it was like the world went from black-and-white to color when I got her. I don't really understand it, but it's true.

My mom lost her dog last year and one of her co-workers said to her, in a kindly way, "You should always have a backup dog." It sounds kind of crass, like the commodification of dogs, but it stuck with me. If you are a somewhat emotionally fragile person, and you see grief heading your way, doesn't it make sense to do something now to protect yourself? And at the same time, I started to think "This dog is so wonderful, and she has made me so happy--I want more!"

So I got another puppy four months ago. The great thing about getting a puppy when you already have an older dog is that the older dog can help you train the puppy, and the puppy can put new life into the older dog. It takes some of the intensity out of your relationship with the first dog, and I really miss that, but I know that it's ultimately healthier. Also, I was worried at first that no puppy would ever be able to measure up to my gorgeous, brilliant, incomparably wonderful first dog, but I have been shocked to discover that this puppy is incredibly different in every way and just as wonderful (shh . . . even more wonderful in some respects!). No one will ever take my dog's place in my heart, but I love the puppy just as much now.

Of course, the second dog doesn't have to be a puppy, that's just the way I went. Most of what I said would be true with an older dog as well. But be warned, two dogs are five times the work of one!
posted by HotToddy at 11:11 AM on December 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


One of my "heart dogs" growing up was also a dachshund. My family had him from when I was three until when I was about 15, when he was mortally wounded by another dog. He had escaped from our yard, and somehow made it back, late at night, eviscerated. It still bring tears to my eyes when I think about it today and I'm 34. Dachshunds pack enormous personality and devotion into their long little bodies.

Cherish the time that you have together with your loyal companion. Seek solace in the fact that you are giving her the best life that she can possibly have, full of love and happiness.

When it happens, give yourself permission to grieve. Ignore the people that may say "it was just a dog." They don't understand.

You will never find another dog like your current dog, but you might consider sharing your life once again with another doxie. I've had other dogs, and they've made my "heart dog" no less special.
posted by Ostara at 11:21 AM on December 3, 2008


Weird side story, by the way...

My folks still live out in the country on the 6 acre plot they moved to when I was 10. I was away at college when we lost the dog I grew up with, dad had to take her to the vet to have her put down, she had pretty advanced cancer and was in a good deal of pain. Anyway, he brought her home and dug a 4 foot or so hole for her (not a small task, dobies aren't small dogs) under the cherry tree that she used to run straight at to pee under when you let her out in the morning (dad always had a weird sense of humor). They put her rawhide bone in with her, covered it up, and my brother had a little cross that he built to mark her grave.

Well, about a week goes by and one morning mom is out in the garden and she notices something funny over on Harriet's grave. Turns out its one of the jackrabbits that we see running around in the back field, which Harriet used to love chasing when she could find her way back there through an open gate or something. To this day we still have no idea how Jack (the german shepherd) and Bo (the english sheepdog) found their way back there much less how they managed to catch a rabbit, but you could tell that they didn't think of eating it or even chewing it - it was in almost perfect condition save the fact that it was dead. The dogs' own funny little way of saying goodbye I guess.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:19 PM on December 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


In anticipation of my dog's demise (and later, I did the same for my cat) I built a coffin. It may sound morbid, but I put some time and effort into making something really nice, kind of as a token of my esteem.
I buried the dog (and the cat) in the shade of an old oak tree, and added more soil to make a mound; no other markers but for two burial mounds, one smaller than the other, and a log bench where I can sit and be with them whenever I feel like it.

Also, you know, they come visit me in my dreams.

And yes, I said No More Pets after that, but my sister gave me a gift certificate in the amount of the adoption fee at the local animal shelter, and she said, "There are other dogs that need you."
posted by Restless Day at 12:23 PM on December 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


Thank you all for your responses. Honestly, though...I can't even read these without my crying like a crazy woman. My dog is right now giving me her WTF? worried look.
I think I should start being more open about what my little friend means to me. She loves my kids and my friends. When they visit or I visit them, she ignores me in a funny and very deliberate way. Nobody knows how close we really are. I also feel a bit silly and old-ladyish about the whole loving my dog like crazy thing, so I don't talk about her much. I'll also try to start thinking about getting another dog. Difficult.
I loved what HotToddy said: "the world went from black-and-white to color". I think it is kind of the opposite for me. Life became simple. Me and my dog. I just cannot imagine my world without her.
If all dachsies are like my dachsie, I now understand why strangers approach us with tears in their eyes and stories about their dead (German sounding named) dog.
posted by Pennyblack at 12:56 PM on December 3, 2008


Thank you very, very much for asking this question. My dog Frankie is getting older too, and sometimes I feel as though I miss him already, even though he's still right here. Whenever I feel like that, it helps a little to give him an extra big hug. Also, I've made sure to take lots of pictures of him over the years. The thing that helps the most though, is to recognize how fortunate I am to have had such a sweet friend to love and love me back. Some people aren't lucky enough to have that.
posted by cucumberfresh at 1:41 PM on December 3, 2008


I had to put my beloved standard poodle down 5 years ago, and I just today received pictures of a brand spanking new litter of standards ... and I sent my deposit off!! I'm finally ready for a successor. I'll have my new guy the second week of February.

I completely understand your feelings and I nth all the 'back-up dog' advice. One more thing, stay in the doggy-now, it's all you can do. By the way, what's her name?
posted by thinkpiece at 1:53 PM on December 3, 2008


Most people will not understand the depth of one's connection to a dear, special pet.

I sympathize. My first dog is 11 years old and has heart disease. He's doing OK on meds, but I anticipate losing him. I've had much comfort from phone chats with a pet bereavement counselor. She explained that my anticipatory grief is normal, provided literature, and helped me make plans for dealing with my dog's remains when the time comes. Your local veterinary hospital or SPCA may offer grief counseling services.

I'm a member of a Yahoo Group for dogs with congestive heart failure. Much of the group's activity involves dealing with loss. I'm guessing there are many online groups (Yahoo, Google...) regarding pet loss. If you look at a few of those, there may be one that suits you.

Regarding the aftermath... I would make a plan to line up something to occupy your mind and affections. If it's not a new dog, perhaps it could be volunteer work, or some big project that speaks to your heart. Dedicate the project to your dog's memory.

Blessings to you and your little dog.
posted by valannc at 3:27 PM on December 3, 2008


I'm with you, too. I didn't even want to open this thread when I saw it earlier. This has been one of my fears for a long time, and I also can't imagine how I'd go on. I guess I would/will, but it seems impossible, like someone sucks the oxygen out of the world.

I remember this thing from Operating Instructions, by Anne Lamott -- she writes about how having her son sort of ruined her, in a way, because before she had him she didn't really care all that much, but that now there was something that could happen that she'd never recover from -- she could lose him. That's kind of what it's like, when you love someone without any brakes on.

I don't really have good advice. I just wanted to be another person saying I understand. I'd thought that when our dog got older, like middle-aged, we'd get another dog so we'd have one on standby so the inevitable absence wouldn't be so monolithic and overwhelming, but I'm not sure anymore if I want to do that. I think it would keep her younger, longer, and would strengthen our family in a way, but I don't want to harsh her mellow with some goony puppy running around when she's trying to kick back and enjoy her golden years.

A lot of people have said some really helpful things in this thread, though.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:41 PM on December 3, 2008


I don't know if you knit or crochet, but my local humane society accepts donations of little knitted/crocheted blankets for the dogs and cats. Maybe making something nice for the homeless pets would be a good diversion? You could even donate them in her name.

Wishing a long, healthy life to your doxie.
posted by Ostara at 3:56 PM on December 3, 2008


I too totally understand. I lost my cat-of-a-lifetime in July. There's excellent advice upthread about living in the right-now - you should really do that, for both you and your dog. They can tell, you know?

I have a little "don't do as I did" piece of advice: Scarlet (my cat) was really ill and receiving vet care everyday, and still I didn't prepare fully - emotionally and practically - for her demise. So when I came in the vet to pick her up from her treatment and was confronted with the fact she had passed away, I had nothing. I mean, I knew it was coming, but somehow... I kept hoping for more. So there I was, crying my heart out and apologizing for it because I was afraid I was making a scene and I couldn't bring myself to even see her, let alone deal with the arrangements for... something, anything. In this country (I'm in Portugal) there is no individual cremation for animals, so I let the vet office take care of everything, which means she was cremated in a communal pyre service provided by the City Hall. I so wish I hadn't let that happen. I know it means nothing, that the body is just a body, but... I wish I had the shady oaktree or cherrytree I could sit next to.

Very shortly after Scarlet passed away, through a series of coincidental events, I dragged my ass to the shelter and I adopted Holly and Yoshi (who are snoozing right here beside me). I am a little paranoid about their health, I confess - but it turns out Holly has asthma, and my being paranoid possibly saved her. I love these two dearly, but between you and me, Scarlet was my mini-cat-me, and that doesn't happen more than once in a lifetime. I miss her, everyday. But everyday Holly and Yoshi teach me something new, and everyday they let me know it's going to be alright.
posted by neblina_matinal at 4:12 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know what you are going through. Our cat, Bart is 15 years old and has developed health issues in the last 6 months. I have a bad feeling he may have cancer as he has dropped a lot of weight. For now, he seems ok--he's loving and purrs non-stop and still shows interest in food, but he is also sleeping most of the time. We are taking it day-by-day--losing him is going to really be terrible. We don't want him to suffer, but also don't want to cut his life short needlessly. My husband and I are doting on him as if he were a baby.

Bart adopted us 13 years ago--he showed up on our balcony on morning, and just never left. He is a gift from God. A big, sweet ginger tabby who loves McDonalds french fries.

I think the idea of getting another dog now is very good. He won't take the place of your older dog, but he will find a place in your heart all the same.

You may want to make a photo album of just pictures of your dog. One thing that really helped me when I lost my black lab in '92 was looking at her pictures. Another thing that helped was watching a documentary called "Gates of Heaven" by Errol Morris. On the surface it's about pet cemeteries. But it also is about the love and devotion people have for their pets--and how they grieve when a pet dies.

Hope you have many more wonderful years with your friend.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 4:14 PM on December 3, 2008


I had to put down my mini d-hund a few months ago. It sucked.
Jazz was one hell of a dog. The spot where she lived in guts felt empty and gross for a while, but it gets easier. One of the things someone told me about Doxies (and could be said for most dogs) is that their sole mission in life is to love their family as blindly and unconditionally as possible for as long as they live. Sounds like your friend is batting 1000.
You mentioned you have kids. This book got my brothers and I through some rough patches as pet owners. It's has a really nice message and approaches death in a matter of fact way that helped us immensely.
My thoughts are with you. Enjoy the time you have.
posted by JimmyJames at 4:28 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's never too early to start preparing for grief - spend your time with pup to its fullest potential. Please. Grief can paradoxically become a happy and beautiful process when you have few regrets.

Holy crap, this thread is making me a little emotional. Umm ... don't mind me.
posted by jabberjaw at 4:48 PM on December 3, 2008


It was awful when our cat died in July. I'm incredibly grateful to my man for getting me out of the house to volunteer a little that weekend, otherwise we'd just have sat around and felt bad. We volunteered at a cat shelter. I felt no connection, no real love for the cats -- they weren't mine, and mine was special, very smart, did tricks and talked to me, very much bonded with me since I worked at home most of his life -- but it was still somehow soothing to be around them. I had to be very clear from the start, though, that I was definitely not into adopting one right then. Once I explained that we'd just lost ours, the director seemed to understand, though, and mostly left us alone. We donated all the old cat toys & supplies, but we still have this huge hideous cat play tower that we built about 12 years ago in our living room. Not sure what we'll do with it.
posted by amtho at 5:04 PM on December 3, 2008


Oh - also - I enrolled in a couple of classes at the local university. During the classes, I'd be completely occupied with the very challenging topic at hand, and among interesting, motivated, energetic people. It's very time consuming and involved, and I'm learning a new language and opening the potential for making friends who are from other parts of the world. It was very scary at first, I'm still not sure I'm really keeping up, but oh I'm so glad I did. I hope to travel a bit until I'm ready to settle down again.
posted by amtho at 5:07 PM on December 3, 2008


As I read this thread, I am thinking of the sudden death, almost seven years ago, of my gray tabby Curtis and still I am welling up with tears. I was in pieces. Fortunately, I moved less than a month later, so I was had other things to focus on, and didn't have to be in the same place where the two of us were together for so many years. Several months later, I adopted two kittens, and they are very close to me, but make no mistake, I would never think that they could occupy the same place as Curtis.

Ultimately, grief is very hard, but you move through it. Maybe you are different, but you can't help but be changed by the experience. You have to make sure it is a change for the better.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:58 PM on December 3, 2008


Yes, it will wreck your life. If you raised kids, you've probably had your life wrecked a couple of times, so you'll get through it.

Get a back-up dog. Plan to get another dog. Don't plan to get another dog and then be surprised when you do (no one else will be.)

On the nuts and bolts side, if she is truly at the age where she could go at any time, you need to figure out what you want to do. Spare yourself sitting alone, crying your eyes out, cradling 25 pounds of what was your beloved dog and no idea what to do - talk to your vet about the options. (Or, make a friend or one of your kids promise to come over RIGHT AWAY and take over for you.)
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:43 PM on December 3, 2008


After my mom's dog of 17 years died, she completely fell apart, and this is someone who worked as an ICU nurse. She said she could never bear to have another.

A few weeks later, she felt ready to have a little peek at PetFinder.

A few days after that, she was zipping off to a shelter to see if certain dog was indeed as adorable as its picture.

That's not to say that would be right for you, but maybe it's some comfort to remember that you're not at all alone in your situation. And who knows? Like Restless Day's sister said, maybe there's another dog out that needs you.
posted by bunji at 11:58 PM on December 3, 2008


I can't even read these without my crying like a crazy woman.

It's okay to cry. In fact, it's good to cry. The hard part is when you're grief eats you up inside. Getting it out is healthy and will make you feel a bit better.

As an aside: 33 years ago I was a young man traveling around Europe for seven months. Calling home wasn't easy back then. But while in Madrid I called my family and I asked about our dog. "Well, we weren't going to tell you unless you asked, but we had to put her down." Just at that moment my travel companion decided to take a picture of me in the phone booth. And she caught my grief on film in its entirety. For the first time since that visit I found myself in Madrid to give a talk last July. And I thought about that moment so long ago.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 7:03 AM on December 4, 2008


JimmyJames, another good book -- the one I thought you would be linking to, in fact -- is Judith Viorst's The Tenth Good Thing About Barney.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:30 AM on December 4, 2008


I nursed my dog for about six months when he was very sick. I had to move away for an internship, and I knew there was a good possibility I'd never see him again. I prepared by spending as much time as I could with him and lavishing him with attention and cuddles, and actually saying a proper goodbye before I left. My mom called and told me he died while I was still abroad.

The grief was pretty bad (he was my childhood companion), but it was the good kind. I coped at first by hanging around other animals (cats, in my case), and then, once back home, staging a private ceremony for his ashes. I have absolutely no regrets, because I knew I did everything I could to take care of him and show him I loved him. That certainty helped more than anything else. It was more than three years ago, and I'm still tearing up as I write this.

But you know, I remember thinking along the same lines as you when my dog was getting older. Somehow that spurred me to make the most of the years that he had left. I think you might find that those extra memories will comfort you later.
posted by elisynn at 11:19 AM on December 4, 2008


I recently read this article (Old Dogs are the Best Dogs By Gene Weingarten) and sent it to my mom and aunt because they have old dogs. Some day my dog will be old too and I cherish every day with him. It might not give you specific coping tips for when she is gone, but at least its the real story of a man and his aging dog. And, I guess there is a book in progress and perhaps your little friend could be immortalized in the book. Knowing daschunds, I can picture her soulful eyes looking up at us.
posted by hazel at 8:58 PM on December 4, 2008


You protect yourself by allowing yourself to love your companion to the fullest while you have her. Our pets really have very simple needs and wants. There is the simple need for good food and shelter, but what they really want is time and attention. Don't hesitate to give that to her, just because you fear losing it one day. The best defence against that future grief is a life well-lived together.

My dog was an old dog for a very long time. In some ways, I had a lot of time to prepare for her eventual loss. But you are never really prepared for that, and it affected me strongly. I actually took two days off work to actively grieve. It's been a year and I still miss her. But it's a comfort to remember that she lived as happy and as full a life with me as a dog could want.

Alright, proactive things you can do:
- Feed her the highest quality food you can reasonably afford. Less corn/filler grains/"meat"/byproducts, more named meat. She, and her breath, and her poops, will thank you.
- Take her for walks frequently, regardless of the weather. Be patient when she hesitates to go toilet when it rains.
- Play with her.
- Let her socialise with other dogs, to do 'doggie' things.
- Train her, make your role clear as 'pack leader'-- she'll be happiest as a dog, in a dog's position in the household (not as a miniature human).
- In direct opposition to the previous advice, let her sleep on your bed. I know mine loved this :)

Just keep her physically and emotionally healthy, and you will have done everything you reasonably can.
posted by roshy at 3:40 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to 'favorite' any of these responses. Every single one helped (killed?) me. I also hope this keeps going, so if anyone comes in late, please respond. This will help a lot of people.
A couple of things about dachshunds: They have eyes that really speak. They tip their heads to the side when they are listening to you. Their little backsides wiggle when they walk away. They hold grudges and remember things forever. I let a door shut on mine once, and still...every time we go through a door together, she hesitates at the door and looks up at me with slight contempt.
Thank you all again and forever.
posted by Pennyblack at 7:39 AM on December 5, 2008


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