Sunday, September 22, 2013

Life After Bug

The house is so incredibly quiet without Bug.
But the memories are everywhere and screaming loudly.

We expect to see Bug in the backyard, on the big dog bed in the living room or wandering around the kitchen. There's a plethora of blankets we had to launder and keep in rotation because of his accidents, which I've whittled down to just a few. All of his supplies and medications are gathered on the kitchen table to take back to the vet. And just imagine all of the pug decor around every corner of this house.

Two food bowls have been decreased to one.
Two leashes still hang next to the door in the garage.
Two pet taxis remain stacked on top of each other.

I plan to take Bug's cage down today and put it away. Jack doesn't like to stay in it. He prefers his little dog bed on top of the real bed in the back. Jack has taken over the living room dog bed on occasion this weekend, so I think I'll leave it where it is. He was rarely was on it because it became Bug's favorite spot after he couldn't get on the couch anymore. We bought it after our first trip to the pet friendly Georgia cabin. Bug grew attached to the one there so quickly.

We have a new routine to get used to and an old one to forget. No more having to rush home and feed Bug to give him his insulin shot and making sure plans for the evening worked around that same task. Trying to figure out what kind of food he would find acceptable to eat. Taking him out every hour on the hour because he had to pee. Picking up his meds every two weeks from the vet, and in between if needed. I took the reminders out of my phone calendar yesterday. And cried.

I canceled a trip I was going to make to Indy this weekend, and we tried doing some normal things Saturday to take our mind off it. But thoughts creep in, they always do. I pretty much woke up crying. Pmo got upset cooking breakfast, because, of course, we had bacon. We both lost it at various times of the day for different reasons. Luckily, when one of us breaks down, the other is calm and comforting. I'm not sure how it works that way, but we're lucky it does.

I have a picture album with pugs on it that I bought at a consignment store I'm going to fill up soon. Right now, it has a bunch of older pictures of Bug because I rarely print off pics anymore. They just go on Facebook and Instagram. But it's a project I need to finish now more than ever.

I've always said I was going to write a book about Bug, and I've never been more motivated. So I think I'll be spending my free time jotting down notes and going through Kleenex as I recall his stories. I have no idea how to even go about getting published, or if there would even be any interest, but I have to do it for myself at the very least.

I'm overwhelmed, to say the least, with the support we've received. I always thought I might be bugging (pun intended) people with all of my Bug pics on Facebook and blogs about what it was like to take care of him. Apparently, that wasn't the case. Seems his crazy antics and cantankerous attitude were universally accepted, and possibly admired.

In time, I know we'll get used to Bug being gone, and probably get another pug, but we're absolutely in no hurry. We need to mourn just as much as we need a break. Bug was a handful, there's no way around it. Whereas Jack is fairly low maintenance. And suddenly, we have a strong urge to take Jack with us everywhere we go. I don't know if it's that we don't want him to be alone, or that we weren't able to give him that kind of attention before because of Bug sucked up all of our energy. We always thought Jack would love walking on the beach, and I think our next trip to the ocean will have to be a pet friendly one.

Jack probably feels smothered right now. I've been petting him constantly and holding onto him a little too tightly this weekend. He's never been a big snuggler. Jack's a dog's dog who likes to run and play and do typical "dog" stuff. Bug, on the other hand, was his own dog. No doubt about that.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


I find it much easier to communicate through writing than speaking. I suspect most people are this way. Sitting at a desk with pen and paper, or in a chair with a keyboard and computer screen, along with time to think about what you're going to say, and the ability to go back and edit, is much easier than thinking on your feet, spouting out words and not being able to take them back.

I think that's why I don't blog often. I know it's going to be a time suck because I can't just sit down and start writing. I have to have something to say: a topic, an outline, a clever way to end it (hopefully). And I know it's going to be a time suck because I'm a perfectionist. Clarification, not everything I do is perfect, I just want it to be.

Enough blogging about blogging, or not blogging.

Over the weekend, I caught a glimpse. A glimpse of what my life could be like, maybe should be like, or would be like had I made different choices or if I was another type of person. Saturday night was more like what life IS like. Drinking, eating, dancing and hanging out with a small group of people at a winery. And the subsequent headache the next day.

On Sunday, Pmo and I went to church with his family. That's where the glimpse began. These thoughts always get stirring when I'm in a church. Surrounded by families and such. Normal life. The formal clothes, the kids running around, the pleasantries, the rituals, and of course, the sermon.

Next, we trekked over to Pmo's mom and stepdad's house for an impromptu visit. (Hello, Mike, if you're reading this.) Somehow, we quickly got into a conversation on the crisis in Syria and other worldly topics. Then we went out to lunch together and then Pmo and I headed back home.

I categorize these two events, church going and political discussion, as a glimpse because they are things Pmo and I rarely do. I could get into a variety of reasons why we don't, but I don't want to speak for him. However, it's interesting when we do experience these out of the ordinary situations and it certainly gives us something to talk about later.

There are plenty of churches near our home, should we find one to join?
We're not getting any younger, do we really want to have a baby?

And then there's politics, which we're just not that passionate about. It's not that we don't care, I think, we just focus on other things. Things we enjoy, things that matter to us, things we can control, to an extent.

In the end, I'm pretty happy with our way of life and I think Pmo is, too. I know who I am, what my priorities are and I wouldn't change much. But I'd like to think I'm open to different experiences and other ways of thinking, whether I agree with them or not. They surely give me material for my blog. What else am I going to write about, world peace?