Sometimes we can learn so much from our pets and sometimes they truly touch us. This past week as I was cleaning, I decided to pack some of Paddie's things up and take them upstairs to the craft room. My goal is to make a shadowbox honoring her and the love she brought us. I found a beautiful box and began packing.
It must have been the tinkle of the tags on her collar because the boys ran to the table where I was working. Both stuck their noses in the box and sniffed and sniffed. Eventually, Seamus left. But Teddy wouldn't. He just stayed and stayed and sniffed and sniffed.
I wondered if we were sharing a common moment. One box of Nana Betty's sewing accessories has a small plastic bag in it with some things she was saving: buttons, fabric, a few notions. But when I open that bag, I can smell the scent of her home and it immediately comforts me and reminds me of all the love she showered on us. I always close that bag right away, as if to preserve the sweetest of fragrances--which it is to me.
Teddy sniffed and sniffed but he is also my fragile child. He is the dog that lives insecure, fearful, and can be aggressive because of it. Paddie had kept him in line. If he was really out of whack, she would push him against the wall and hold him gently there until he calmed down. It got to the point in our world, that she would just have to stand up and the boys knew they better cool it NOW! Seamus had gone back to playing but Ted stood guard over the box. "That's enough boy," I gently tried to divert him but he wouldn't waiver. I ended up closing the box and set it on the steps, closed the door, and returned to cleaning.
Teddy didn't resume wrestling with his brother. Instead he paced and paced in front of the door that leads to the staircase as if awaiting her. Inevitably, I had to take the box up the stairs because I am certain he could still smell her.
I have been told by some people that their dogs did not miss their dog friends after they had passed. Strangely, to know that both Seamus and Ted had not forgotten Paddie and that Teddy was so affected helped me greatly with my own grief. We are bonding in different ways now, not better or worse, but a different routine is being smoothed out and our lives continue. ..