The Loneliness of An Empty Dog Bowl

The Loneliness of an Empty Dog Bowl

This weekend, we said goodbye to the first of our three old dogs after our miniature pinscher went from frail to significantly impaired in less than 24 hours. My vet did an awesome job with an emergency appointment on Friday and again on Saturday.

He had a good life for the last 13 years and was much loved.

He loved us back fiercely too. I was protected from anyone who walked by the house. They might have thought it was comical to see a 5 pound dog menacing them, but he was quite serious in defending me. I was his mission in life, his reason for existing.

He was the first to greet me each morning when I came down the stairs. He waited impatiently for me to close the gate, bowing and crossing his little legs, then pawing at my shoe laces as I tied them up. When I went to feed them, he raced ahead, then scratched at my leg to hurry up and get the food done!

He loved his cuddles, particularly enjoying a snooze on my lap as I read. Each night, he waited eagerly for me to get done with supper so he could herd me back to the family room for his turn.

He didn’t sleep in a tiny bed – he had to have the same big bed that the big dogs had. After the beagle was stuck once too often in a tiny bed, we caved in and got them each a big bed.

Of course, it wasn’t enough to have his own big bed. He also needed a blanket to roll up in. The beagle was jealous of that, so I ended up having to give them each a blanket at night. It was pretty funny that part of the bedtime ritual included going from dog to dog to cover them up.

The problem with any pet is they do grow old. He was 16+ years old. The other two are close behind. I wrote years ago about how we learn that despite losing our pets, we realize we can love again (here). I’d rather love them and grieve their loss, than to not have them at all.

No, it’s not all perfect. He was expensive – we had to replace flooring and rugs because he wouldn’t stop peeing inside the house. He required dental extractions each year until finally he lost all his teeth. And old dogs require a lot of medications to stay healthy and pain free.

But I wouldn’t trade it away. I miss my little man. He was a good dog.