a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Of Dragons and Broomsticks and Grieving, Oh My

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Of Dragons and Broomsticks and Grieving, Oh My

SUMMARY: Bittersweet dog hair.

Everything in my home and my life is anchored with nano-thin strands to my brain or my heart, or both. The threads hang loosely most of the time, and I never know when one will be yanked and the pain hits and the tears come.

Sometimes in the silliest and most bittersweet ways.

I hardly ever take Chip anywhere. We used to go everywhere. This morning when he went outside with me while I got the newspaper (tears still, every morning, because Boost isn't getting it), he saw a neighbor open their car door and raced over to try to get in. Darn it, we never go anywhere. I no longer have a dog with a reliable recall. Darn it darn it darn it.

After that, I swept the kitchen and the stairs, for the first time since just after Boost died. So--6 weeks. Used to be that granules of dirt and crud accrued rapidly under the two PVC beds in the kitchen, forming a textured carpet of filth on the floor in the exact rectangular shape of the bed. Sometimes every couple of days I'd be so horrified by the grunge that I'd grab the hand vac just to clean under the beds.

Dog hair used to rain down; it formed puddles of fur in the corners of every step on the two staircases, along underneath the fronts of all the cabinets, all across the floor and the corners of the rooms and under the chairs... Sweeping once a week wasn't really enough, but I'd be lucky to get it done half as often, and then sweeping created mountains of fur in multiple locations for scooping and hand-vac-ing, all filling half a wastebasket at least.

Tika drooled at the drop of a food, her whole life. So the areas on the floor of the kitchen where she'd sit and wait while I put the food bowls down, or where she'd hang out by the counter as someone prepared any kind of food. became spotted and smeared and filthy and gross and had to be mopped regularly.

The kitchen floor as a whole easily displayed dirty swaths that demonstrated easily the paths that the dogs took in and out and around.

Today, after 6 weeks:
A bare handful of hair after sweeping everything.
Hardly a speck of dust beneath the PVC beds.
A few random dirty spots here and there on the kitchen floor.

You'd think I'd be happy about the lack of mess, but no: I bawled. Chip moved in and let me lean my head on his shoulder.

And this, in my head:
Boost and Tika doggies lived by the sea
And frolicked in the big back yard in a land called Honalee.
Together they would travel in a van with billowed sail.
Tika kept a lookout next to Booster's white-tipped tail.
One gray night it happened: Boost and Tika came no more.
And MUTT MVR the minivan it closed its rear hatch door.


  1. Oh Ellen, don't know how I missed this. I understand how the lack of dog hair could just about take you down. Lovely, sad poem. Hope today is a some better. Hugs.

    1. Thanks. Some days the current passel of dogs keeps me so busy physically and mentally that I'm moving on forward, and then suddenly yesterday out playing in the yard it hit me all over again. Well, as Scarlett would say, today's another day.