31 Days, Family
Comments 11

Dogs Are Family, Too: Write for 31 Days

There are events in life that just catch one unawares. And when they happen, we sometimes learn things about ourselves we didn’t expect.

We’re still reeling from one of those events.

IMG_1647

Charlie and Lily

They were just a couple of dogs. Family pets. They could be annoying and endearing and entertaining all at the same time. Lily was an older, low-to-the-ground beagle mix and Charlie was a spry, innocent shepherd mix who was still just a pup. They were great pals and partners in crime.

Yesterday, their hunting expedition took them off the farm and into a nearby highway. In the blink of an eye, they were swept from our lives, struck and killed by a vehicle on a curve. A day later, we’re still not sure what hit us.

Calls and texts to our four sons who live hours away were required, and each time it was a tough conversation. These two crazy dogs were part of our family. And today, there’s a gaping hole in our household. We feel incomplete.

The dogs were my husband’s constant companions. He operates a business from our farm and the dogs hung around the barns where he works, greeting our customers and sometimes getting in the way of a tractor or a loader. They let us know any time a vehicle pulled into the barnyard or driveway and kept us awake some nights barking at the coyote howling from the ridge behind our house.

My husband rarely went to bed without checking on the dogs first, and theirs were usually the first faces he saw in the morning.

We’ve lost dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, iguanas, chickens. Death is a cruel reality, especially on a farm. But this loss has been harder than any of the others because, as the others left us, we always had our sons around to share the grief and fill the void. This time, it’s just us.

And now it’s way too quiet around here.

We learned that we need to have something to care about in our daily lives besides ourselves, someone who needs us, who makes demands on our time and attention. Someone who’s loyal and thinks we’re the best thing going on in their lives.

There will be other dogs — we ARE dog people. But there will never be another Lily and Charlie. I can’t wrap my mind around that just yet.

Charlie with the "toys" he had scattered across the yard earlier this fall.

Charlie with the “toys” he had scattered across the yard earlier this fall.

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This is not the post I expected to write for Day 29 of Write for 31 Days, but sometimes life just happens and you have to go where it takes you.

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Welcome! I'm so glad our paths have crossed. I am a traveler, just like you. Blessed with four sons in various stages of adulthood, my life is full with following their adventures and working alongside my husband on our small family farm in a beautiful Indiana valley. A writer at heart, this blog is in step with my determination to pause and relish the moments, people and events that challenge, motivate and inspire. Join me on the journey.

11 Comments

  1. Hopefully they will be on your porch in the morning. Last year both of our dogs left our farm and we couldn’t find them anywhere. I finally found the lab the next day 5 miles from home. My wife’s Westie was gone for a week. She put a card up at the only little business for 10 miles and our dog was home the next day. I know how you feel, Ingrid. 😦

  2. Sorry for your loss friend! It is so hard to lose pets. I was thinking about my post earlier this month about losing our cat Marshmallow. I can’t help but imagine Lily, Charlie and Marshmallow now playing together.

  3. Plaidfuzz says

    Oh I am so sorry for your loss! Dogs are a part of the family, and its so painful when they are gone.

  4. I’m so sorry about your loss, Ingrid. I know how it feels to lose a dog to treacherous traffic. If only dogs were smarter about cars and roads…..Love you

    • I thought of you and Bob and your loss when I wrote this. I knew you’d appreciate how much they meant to us. Love you too and I hope we writing ladies will be gathering again soon!

  5. Yep… I totally missed this post. I guess I didn’t keep up with every 31 entries this month. my bad. Since this is fresh news to me, I am feeling your pain today. So sorry for your loss. I know you loved those dogs.

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