Thursday, July 10, 2008

filling paws

We never seriously expect someone to fill someone else's shoes, and we certainly don't expect dogs to step into the roles that others have held. It has been my experience, however, that the loss of a dog in the household effects the behavior of the others. My last Sheltie, Rory, tempered his behavior significantly after the loss of Avalon. Brenna reigned in her rambunctousness when Rory died. And though Dooley never really picked up the reigns that came with his new seniority when Brenna died, Juliet is now following in the paws of her predecessors by taking on some of Dooley's "responsibilities."

Dooley was my constant companion, relocating himself to wherever I happened to be, or at least to a position where he could see me. He always let me know that it was time for breakfast, and never failed to get my attention when there was something he wanted. Jules on the other hand, is passive. She likes companionship, but on her own terms. I confess to occasional days when I forgot to feed her because she tolerated my benign neglect. Dooley had me trained!

Now, however, Jules has shifted gears. When she is in the house she is often in the office with me, or curled up near the couch or at my feet when I'm in the living room. She is a more frequent visitor to the kitchen when I'm there cleaning up or preparing a meal. While she hasn't undergone a personality change, she has modified her ways. I believe dogs go through this transition for us, and for themselves. A part of life's rhythm got interrupted when Dooley died, and she is doing her part to restore what she can. It is touching, and I love her the more for it. Bless her for filling the still aching breach as she is able.

PS -- speaking of breaches, big hugs to my friend Debi, whose dad passed away this morning.


Jayne said...

Give Debi hugs for me too Anne. So sorry for her loss, and for yours, of Dooley. Sweet sweet Juliet for sensing that she needs to fill the gap a bit.

Pam in Moncton said...

Oh so interesting to read about how the dogs have shifted their behaviours. How sweet they can be at times! Also good to read about your progress in an earlier post, which I just read. It's tough but I'm glad to know you are doing better and I do think that concentrating on specific tasks like that is helpful, Hugs!

Jules said...

So sorry to hear about Debi's dad. We may be heading your way come ya and miss you!


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