This summer, as is generally the case, has passed by too quickly. I missed having a small out-of-town adventure, but with Flyer’s unpredictable health it would not have been prudent.
The end-of-summer activities are in full swing: cross country runners are blazing trails around the neighborhood, marching band camps are in full swing, show choir camps are also taking place (where I will be next week), football and soccer players are returning to the fields, teachers are trickling in at the high school to prepare their rooms, and families attempt to push in those additional weekend getaways. In two weeks, I will resume my school year teaching schedule.
The house is eerily still, save for the two sleeping dogs gathered at my feet. They’ve each collected a towel on which Flyer was laying, and are using them as pillows. It is strange to not have a third close by. Flyer rests in the guest bedroom where there is less activity. Mother left at 6:45AM for the return trip to Indiana, and I took The Kids for our morning walk. The neighborhood was still void of church goers arriving for services at Christ Methodist across the street, and we were not dodging the usual crowd of dogs and owners.
The Kids and I have already generated a new relationship since Flyer has not been joining us on our walks. They seem to understand they are the lead dogs, now, and of course, Chief has assumed this role with tremendous passion, and pride. His attentiveness to Flyer this past year has been amazing, touching, reassuring, and a lesson in compassion for those of us who walk on two feet. Whenever Flyer became disoriented in the back yard, Chief would physically nudge her in the right direction toward the deck, and then race up the steps to signal her with his bark. Each time it appeared Flyer was failing, Chief was at her side, often laying his head was on her hip, or very close to her. The past few days, when I’ve left Flyer’s side, Chief immediately fills my vacated spot. When we come downstairs in the mornings, or return from walks, Chief races to the back of the house to check on Flyer.
I keep reminding myself that I am not the only one in The Haasienda who is grieving. Navi may or may not demonstrate it, but I know she will experience it. Chief, who like Flyer, always reveals so much, will surely be impacted greatly; after all, one from his tribe will be missing.
This morning, as we walked, I talked to the dogs frequently as I tend to do. I am sure those who observe this practice are amused, but talking to the pets is part of how I continually train them. I believe this is what helped shape the beautiful personalities of Logan and Flyer. Plus, they are part of the family. This morning, I said to The Kids, “It will just be the three of us from now on.”
And, I am sure, despite not having my best girl with me, it will be a fun, devoted trio. While we experience this heartbreaking transition, a new adventure has already begun…