It’s winter, and I like winter.
I like the cold, the wind, the snow, the ice, the air, and the overall atmosphere. I like the time off from school to spend with friends and family, and I had intended to write more during my free time. I thought of things I wanted to say, topics I wanted to discuss, but in the end I never wrote anything.
I’ve had a lot of time alone to think, and it’s dawned on me that I’m not very happy. When I came home from college the first time, my room had been completely changed, and while this house is still my home, it felt so different. More so, I miss my dog…I miss him so much. He would sit by me while I read, napped, watched TV, and sometimes I’d just lie on the couch thinking and he’d always be at my side.
He passed away over the summer. We had gone out to visit a college that was a long ways away. We left early, and had asked a friend to look in on Baggins while we were gone. On the ride back, our friend called us to say that he was acting strangely and seemed ill. We were still an hour away. It was a sickeningly silent drive. When we pulled into the driveway I got out of the car before it had stopped moving and ran inside. I found him laying on the kitchen floor, breathing slowly, obviously struggling.
It was so painful to see this creature that I loved incapable of walking, he was always so…noble. Now he was a big dog, a good 170 lbs or so, and we got a towel to use as a sling. As we helped him up, he seemed eager to walk. We went on one last walk, slowly through the kitchen, through the sun room, through the garage, and to the car. We made room for him in the back and he climbed in. My dad drove us strait to the vet, and we helped him out of the car. People from the vet saw us and came to help, they took him back and we were told to wait.
I stepped outside. It wasn’t very cold, maybe 70 degrees with a slight breeze. I sat down on the curb. Cars were driving by and it was dark now. Looking up, I could see a clear sky and many stars. I don’t know how long I sat there, but eventually my parents came out and said that the vet was going to keep him there overnight and see if he got any better.
The next morning, I woke up early to go see him, but the news was not good. He had a heart condition that many big dogs get, and his heart was just too weak to keep going. The choice was either a) spend a lot of money on medication that would only help him live a little longer, and in not much more comfort at all, or b) put him down. We had to choose b.
Still to this day I can remember the touch of his fur, how my hand would pet his head and scratch right behind his ears. I can still remember how tall he was, and how he loved chasing the water from a hose. I can still remember how we drove down to Virginia to pick him up, and how we stayed at a hotel that night before driving back up. I slept on the floor in a sleeping bag and he curled up right next to me. On the ride back, he sat next to me the whole ride. I grew up with him. I remember a song my friend had showed me from something related to Lord of the Rings. It was a silly song…but it fit Baggins perfectly (who, we had actually named after Biblo Baggins from the Lord of the Rings). It was actually sung by Leonard Nimoy and it was…attrocious, so I’m not going to add it here, if you want to find it, here’s part of the lyrics:
Bilbo, Bilbo, Bilbo Baggins
Greatest little Hobbit of them all…
I guess it’s true, dogs really are a man’s best friend. I miss Baggins, but there’s more to this story.
My mother couldn’t stand the thought of the house being so empty when I was off at college and Baggins gone, and she rescued a dog from a shelter. Tristan, his name is. He loves her, follows her around everywhere, but he seems scarred of me and my father. Maybe it’s our height, size, or maybe he was abused before, whatever, but it hurts me when I see him scarred of me. I’m alone in this house a lot, and he’s scarred of me. When I sit down, sometimes he’ll come up to me, but if I get up he scurries off somewhere. I understand that he may have had a tough life, but it hurts, man. It hurts.
Wow, I had wanted to write about the winter…