Okay, so if you read my previous post you will know that Johnny the Dachshund puppy died under circumstances that could, with an ungenerous eye, be seen to be somewhat due to my dereliction of duty. I cried copiously, had him cremated at great expense, scattered his ashes with great ceremony, and woke up several nights in a row screaming “I came to get you but it was too late”. A friend told me that it was for the best – that the last remnants of my Life With (Cheating) Husband were now gone (we had bought the puppy together in what was clearly a vain attempt to make our suburban lives look like the ones we saw in bad, but enjoyable, movies). I cried even more. My 7 year old son pondered the meaning of life and death, and wondered, often and aloud, whether Johnny would have died if he was inside. My 3 year old daughter, then 2 years old, was not verbal enough to say much. That would come later. When we bought the Beagles.
Sufficient time had passed for the mourning process to be complete, and for me to forget my solemn oaths never to love another living thing again. The children, I felt, needed to get back onto the proverbial horse. My daughter had taken to telling passing strangers that her dog was dead, eliciting coos of sympathy and sometimes even sugary treats from them. My son had taken to long monologues about Johnny’s death and his profound loss, monologues that were worryingly free of any memories of the feral behaviour that had landed the dog outside on that warm summer evening to begin with.
And so one week ago I brought home Charlie and Lola – two gorgeous Beagle puppies who are going to restore our faith in the world again. This is clearly needed as the following conversation I had with my three year old daughter this morning will attest:
(Puppies frolicking on the bedroom floor)
3 year old Daughter: Oh mommy, they are so cute.
Me: (Feeling smug and very Mommy-like) They are, aren’t they?
3 year old Daughter: Can we get another one when they die?
Me: But darling, they are not going to die (unspoken “yet”)
3 year old daughter: (Looking at me with disbelieving eyes) But the rain is coming.
Oh we fuck them up, even with puppies and love we fuck them up.