An Ode To My Dog

My dog died last Wednesday, and I am heartbroken. In the midst of having to stay at home as much as possible during the global pandemic, smoke-filled skies from my poor state being aflame, losing my incredibly beloved job (taking with it my health insurance), the possible disintegration of my little church, the horror show that is our current government, friends dealing with depression and divorce and loneliness and anxiety and all things distance learning, having to watch my little niece and nephew grow up from a distance, and in the month my father died years ago, our little dog was a sweet comfort. 

Paddington Bear, our little old westie, did not care that Donald Trump ramped up his lying. He was thrilled when we had to stay home more – it just meant more walkies and cuddles and attention for him! He sat on my mum’s lap every Sunday as we watched church online, loving that for 1+ hours we sat there, unmoving, with our coffee and songs and notepads. 

Paddy did care when one of us was sad. If I cried, he would gently approach to give me cuddles and licks, and check on me. He helped us keep to some sort of routine, which is difficult when mum is retired and I’m unemployed. But every morning he’d wake mum up to be let out, go for a walk, get breakfast. I knew it was time to get off the computer, working on whatever freelance or personal project I was on, and finish for the day because it was time to feed him his dinner, then cuddle on the couch while watching some TV. 

Paddington didn’t care if my friends were Democrats or Republicans, adults or children, single or married, Christian or anything else. He loved everyone. He was happy to be petted and cooed over, and then left to his own devices. He was, after all, a very old man at 15 ½. No longer desiring to play fetch in the backyard for hours, he was happy just to run after the ball once, stare at it, then look around the yard for a good sniff. 

Paddy loved nature. Squirrels were his favorite, with birds as a close second. The terrier in him never went away, and he’d sniff around the perimeter of his yard every morning and night to make sure all was right with our little world. 

Paddy was mostly deaf and a little bit blind these last months of his life, but it never seemed to bother him. He couldn’t jump on and off the furniture like he used to. Had to eat softer food. But he wasn’t worried – he knew mum and I would take care of him. We’d talk louder so he could hear us, try to gently pat him awake, lift him off and on anything he wanted to get to, and smoosh and warm up his food just so. He trusted us implicitly, never worrying.

Just a dog, but really a little treasure from God to my mum and I. Like a glimpse of innocence, creation before the fall, loaned to us for these 15 ½ years to care for and enjoy. To our whole family, really. As two single adult women, he gave us something to take care of, he gave us affection and comfort, and all the snuggles we needed. And we miss him, and I am sad. We will get another dog, as we are just dog people, but I will still miss Paddy. He was a gift. 

16 thoughts on “An Ode To My Dog”

  1. Oh how special was Paddington? I have lived with and known a lot of dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. Some neglected-turned-cherished pups and others spoiled since birth. Paddington, in my opinion, was exceptional. He had quirks and personality and smarts. Most of all he embodied a level of gentle love that I have not met in any other dog- yes, even my own. I will never forget him.

    1. He loved you too, Mai! Thank you for always helping take care of him whenever we were away from home, and giving him extra snuggles every time you saw him.

  2. He’s absolutely gorgeous. I’m sorry for the big loss to you. Thanks for sharing yours and Paddington’s story, and I love his name. 🙂

  3. On a night with such a loss for us the entire country, this tribute reminds me of the pain of personal loss.

    I’m so sorry – I still feel the loss of our Bella three years ago; the loss of the same innocence and simple affection she unceasingly brought to us. I can only imagine the loss you’re feeling right now.

    Paddington’s contributions to you will never cease, and you are greater for having had him in your life. May his joy bring you nothing but warmth every time you think of his evercute chops <3

    1. Thank you, Elisa, that means a lot. I know you have felt this same pain. And yes, it can be difficult to process personal pain when our country is reeling from so much great loss. Thank you did your sweet comment. Love to you and Belinda. 💗

  4. So sorry. I lost my little Westie, Maggie, seven years ago. I haven’t been able to “replace” her. I love how you loved your little man. Thanks for sharing in the Pelican group so others could sit with you in your grief.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve experienced loss too. Thanks for commenting. It’s good to hear from other members of The Clutch.

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