I shared this “ten things” list on Facebook when I put my dog to sleep in early December but haven’t really had a chance to reflect on it. I wrote it then, as a sort of memorial for my dog of 12 years, Dobby, modeling it after Opal’s list of 10 things about her mother in Because of Winn Dixie. (If you’ve never tried writing your own list of 10 things about someone, you might find it to be as therapeutic as I did.)
Aside from births and my wedding in 2013, no other post has gotten more attention than this one. I don’t put too much on Facebook…just the occasional (adorable) kid photo so what I guess I did though, was show my vulnerable side, especially in the ninth thing about Dobby. I hadn’t shown that side of me, to many…It sort of feels like opening your chest up, spreading your ribs, and letting everyone get a good look at your beating heart…messy, scary, terrifying.
What I didn’t say in that piece and what you had to infer, was that before that time, before I became a single mom, one person would cause the fur along Dobby’s spine to rise up and when he was gone, it just stopped.
For this I remember, that life is full of good and bad but I think we need the bad to appreciate the good.
Ten Things About Dobby (written 12/6/14)
10/19/02 – 12/5/14
- Didn’t matter how long she knew you, if you sat on the couch she would sit next to you and lean her whole body weight on you to get comfortable.
- If you brought home pizza crust and hid it, she thought it was the best game ever. That dog’s nose could sniff the good stuff out in a second.
- Dobby was a habitual kid fort wrecker. Every. Single. Time.
- When alone, and despite all efforts to keep trash cans up high, Dobby would find used tissues or sometimes whole boxes of tissues, tear them up into pieces, and prance around, flinging shreds into the air.
- Dobby took to eating small and colorful plastic toys in the last couple of years. Ingested items included: an “Ants in the Pants” ant, a Kinex piece, and a plastic dinosaur leg.
- Sleeping under the covers, by my feet, was her favorite spot. In recent years she did less of that, though she spent her last night on Earth laying alongside my whole body.
- Dobby had a red rain jacket and hated getting wet. She wore that jacket and a pathetic look as I would stand at the door prodding her butt, out into a downpour.
- She tolerated the arrival of not one, or two, but three tiny humans into her home, and each time reacted with curiosity and kisses. If left alone with a baby, she would lick their mouth and inside of their mouth until a big human stopped her.
- She bore witness to some very dark moments in her first nine years of life and always stayed by my side. The hair on her back never rose up after December of 2010, until three days ago which let me know she wasn’t well.
- Dobby lived up to her Harry Potter house elf namesake. She was loyal and lovable, sometimes could drive you crazy but always made me smile.