A Quieter Christmas

It’s early morning, and I stretch awake, my half-dreaming brain struggling to focus on the real world. Derek’s off to work, and I’ve slept in – a lovely luxury. The dogs let me sleep is my initial thought. Then I remember. Belle and Gretel are gone. And Murphy – our sole remaining dog – eyes me quietly from the edge of the bed.

The Bunker is cleaner now, and I’ll admit to using less air freshener (older dogs can stress the freshener and scented candles budget). I rarely have to double mop a floor, and the living room carpet is slowly recovering its former nap. Even our backyard grass shows improvement — Belle’s favorite mudhole is filling back in (she and Gretel loved to eat mud – the vet could never figure out why).

We’ve downsized from a four-day supply “bistro” dog feeder to a petite, green bowl that matches the kitchen decor. We filled it three days ago, and it hardly looks touched, even though we know Murphy eats – he’s a 15 pound nibbler.

Life goes on without the ‘girls’, but it’s a quiet life. I have to stop myself from calling their names at times. And Murphy rarely leaves my side. He’ll adjust. And so will Derek and I.Come Christmas morning, we’ll toast their memories with egg nog and remember all those Christmases past with puppy paws and wagging tails. Perhaps by this time next year, the Bunker will ring to the happy barks of a new set of paws.

Maybe. It’s tough to replace loved ones. Thanks, Belle and Gretel for many wonderful years and lots of canine kisses. We’ll see you one day – and we’ll all run without pain in never-ending Sonshine.