Gary Gardner (grgardner) wrote,
Gary Gardner

Dogless In Seattle

For the first time since 1984 I'm without a dog in my life.   Last weekend I shipped Lucy off to Florida to live with Tony.   Very early Saturday morning we drove off to Alaska Air cargo and I put her in a kennel and slapped a baggage tag on her for MCO, the airport code for Orlando, FL, and off she went in the belly of an Alaska Air 737 non-stop to Orlando.  

We spent a nice quiet evening watching TV the night before she left, and I held and petted her a lot. I put a pillowcase I'd slept on for a week or so on the pillow in her kennel so she'd be comforted, and the vet gave me a mild sedative so that, as my editor at the motorcycle magazine I write for said "she'd be awake, but out of it enough to not care what's going on." 
After doing all the paperwork we went for a last walk together and got her bladder properly drained for the trip.  It was tough watching her roll away on a baggage trolley looking out the door of her kennel at me.  Ever since she's been gone, the house has been way too quiet.  She's been a near constant presence in my life since Tony and I got her in 1997 on our one-year anniversary.  Since then she's been queen of the house.   I still catch myself calling her name when I go home, and looking to find her waiting for me in the laundry room where she tends to nap on the rug -- but she's not there.  I expect to see her underneath the table waiting intently for food to fall, or watching me eat ice cream knowing she'll get to lick the bowl clean.   No more nuzzles for pets and scratches or rolling over for tummy rubs, or barks to go out and pester the neighbors for treats over the back fence.

As long as I'm doing what I do for a living and having to live in Olympia in a condo that doesn't allow dogs, I'll be dogless and be relying on my friends who have them for my periodic need to pet and play and walk with a furry four-legged creature.   I boxed up all of the old food and other things and gave that to my friend Dennis who's got a year-old dog, and cleaned out the cabinets of dog related items.  
Lucy has been fine down in Florida according to Tony -- adjusting to her new house, though he said she told him to tell me she misses me.  She's an old lady now, and as Harvey Firestien's mother said in "Torch Song Trilogy" after her husband died, "I'm going to Florida -- it's what we do as old ladies...we go to Florida."   She'll lay in the Florida sun, chase lizards instead of squirrels, play Canasta in the club house with the other old lady dogs, get her gray hair done, and sleep a lot.   Meanwhile, the legislative special session finally wraps up today and I'll be heading back home to Seattle.  Normally I'd rush back to let Lucy out.  Guess I don't need to now.

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