As sweet as my Dalmatian was, no one told me before we got him that Dals shed. A lot. I’m sure we’ll be finding hair in obscure places two years from now. I haven’t emptied his water bowl yet because he drank from it on Saturday before we said goodbye, and there are little Shiner hairs floating on the surface. Soon I’ll take care of it. But not today.
My husband and my daughter are doing really well. Both of them are dwelling on the fact that he’s no longer suffering. I guess I am the one who is walking around moping all the time, dwelling on the empty places of my heart. I was the last one to see how much he was suffering because I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want to face that I’d have to tell him goodbye.
So today I’ll think about our first hello.
My niece and nephew had just left after a week-long visit. The house seemed so empty and quiet. As we drove back from the store, we saw a sign in a neighbor’s yard: Dalmatian Puppies For Sale.
Oh, let’s just look!”
I said, and my pleading baby blues convinced my husband to stop the car. I had always been interested in Dalmatians. I had met one at my father-in-laws home years previous. As a first grade teacher, my students were in the throes of “Dalmatian Love” because Disney’s 101 Dalmatians had recently been released.
We walked into the house. The owners were keeping the puppies in the laundry room, but they let them all out to meet us. A jumble of spots rushed all over the place, and I feel instantly in love with their beautiful faces. Dalmatian puppies are unlike any other breed of puppies I’ve ever seen — they are the wiggliest, happiest pups and possess enough kinetic energy to power a small city! Most of the puppies we saw interacted with each other…rolling, tumbling, cartwheeling. But one of them came and sat directly on my husband’s foot. His tail wagging joyfully, this dog had just “picked” us. Naturally, we walked in to “just look” and walked out new puppy owners. Coincidentally, this was the day before Father’s Day!
From that moment on, my husband and I wore black and other dark colors at our own peril! We should have bought stock in the lint-roller company…but it was all worth it. Now that he’s gone, I’ll smile every time I pull on the color black. It will remind me of my sweet friend.
(by the way, today’s shirt has…you guessed it…Shiner hairs!….embedded in some of the fibers. I wear them with love.)