This is Viggo. This is our baby, we'd say. We were a typical childless, indulgent, 21st-century couple when it came to our dog. We spoiled him and talked to him, and talked about him, and took pictures of him, and bought him toys we knew he'd destroy in minutes. We went on long walks and runs with him, and let him offleash to chase bunnies on the greenway and fish at the lake (he could catch neither). He was exuberant and exasperating. He would sit by the side of the bed, his whines turning to full-fledged cries until I would kick up the duvet with my leg and he would hop onto the mattress, curl up and spend the night under the covers, his nose sticking out the foot of the bed only if it was a really warm night. He had no interest in getting up in the morning, and after we took him outside and he ate his breakfast, he was ready to go back under the covers for a couple more hours. After that he was a holy terror for the rest of the day.
Viggo was a very good dog. And he could be a very bad dog (see Indulgent Owners). He was the most beautiful Vizsla anyone had ever seen. He sat absolutely still—like a statue—on the front porch while people walked by, almost all of them commenting on his regal bearing. He howled on the first Wednesday of every month, at 1pm, as the tornado sirens were tested. Because he wasn't much of a howler, his attempts often ended in a cough, and he'd stare at me like it was my fault. Eric enjoyed tying our kitchen towels under his chin like a kerchief, and Viggo became the Polish grandmother we never had. Viggo enjoyed this not at all.
These pictures of him are the first I've looked at since he died, and seeing them is still almost more than I can bear. It will be a while before I can look at the
As much as I adored Viggo, I won't have another dog for a long time. My heart isn't big enough for another dog, because I still love Viggo so. I sometimes wonder if he knew that life was about to get very complicated, and bowed out gracefully, sparing us the one division of property that would have been impossible. That, besides making me sob uncontrollably (aren't you glad this isn't a video blog?) is also crazy-dog-person talk.
I am grateful for the years I had with my little family, and I miss it more than you can know. Hug your partner, and hug your kids, and hug your dog. There is no cynicism here, nor a clever ending. There is only love.