06 December 2011

I really hate it when you can tell a phone call is going to bring bad news.

I've known my dad for a very long time (all my life, in fact), so I could tell when I listened to his voicemail that something wasn't right.

They had to put Brandi down last night. Brandi was my parents' Golden Retriever.

Honestly, I was expecting bad news about a relative. I know she was nine years old, but that's nothing. My sister called a little while ago (she didn't really even like Brandi, but she's a good enough sibling to know I loved the shit out of that dog) and said, "Well, she was old."

She had a tumor in her chest that was restricting her ability to breathe. It all came on suddenly; Dad said it was Sunday night when he realized something was wrong. I swear, when I was home just less than a month ago, that I felt something in her chest. But Dad thought it was just a fatty deposit. Guess not.

It seems like just yesterday that my dad was taking me on an unexpected trip to help him pick out a puppy. It was Thanksgiving weekend, I think. And I was living within 20 minutes of home at the time. I'd come over to help my mom put up the Christmas decorations. Getting to go visit some puppies seemed like a pretty great reward for doing that.

I can't remember how many litter mates she had, but there were a ton of puppies running around in this machine shed. It was one of the most awesome experiences of my life -- standing there with all these puppies surrounding me and jumping up on my legs.

But one puppy stood out from the rest. The family had a bunch of cats (barn cats, it seemed), and this particular puppy was beating up on those fucking cats. When my dad asked which puppy I thought was best, I said her. For whatever reason, my dad agreed. In about a month, she would be coming to the farm - to her forever home.

She came home the weekend before Christmas, I believe. For whatever reason, all of us kids were around. Brandi was out in her kennel in the garage, under a heat lamp (she was the first winter puppy my dad ever got). My five-year-old nephew didn't know there would be a puppy. I got to go out and get her and bring her to the house. It was pretty exciting.

I have so many great memories of playing with her and the silly things she's done. I loved the shit out of that dog. I love the shit out of a lot of dogs, truth be told. But I didn't pick any of them out of a passel of other puppies.

Going home for Christmas is going to suck so hard. As I told The Boy I Currently Like, sometimes I went home just because I missed Brandi. What the fuck am I going to do now? It's going to be hard. Shit. It's hard now. I'm a mess right now.

I miss her so much already. I was going to get her a new squeaky toy for Christmas.

I need more wine.


Cosmos said...

I'm sorry. Reading about Brandi brought tears to my eyes.

I have two special labs in my life, I would be a wreck if anything happened to them.


Jess said...

Thanks. I knew she was getting up there -- especially when my Dad started talking about getting a puppy. But she still acted like such a spazzy puppy.

This whole thing finally made me seek out my lease (which was exactly where I thought it was, shockingly enough) to see what the pet policy is. Nothing without written permission from the owner. That's not a no ...

Sarah said...

Giant hugs. tears for you this morning. Let me know if you need an ein loan.

Anonymous said...

Jess, I'm so sorry. I can't say I feel YOUR pain, but I hurt for your hurt right now.


Jess said...

Thanks to you both, Sarah and Barbara.

I think I'll be able to make it until Sunday, Sarah, but you should let Ein know I'm gonna pet the shit out of her then.

Bill From Gainesville said...

very sorry for your loss.

Jess said...

Thanks, man.

I was doing so well today, until I came here to respond to Bill's comment. The pictures just kill me. I kinda wish I wouldn't have included them.

Gia said...

I'm so sorry! It's so hard when you lose a pet. The pictures are adorable.

Jess said...

Thank you, Gia. She was an awfully cute doggie.