Monday, November 26, 2007

OK - to start to fill in last night's list - Dogs. When Bob and I married he had a beautiful and beloved Golden Retriever companion named Poppy. I will always be thankful to that dog for having been Bob's hiking companion and solace during some lonely years. Poppy was not too happy about her man taking on three other females, but she put up with us and learned to live on our turf. As the girls grew up, each got to an age where she wanted a dog of her own and they did get puppies. Poppy never took to the girls; pups- Pirette, the beautiful if not bright Samoyed Pup Joanna had for a short time before the dog was stolen, Gwen, Ruth's Scottie who is now dead almost three years and Lilly, Joanna's sweet big Shepard mix.

Now Bob has Lobo, five year old Sheltie, as his canine companion and Lilly is the arthritic but elegant old lady of dogdom in our family. Last summer KK, at eleven, reached that point where she wanted a puppy more than anything in the world - and she saved her money and got Sammi, a black Australian cow dog mix. Now KK is working with the reality of responsibility for and to a very lively and sweet pup. Lilly doesn't much like KK's athletic, playful Sammi, but is learning to tolerate her as Sammi is learning some manners.

Mostly I'm writing about the dogs because, with their lifetimes shorter than ours, they show us the generations passing. I have pictures of Poppy as a puppy, even though I didn't know her then and remember holding tiny Gwen and Lilly in my lap - soft pups. Lobo too - bringing him back from San Antonio in a towel in my lap the weekend before the World Trade Center fell. I think Ruth was in middle school - having probably a thirteenth birthday the weekend Poppy died. This spring she'll be turning twenty seven. I remember - if not clearly in terms of detail, powerfully in terms of emotion, so many moments in the lifetimes of all of these dogs - moments in our human lifetimes too, of course.

So given that Poppy is long dead, Gwen dead, Lilly elderly - and KK clearly growing up - where am I in my own life cycle? Past half I know - but its so odd. I don't feel "older" in some quantifiable way. I sure don't feel close to my end. But I know human generations turn just as canine generations do - just more slowly.


Mary said...

Victoria, I enjoyed reading your reflection on the dog generations. It is amazing our deeply these little furry members of the family work themselves into our hearts and lives. I am still in between generations; since my beloved lab of childhood passed away in college, I have not had a dog (though we have done plenty of dog-sitting, even long term). I look forward to when Dan and I get a new dog of our own, but for some reason I keep waiting. I think I'm waiting for things to slow down or balance a little more, but they never do! I also think I am funny about anxiety over picking "the right one." I'm sure we will soon, though... maybe by this spring!

Ruth said...

I like yuor dog post--and your insight. I think about the turning of the generations a lot too. I realize more and more that I am actually an adult--not so much "becoming" an adult as I've felt but an actual adult (Which is probably why I'm freaking about not knowing what job I want!)

I don't see you as "older" yet either but it is interesting watching the little ways generations shift. KK was talking to me yesterday about loving being an "ef" as Christmas and how happy she was that I do it because it means she doesn't have to grow out of it EVER. I talked about how soon I'd probably stop and she'd take over my role helping the little ones --hopefully mine and then her own. It's strange to have KK on the verge of taking over so many of the roles I started when she was born.

SeaStar said...

Interesting Mary that you feel anxiety about picking the right dog. I now that there can be really wrong one - too big, too wild - but I'm not sure I believe in one right dog. But then I don't believe in soul mates either. I remember you playing joyfully with your lab and with Poppy. It will be interesting to see what furry family member you and Dan choose.

SeaStar said...

Joanna read myblog today and commented that it was odd that I didn't mention my childhood dogs - and it was odd - I loved my childhood dogs deeply. When I was five I begged and begged for a puppy and, after much researching of allergies and breeds, my parents offerec me a Bedlington Terrier puppy - sweet strange looking breed. They look like lambs. Check for a picture. I reember the excited car ride to the breeders, coming home with a sweet black puppy of my choosing, naing her Tinker Bell and loving her as she grew into a gentle silver blue dog. Later Tinker Bell had five puppies and one of these, Bumpsy Bit, became my childhood companion.I had not lived with a dog from the time I left for college until Bob brought Poppy into the family.