Well, I've spent some time the past few days trying to figure out how to get my pastoral care class in before July 2010, and still don't have a hard and fast answer.
But my husband called me today and informed me "I have some mild ministerial work for you." Now this is a first. I think my husband has been in denial about me going to seminary for about two years now. Turns out his mom had to have her dog put down this morning and he wanted me to call her and talk to her.
Now, this dog is not a beloved dog by anyone except my mother-in-law. I despise this dog. As a matter of fact, I have privately said that if my mother-in-law died before that dog, I'd take to the pound before I took it into my home. He was spoiled rotten, and as result was overweight and an aggressive table beggar. He would actually sharply yelp at my MIL's feet at each meal and she would even feed him off her fork. He got all the plates to clean, and he was fed a king's diet of rice and cooked ground or chicken. He was snippy and unpredictable and snapped at my kids more than once (quitely honestly, he's lucky to have lived this long - my husband once chased him around the table and threw him outside one time he almost bit my son for walking too close to him).
He had a horrifying bark - we thought he was part basenji, and anytime the mailman came, or any type of animal was outside, he would let loose with the most ear piercing shrieks. He startled me out of my chair on numerous occasions.
In the last couple of years he developed a seizure disorder, and the meds and the seizures finally conspired to fry his brains and his liver. He went into unending seizures this morning with a fever of 108+ and couldn't be brought back.
My MIL adored this dog. Since his first seizure, he has been incontinent and the rug in her living room is so disgusting that I scrub my kids after they sit on it. We are going to bring her a replacement this weekend and throw it out and vacuum all the white hair that is everywhere.
So, obviously, I am not going to miss this dog one iota, but she will. We talked for a long time and she talked about how much she loved him and how he had a good life and loved all of us, and I listened and sent her phone hugs, and offered her love and condolences and agreed with everything she had to say about her dog. And I feel terrible for her; at her age, she should not have to outlive her dog. She will be very lonely.
So RIP Sparky. I won't miss you, but I'll miss the joy you brought to Mom. Hopefully our doggy visits with Jake and Basil will help fill the canine void in her life.