Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The real goodbye.

Yesterday, I spent an hour with a friend's cat. The friend left her darling baby behind and went to some tropical island to holiday with her husband. The nerve!! I went over to check on his general well being, and to empathise with him over being treated so badly.

Chomper, the cat, reciprocated by meowing to his little heart's content. When he was done eating the treat he was given, he sat himself by my feet, and got to the business of grooming. My daughter, who came along to give me company, got her fair share of kitty love. When we were leaving, I called him Leloo, my love name for Leo, by mistake. It reminded me of the fact that I will not be calling Leo by that name again.

I was not planning on writing this post script. I thought if I kept this news to myself, I would keep the memories I had of Leo's summer with us close to heart.  I was so verbose about Leo's affection for me, and my undying love for him, I think I dishonor that love by not writing the last chapter.

Less than a week after Leo went home, he passed away. His mom made him as comfortable as she could. He got his favorite foods that he had trouble keeping down. His doctor knew that his organs were failing, and that he was just too old to carry on.

I did not see him after he went home. I was giving him time to share with his family; how much he loved staying with ours, and how he would do it again next year. It was a shock to hear that he went downhill so fast. In hindsight, the fact that he didn't run and bark often the last week now makes sense. I had attributed it to the fact that he was really missing his own family, and that it was hot as Hades.

Leo's family has put him to rest in their backyard. His mom can see his grave from the kitchen window. They have planted beautiful white flowers all over it.

I loved Leo. I had him for six weeks this summer. I can still smell his just-bathed-smell when I look at his photos. The kids and their dad have been trying to convince me that we NEED a dog. I just want Leo back!!!

- Missing-her-Leo mama

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The goodbye!

All good things must come to an end!

We knew Leo was going to stay with us for six weeks, and yet when the time came for him to go, only half of me was ready for it. The half that didn't like to see spots on the carpet where he had thrown up during the night. The kids were not too happy either.

One evening during Leo's stay, Dad decided to share a secret with us. He told us that every evening when his car turned onto our street he started thinking about seeing us all, and felt happy. Lately though, it was the fact that Leo would be there that made him very very glad! Although my baby....okay he'll be twelve real soon....thought this confession deserved a loud HMPH, he loved Leo enough to understand the sentiment. Plus, having the whole family a little dotty about a dog in the house could only mean that there was one of our own in the near future.

I will miss Leo a lot. He is the only being on this planet who ate my "healthy" ( almost fat free concoctions) happily. Now it'll be back  to loud sighs while eating meals....and from certain sections comments about how someone ate much tastier food in their childhood. And, nobody will care when I go to use the bathroom and shut the door. And, nobody will act like they have tickets to go to Disneyland just because I have come home from a grocery run. And, nobody will come yapping at the piano tuner thinking they need to let them know I have a brave sentinel to guard me.....and nobody's ears flop as beautifully as Leo's did when he came running to greet me from some other part of the house.

Leo is back at home, just a few miles away. We have been asked to visit him whenever we want to see him. I think he'll get a lot of visits from his summer relatives!

Are we getting our own dog, you ask. I don't know. I want to relish the sweet memories I have of little love bug Leo for as long as I can before I think of getting another dog.

-'Still-madly-in-love-with-Leo' mama

Monday, June 28, 2010

Had too much already?

If someone decides to write a blog about her memories, but her subject remains unchanging and repetative, it can mean only one thing. The blogger is in love with this subject.

I know that people in love act crazy. In some cases they also have 'love' names to show their affection. Well, as you can imagine, Leo gets called by his given name only when we need for him to not beg at the table. The rest of the time, the non-meal hours, he is called by various names by all of us.

I think Leo sounds majestic, but Lulu, Looli, Leloo, Lallan are all acceptable. Lelo (rhymes with J-Lo) sounds pretty good to me too. All these names followed with some face squeezing, neck scratching, baby talk cannot be good for Leo, but that is how I express my love. He has the rest of the year to tell his real family how he suffered at our hands. The kids think that being a bi-lingual dog (his family is Korean) he's got enough going in the left hemisphere of his brain. My name calling and using another new language every now and then (I speak Hindi, the Indian language that I am fluent in) probably confuddles him to no end.

I disagree with them. I think that even though he's my canine love, he get's the love that's coming to him in the tone of my voice. And proof of that is, lately, an hour after he sleeps in his nighttime bed, which my daughter keeps a foot away from her bed, he walks over to my room and sleeps on the floor on my side. Every morning when he needs to attend to his daily tasks, he walks over to my husband's side, puts his paws up, and wakes him up. Couldn't ask for a better behaved baby!!

-"Still crazy about the dog" momma

Leaving Leo

Ever since I became a mother, I do something that drives people around me crazy. I vocalize how much I miss my babies once they are out of sight. How much I miss them depends on how busy (read interested) I am in whatever I am doing. The younger one, my eleven years old son, is usually the subject of my plaintive sorrowful tone when I suggest to my fifteen year old daughter how much I miss him half an hour into my shopping expedition with her.

Being a smartypants, she has figured out how to get me to hush up. She starts talking like he does when he wants something from me. That usually cures me right away!

Well, lately Leo has been the one I miss if I have to step out. In the fortnight that he's been with us, there have been two occasions that he was left alone at home. The second time we ended up staying out for nearly two hours longer than our initial plan of leaving him alone for two hours. Four hours!! My little bundle of 'follow-mommy-everywhere' was left alone!!! So when I complained to my son that it was more separation than what I cared for, his first reaction was that he was not numero uno on my affection list anymore. It was followed by a suggestion that maybe we could wait for a dog after he left for college so he wouldn't have to see his mother loving his puppy more than him.

Leo did not suffer from his alone time. He was sleeping in his bed when we walked in to cuddle with him and beg his forgiveness. A taste of the takeout we brought home with us probably went a long way in repairing the hurt we had caused to his spirit.

I have decided, if my daughter chooses to play 18-holes of golf, that's her choice. I will not go watch her play the last four holes, if it means leaving my summer guest unattended. It'll save me from the abominable hundred degrees heat as a bonus.

P.S. His folks do allow us to give him a spoonful of human food with every meal. I am not spoiling/hurting/abusing this dog.

- Leo's summer mom

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Life with Leo

Leo came into our lives two weeks ago. His family is spending six weeks abroad, and since we don't have a canine pal of our own, my kids thought having Leo stay over will be just what we need. They offered their services along with the plaintive plea to Leo's mom that this would be their ticket to a dog of their own down the road.

Now their dad and I are not against their happiness for the most part, but a puppy!! Just sounds like a lot of work. Dad already knew from his childhood that playing with his two dogs was much more fun than taking care of them. That responsibility was exclusively Grandma's. To save me all the trouble that would ensue if we gave into pressure come yuletide every year, he would say his piece in advance. NO DOG THIS YEAR!!

Well, with no good ammo to back us up this time...Leo is 14...we've met him many will be home during summer....why the older child told everyone at school, so now there was her reputation as a dog-sitter to protect....we gave in.

And who thinks Leo is the cutest, smartest, after-a-bath-good-enough-to-eat little fella. Yup, yours truly. I am a slobbering dog lover inside the body of a no-dog-in-this-house. Gosh, I am in trouble!

- Leo's summer mom