It’s been nine years today since my dad passed away.
They say it gets easier with time, but I think that’s a lie. When it first happens, you immediately try to think of all the memories you have of that person. You think of the good times, the jokes, the laughter, the family camping trips to Cultas, the huge italian dinners, Christmas, Easter. A month after he passed away I quickly tried to write every memory I had of my dad so that I wouldn’t forget them, the stories, the anecdotes, his manerisms. And then, as time passes it begins to fill up with new memories. Memories that he’s missed. Every year that passes is just another year where he wasn’t there. Another birthday, another holiday, another milestone in life that he wasn’t here to celebrate with us. It doesn’t get ‘easier with time,’ as I’ve been told.
In the last year alone I can think of a million and one things that I wished he was here for. My university graduation where my mom and brother watched me walk across the stage to receive my degree, my first trip to europe and Italy to visit his relatives and see where he was born with my nonna (his mom), buying and moving into my first house with Adam, my brother Nick completing school, running an electrical business as a journeyman, participating in sailing races, receiving my teaching certificate and becoming a teacher; something he always knew I would become and was infinitely proud of my educational achievements even at a young age. The list goes on. With every year that passes since he left us so suddenly more memories are made without him, and it won’t stop. I could flash forward 2, 5, 10 years to my wedding, first child, etc. that I know he won’t be there for, and try to brace myself for the ache in my heart when those special days approach but it won’t make up for the fact that he is no longer here. We just celebrated another father’s day without him, and even though I know the day will come every year just as it always does, it still doesn’t get any easier, in fact I think it’s harder. I’m angry he isn’t here for me, and I wish he was. If you still have your dad, give him a hug today and do something together that you will remember 9 years from now.
Today is Lainey’s Birthday. She is 9 in human years, and still very much a puppy in dog years.
Last year I wrote about the reason we have Lainey. You can read all about that here in my ‘Ode to Lainey.’
The decision to get a dog came after the very shocking and tragic loss of my Dad. It was a quick decision that my mom wasn’t sure she should do at the time, but desperately wanted her daughter to be happy again. She didn’t know if she was crazy, out of her mind, or making the best decision under the circumstances.
Lainey was one of our neighbours dogs offspring, the last one they had. She was almost given to another family but our very close neighbours and good friends said they would much rather give her to us. And so she joined our slightly smaller, somewhat broken, family. She filled a very large place in our hearts that was badly damaged and needed mending. We cared for her, loved her, and couldn’t imagine our lives without her.
Lainey has brought both my mom and I more love than any little dog could ever know. She still says it was the best decision she has ever made.
And I agree.
What do you do for a dogs birthday? Visit the pet store of course. This morning Lainey and I went up to the pet store to buy a few treats and food for the birthday girl. Lainey had lots of fun trying to play with all of the critters in their cages, including three little kittens and these Guinea pigs.
Instead of writing more about the sad story that brought Lainey to us, I thought I’d share some facts, both ridiculous and funny, about my baby – er – fur baby.
Fact the first:
Lainey is named after Elaine, from Seinfeld. I love the show, and while I was trying to come up with a name the summer we got her my mom and I were watching an episode where Jerry calls Elaine, ‘Lainey.’
Lainey is smart. She understands what walk, treat, food, water, bath, ‘mother,’ ‘mommy’, ‘sprinkles (her birth mom dog) and ‘up and at ‘em,’ mean. She does not, however, understand ‘sit’ ‘stay’ or ‘come here.’ We’re still working on those.
Lainey will not, I repeat, will not eat food out of a dish. Rather, she would like her food placed on top of a bed, blanket, carpet, couch or other soft surface with or without a piece of paper towel underneath. I take full responsibility for this ridiculous habit. Sorry.
Lainey prefers drinking water out of a glass, or shallow bowl. She will share your water glass once you are finished if you tilt it for her. She will drink water if you bring it to her in a small bowl/dish. She will also lick if off of your finger if she is feeling particularly spoiled.
Lainey likes routines. Example: when she is staying at our house (she shares her time between mine and my mom’s house) she likes to go to bed the same way every night. Adam and I will be getting ready for bed, so Lainey waits on top of the bed. Her dry food is ‘placed’ on a paper towel at the end of the bed for her before-bed dinner/snack. She will wait until Adam is in the room before she takes her first bite. Sometimes it’s me, but most times she waits for Adam. We both usually have to be in the room before she will eat. She will then eat some food when we get in bed, but will then stop and look to the edge of the bed, meaning she would like some water. Adam usually gives her the water dish, she takes some sips and then continues eating. Once finished, she’ll come up to me and dig herself into the sheets, turn around and pop back up from under the sheets and cuddle.
Note – she will also always, without fail, want more food the second you put it away. At this time the lights are usually out, and then you have to give her a little more food that she will eat one or two kibbles of, and then go back to bed. Adam thinks she’s just messing with him, because she never actually eats anymore of it, she just makes him do it. Touché.
Lainey cannot walk more than 2 feet before stopping to smell something during a walk. It takes about 10 minutes to go 6 feet.
Lainey will not eat a treat if someone gives it to her, but when we get home she will eat it. We have many stale treats around the house that she refuses to eat.
Lainey will almost always only eat a bone if you hold it for her. My uncle said if he is ever reincarnated, he would want to come back as one of my mom’s pets – they are incredible spoiled.
Lainey always smells her food before eating it, as if I’m going to poison her. Even treats.
Lainey will always lower her head, drop her tail and roll over whenever you say “Ok, I have to go to work now” or “school” because she knows you are leaving.
Lainey always runs away when you try to put on her leash. You have to call her back, and even then she only moves one stop at a time.
Lainey likes long walks, but not too long otherwise you will have to carry her all the way back.
Lainey has never slept in a crate. Ever. She lasted 2 hours the first night we had her, and then my mom and I couldn’t take her whimpering any longer. She has slept in a bed with us ever since.
Lainey enjoys car rides, even long ones.
Lainey likes playing with big dogs – and isn’t intimidated by them.
Lainey is not a yappy dog. She does not sit and bark at the window, she does not bark at every passer by. She is quite possibly the best little dog ever. She is quiet, calm, gentle and content at all times. Except when the doorbell rings, then she is the security system.
Lainey loves little kids. She always sits down and lets any little kid pet her and hug her when we walk.
Lainey also loves bunnies, and desperately tries to catch them at my Mom’s house. Here, she is fascinated by the cows who we have in the neighbouring field.
Lainey will leave an entire plate of food alone even if she is sitting right next to it, until you give her a little taste. She has never stolen food off of my plate when I get up.
Lainey will not eat vegetables, but she does like cooked carrots and yam.
Lainey has huge, huge eyes. My mom calls them cow eyes.
Lainey likes to be carried like a baby, and enjoys being cradled.
Lainey has a mother (my mom), mommy (me), brother (my brother nick), uncle (adam), step-mommy (Alysha), Aunt (jody), Poppa (nash) and many other cousins and aunts who love her and take care of her when needed. Like me and my mom, she does not have a dad (well, she has a dog dad somewhere) but no ‘human’ dad haha.
Lainey would much rather walk on a side walk, than on the grass.
Lainey walks quite daintily, and dislikes water/mud. She would like to be carried over those areas.
Lainey has several nick names. The most endearing, and most used is Poohface. Long story short, she used to try and eat her poop when she was a puppy and my brother’s friend had a less-lovely sounding name that we turned into ‘Poohface.’
Lainey also goes by other names, including but not limited to:
Poop a loops
Littlest poops in the whole wide world
Scruffy (when it’s time for her haircut)
Little Elaine (after the haircut)
Little deer (after haircut, she looks like a deer)
Baby Lou (my nickname is lou, and she’s my baby so nash called her baby lou)
and she answers to all of them.
Lainey is the most ridiculous dog, and I love her.
Happy Birthday poops, here’s to many, many, more healthy happy years.
I have been extremely MIA from my poor little blog! My teaching practicum is almost finished, and it has been a very, very busy last few weeks. I have barely been on Instagram or Twitter.. yikes. However – glorious spring break is coming soon and the light at the end of the tunnel is bright!! Hopefully I will find some time to post! I have lots of pictures to sift through, so I promise I’ll be back by the end of the week!
Until then check out my Pinterest page or Twitter to stay connected!