Monday, September 13, 2010

Some Things Can Only Be Learned The Hard Way

Things like life lessons about mortality.

We live a couple of blocks inside the city limits. That means that just a couple of blocks away, our road turns into a two lane highway with a speed limit of 50 mph. Sometimes, cars are still going 50 mph when they pass my house.

Spike, naughty Spike, liked to run away. He never listened when he was called back, so I don't know what was different about that sunny Sunday afternoon in late August- but he decided to turn around and come back when he was called. Unfortunately, he decided to come back just as a 3/4 ton truck was barreling past our house. The driver of the truck hit Spike. He never even stopped or slowed down. Fortunately for Spike he was dead on impact and did not suffer. Unfortunately, all of my kids were either on the corner or in the yard and saw their dog die.

Sebastian gathered Spike out of the road and had the children say goodbye to him. We put him in a box and took him out to the woods to bury him. Afterward, we took the kids out to ice cream and we told funny Spike stories.

Here are the ones the kids told us:

When Dad said roll over, Spike spun around.
I like how little Spike was when we gave him a bath.

When we gave Spike a bath he rubbed himself all over the carpet and couches!
(This was hilarious to see. Spike would either put one side of his head down and run in circles, rubbing his head on the floor, or he would lay on his side and "run" so that he scooted across the floor or couch oh his side. He continued to do this until he felt he was sufficiently dry.)

One time Spike was running to Dad and Dad told him to sit, so he did. He slid the rest of the way to Dad.

It was funny when we went camping with Spike and we put him in the lake. He was swimming so hard to get back to land.
(Spike tolerated baths fairly well, but he HATED cold water!)

Jesse was in Washington DC with my mom, so we decided to wait until he got home to tell him that Spike died. In a wry, dry, sarcastic tone, he told me, "There's nothing worse than coming home from vacation to be told that your dog died."

We learned some hard lessons from Spike:

We learned from Spike that sometimes, we can love something and have to say goodbye.
We learned (especially the two youngest) a healthy respect for the road.
We learned that we can be sad. We can miss Spike. And we have to get up and keep living our lives.
We learned that memories are fun things when we are missing Spike.
I learned to Thank God for constantly protecting my children from unforeseen dangers.
We learned, by giving Spike's things away to the animal shelter, that even though Spike died, we could help out some other animals. We turned our sadness into actions.


She said...

Sorry to hear such sad news. Dogs bring so much love into a family.

Spike looks quite a character. I really like how you got the children to talk about Spike, so lovley memories to ease the pain of losing him.



Elena said...

Awwwww...that's so sad! I remember seeing my puppy get hit when I was a girl. It's a pretty traumatic event. Your poor kids. Glad you are all finding the positive in this. Rest in Peace Spike.

Frizzy and Bird said...

Oh Gina...I'm so sorry. I can't begin to fathom how horrific that must have been. Our dogs have run into the road in front of cars so many times but by God's grace alone have not been hit.

I love how you turned this into a teaching moment and how you honored him and then other dogs too in his death. Our home feels so empty when our dogs are at the kennel or my parent's house for a night. I can only imagine the loss that's felt around your home right now. I'm sending huge hugs your way.

KleinsteMotte said...

Late August? Now you feel so down. Is there a connection? Kids are in school and you have no pet this year. Maybe you need a pal? this is very sad.