Babies

15 May

Today was a baby day…

We had AP testing in the library today, so the library was closed for usual business.  This seemed the perfect excuse for me to leave work early and go into DC to meet up with Rachel, one of my dear friends from my UK study abroad program back in 2002.  Her husband, Jimmy, is a police officer in Chesapeake and they were in town for the National Police Week festivities in DC.  They had the blissful luck to start a family last fall and today is the first time I’ve been able to meet their sweet little Emily!  She is absolutely adorable!!!  What a happy little girl.  I had such a lovely afternoon just hanging out with Rachel and her new daughter.  BTW – I love the word “lovely”…it’s so much more apropos than “nice” or “good”…it’s the perfect descriptive word for those things which are just right in every way…today was, without a doubt, perfect in every way.

Then, this evening Chuck and I drove out toward Centreville to enjoy a yummy dinner outside on the porch at Joe’s Crab Shack .  We even got a free dessert (which was SO GOOD)!   Afterward, we went to visit my boss, who gave birth to her second baby this past Tuesday.  I’m still in awe at how teeny-tiny she is!  Little Olivia is absolutely precious!  She is still so new to the world she’s doing that awkward hand waving thing that infants tend to do…you know – they move their arms, hands, and fingers around as if they’re still trying to get the hang of all this mobility…  She was so funny!  What a beautiful girl.  Chuck and I made our visit fairly brief…we dropped off some gifts that had come into the office at work and then I was granted the honor of holding little bitty Olivia for a few minutes before she decided she was quite hungry (that’s because while I held her, she made some productive little toots and squirts and made room for more in her tummy).

And then there’s this baby…

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Yesterday, Chuck took family leave from work and took our two babies to the veterinary clinic to have their teeth cleaned.  This means having pre-operative tests done to make sure they’re okay for anesthesia, then they’re put under and their teeth are super-duper cleaned…we’re talking about miracles that are performed here.  Horrendously stinky, brown, plaque-encrusted teeth come home white and sparkling with nary an odor.  Miracles!  (At quite a shocking price, I might add!

Our youngest, Francy (who is 10), had two teeth pulled (because they were apparently already loose), but came home no worse for wear.  She was already acting like herself by the time I got home from work.  She’s taking pain meds and antibiotics for a week, but she seems to be unfazed by her visit to the “dentist”.

While our eldest, Gus (he’s 15, going on 16 this year), was under the general anesthesia, we had the doctor remove several worrisome places to send away for biopsy – two growths on either side of his nose and a fairly large spot on his back.  Poor baby also had four teeth pulled.  He came home in pitiful shape.  He’s now got sutures on either side of his muzzle and a row of stitches on his back, not to mention his sore gums from the dental extractions.  He’s on pain pills twice a day for 7 days and an antibiotic twice a day for 10.  We can take him to get his sutures out in 10-14 days.  He seemed relatively spry and happy and basically acting like normal today.  But yesterday he was just plain pitiful.

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Chuck’s dad was terribly grossed out by the sutures on Gussie’s back.  He kept making faces and asking (with great disgust) why we didn’t cover it up.   It does look a little yucky, but other than the little puckered bits at each end of the incision, it’s a pretty clean cut and the sutures are holding well.  It’s on a part of his back near his tail which he can’t reach to scratch or lick, so that’s a good thing (no silly cone collar for this old man).

When I got home yesterday and saw him I burst into tears.  Not little tears that just well up in your eyes and then disappear.  We’re talking big huge buckets of tears and a fair measure of sobs.  He just looked so vulnerable and fragile.  It broke my heart to see him so pitiful and it seemed so much more evident to me then that he’s 15.  15!  That’s like, way beyond senior citizen for doggies.

Reality hit me when I was looking at his stitched-up, sweet little face. He’s not going to be here forever.

It’s hard to imagine my life without him.  It’s impossible to imagine my and Chuck’s relationship without him.  He’s been with us practically the whole time we’ve been together.  We’d been dating for less than a year when my sister allowed me to have him (he was originally her dog, but when she joined the Army he came to live with me at my dad’s, and when Chuck and I moved in together, she gave us “full custody”).  He’s been in my family since my sister’s then-boyfriend gave him to her as an early Christmas gift – he was a 6-week-old little fluffball and we were all instantly in love.

I can’t imagine coming home after work and Gus not greeting me at the door.  I can’t imagine life without his stinky kisses.  I just can’t imagine going to sleep without him cuddled up beside me, a warm, snuggly little ball of fur, snoring away.  I don’t want to imagine it.  I want to hold on to him forever.  I know eventually we’ll have to let go of him.

But I’m not ready yet.  I will never be ready for that.  Because this little guy right here…he’s our baby.

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