Saturday, October 17, 2009

Memories of Grendel

When you lose someone close, you are left with a space in your heart. However, we're lucky to have something to fill that space with: our memories.


On Friday, October 16, 2009, Grendel died. She was our dog of 14 years, longer than my wife and I had been married, older than any of our kids. She had been struggling with cancer for a while and was not doing well. She no longer has those pains and struggles and is now at peace.

Here are some of the memories that I have that fill her space in my heart.
  • When we first got her, Grendel would chew shoes, only Heather's shoes and only one of the pair.
  • When she was young, Grendel would also do this leg humping thing, which was ironic as she was a spayed female. It probably wasn't the best of things for a dog owner to let their dog do, but we all thought it was funny. She even clawed a hole in my jeans more than once with her dew claws.
  • At a Christmas party in Missouri, Sam Robinson shared some Kahlua with her. She liked it. A lot. And then she peed in his lap.
  • She was always a small, compact dog. Ron Gouvaia would call her Santa's Little Helper, more so I think because he was a fan of the Simpsons, than she beared resemblence to the Simpson's dog.
  • Grendel sometimes peed in our apartment above Peoples' Park in Berkeley. I'd clean/cover it with vinegar. This resulted in the statement, "Dog's don't belong in apartments," from my college room mate and friend Erik Muller. I'm glad you let her anyways, thank you.
  • Grendel was afraid of water, regardless of the size of the body of water. When ever we'd go to the beach, she'd stand with her back to the ocean. She'd never look at the ocean. Whenever I go to the beach and don't keep a watchful eye on the ocean, I'd get smashed by a wave. She never got close enough to be smashed.
  • When we moved to Washington from the Bay Area, I drove with Grendel and Sebbie. I was prepared to drive all the way to Portland without stopping, where I was meeting a friend for dinner. The dogs, however, were not ready to that far and I had to stop twice to let them pee. Then, because I still made great time, when we got to the Seattle metropolitan area, we didn't really have a place to stay. Heather called all kinds of hotels to find some place we could stay with the dogs. We ended up in an extended stay hotel in Sea-tac. I was glad the dogs were with me for safety; the cops all had AR-15's, it was that kind of a neighborhood.
  • When we were in California, Grendel would always lay outside in the sun. Maybe it was her downfall, but she always looked so peaceful sleeping in the sunny spots.
  • We got Grendel at the Safeway on College Avenue in Oakland. It was a last chance adoption push, because the dogs were going to be put to sleep the next day. Later, when we returned to the Bay Area, I worked right down the street from this Safeway and it was always a nice memory.
  • After dinner, when I was loading the dishwasher, Grendel would always come and see what scraps she could find there. Though I'd never feed her people food from the table, I always looked the other way when she did that. Then when I was emptying the cleaned dishes, she'd always come to check if there was anything left for her to snack on.
  • As she grew older, she'd hang out with me. I work from home, so she'd always be around. Grendel would sleep in the office, on the couch or under the desk. I've gotten into the habit of keeping my legs very still while I sit, because I learned to not suddenly stretch because I'd kick her under the desk.
  • She'd follow me around. When I wrapped up for the day and would come out of my home office, she would to. When I'd come home from school at night, she'd follow me around, waiting for me to go upstairs to bed. Many times, when I had several things to do when I got home, she'd even follow me back and forth as I'd go from the office to the kitchen to the family room and back again. But then, when I'd go upstairs to bed, so would she.

Some of my friends have shared a few memories and I'll put them here, too:

David Hickman, another friend from college wrote: "I fondly remember Grendel from Berkeley. I recall she used to always bark at cops."

Orit Aizenman Daly, also from college, remembers, "her as a puppy being walked by Heather pregnant with Alec."

Thanks for sharing those memories, because they help fill the space in my heart too.

I miss you, Grendel, but you'll always be in my heart.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Changing lightbulbs with Kid 3

Yesterday, I was outside with Kid 3, changing some lightbulbs (stay with me, the story gets cute). He was opening the lightbulb packs and I was actually putting the lightbulbs in. While we were outside, the girls across the street were out putting up a few Haloween decorations.

As we finished up, he suggested that it was time to put up decorations. Heather is big on seasonal decor and it really is her thing, so I said to him, "Mom'll get it soon."

But he decided that he should make ghosts to hang from the tree. He found some tennis balls then wrapped them in 3 paper towels.

It was quite cute. And today, Heather has decorated the house, i'm sure pics will be coming.

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