Saturday, October 8, 2011

Old Dogs and Their Stories


I've mentioned him before. Like here for instance.

He's dead.

Just like that.

I learned today at dinner. I cried. That was four hours ago. I think I might start crying again from writing this. But I have to. It's important.

We got him when I was one and we lived in Englnad, we got to choose him from the whole litter of English Bull Terriers. We chose him because I liked him the best and he was the calmest one there. We figured he'd stay that way. We were wrong.

He was rambunctions. He was wild. He was crazy. He was the best dog in the whole wide world, and he's in half of our photos, and all of our videos. Whether he's barking or knocking something off the table. He was family, he was ours forever.

Then we moved to Florida, Patton played in our backyard, caught tennis balls, chased after frisebees. He loved the frisbee. He went to the beach with us, and parks and lakes and playgrounds. Then we left and went to New Jersey.

He learned what snow was. He chased us down sledding hills, kicked snow on us, jumped up on sleds with us and then hopped off when we were going the fastest, tumbling in the snow and sneezing. He ran Colin and I over multiple times when we were trying to walk in the snow drifts, he caught more tennis balls, ran after more frisbees.

He finally learned to 'sit' and 'stay'.

I taught him 'lie down'.

That was as far as his trianing got.

He came with us to Virginia, where he got arthritis in his two front paws and an enlarged heart, we learned we were moving to Jordan. He couldn't come with us. He would've died on the plane, they said.

We took him to New Jersey, where he stayed with a lady that took him in for us. We e-mailed, but not nearly often enough, just enough to know that he was doing pretty okay, just enough for us to hope that he'd last until next summer, when we could see him.

Well, he didn't.

He's gone, just like all those houses that I still remember how to walk through with my eyes closed, except he wasn't a house.

He was our dog. He was our family.

When we move, we'll go to New Jersey, but not to pick him up, to pick up his toys, which I will keep forever.

Or maybe longer.

He's baried there, in her backyard, and I'll put a flower on it, maybe put his favorite dog treat on it, or paint a stone with a poem or something and rest it on his grave.

I'll do it all, even if I am a lousy poet, just for him. Because he deserves it.

I don't know exactly why I wrote this post. I guess I wanted to put it all down somewhere where people can see it, so they can know a little bit about him too, not enough to make them love him, or want to see him, just enough to let them know that he was here. That he was with us through it all. All of it up until now.

But he's still here, in a way, from his dog hair that's buried in our old blankets, stuffed in the back of closets, to his pictures and videos.

I'll see him this summer still, not in the way I imagined, but I'll see his toys and his crate again, and I'll see that chair that he used to always sleep in, once we get it out of storage, unless we've gotten rid of it already, I think we have actually. He ripped that thing to shreds from jumping on it so many times. But he liked it.

Patton. I'll miss him. Everyday. He never got to meet Ike. For some reason, it seems very important that he should've met him. I think I'm going to be saying that a lot.

Good bye Patton. We loved you. The people that got to meet you loved you. Everyone loved your stubborn, crazy self.

Rest In Peace, buddy.


  1. This was a beautiful post. I'm sorry that you didn't get that 'one more meeting' with Patton. But you did everything right for him, including the decision that he stay in the States. He was a very lucky dog to have been loved so well by you.

  2. Sending you lots of hugs Hannah - it's always very hard to lose a beloved pet, but especially if you're far away at the time. I hope happy and funny memories of Patton help you and your family grieve. I agree with Nomads - Patton was a lucky dog. Thank you for sharing this story.

  3. I am so sorry Hanna. I think he was a lucky dog to have you too.