Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Burial of Doggy

           About a month ago Alaina experienced a terrible loss. She had a warm-up stuffed puppy named Doggy that she slept with every night for almost two years. It was filled with lavender scented barley and was meant to be microwaved for about two minutes, and then cuddled with at bedtime to help her fall asleep. Alaina and Doggy were inseperable and slept together every night, which meant a lot of warm-ups. Autumn also has a warm-up animal (a rabbit) and she has been warming hers up on her own for a long time. I just taught her to hit the 'popcorn' button, which goes for 1 min 45 sec.

Since bedtime is always a busy time I thought it would be a good idea to teach Alaina to do the same. And, it was....for a while.....

However, on this fateful evening Alaina mistakenly hit a few wrong buttons on the microwave dash, and then ran off to brush her teeth, play with Autumn, listen to a story from Mommy, etc....

Sniff, Sniff...

"What's that smell? Did someone close the fireplace damper?"......

"What on earth!!!!!! Where is all this smoke coming from??????"..

Running out to the kitchen...

The microwave is counting down 31:52, 31:51...

I open the door, and there was Doggy. Well, I should say, what was left of Doggy! Alaina was right behind me, and before I could stop her from witnessing this horror she was wailing and hollering. Doggy was melted in some spots, and black and charred in others. His beautiful puppy face stared out at us from the mocrowave questioning how this could have happened to him?

I was immediately reminded of a moment in my childhood when I had let my favorite cocker spaniel dog, named Lacey, outside to go to the bathroom during supper. Little did I know that a deer had recently been hit across our somewhat busy road, and that Lacey would try to cross it to investigate. Our supper was interrupted by a lady knocking on the door to inform us that she had hit our dog. I remember running out to see if she was o.k., and my Mom shooing me away because she didn't want me to see. I cried for days.

Listening to Alaina weeping on her bed made me realize that she probably loved Doggy just as much as I had loved Lacey, and so the idea to perform a burial for her popped into my head. When Doggy had finally cooled enough to remove him from the site of his demise, I placed him in a cardboard shoebox, and told the girls that we would bury him when the whether was dry.

The girls buried Doggy next to our apple tree, and we prayed and talked about how much we loved him.

After that, for at least three weeks we were continually reminded of Doggy because of the odor he had created. The smell in our house was horrible!  And, the smell from the microwave was worse. I don't know if you've ever experienced a bag of popcorn in a microwave for a few minutes too long, but multiply that by ten, and you may be close to understanding.

Anyways, I am sharing this story with you, because on the day of Doggy's burial I told the girls that they could prepare his grave and arrange everything to be ready for when Steve got home from work. I was busy raking leaves and doing chores in the house etc., and they were working so well, that I wasn't watching them work the whole time. So, it was surprising to come across this video that I am about to share with you. The girls have been watching me enjoy videoing and documenting bits and pieces of our life, and they must have thought that this was an important moment to remember. They took this video on their own, and I just found it a few days ago. I found that rather touching.

Well, there is a happy ending to this story. Another doggy named LillyAnn has since been adopted by Alaina, (after some frantic hunting by Steve). She loves her just as much. The microwave has since been off limits to Alaina for a while. And, the whole incident sparked a few great conversations about how it was wonderful that Doggy could be "replaced" but that people can never be replaced, and thus people should hold immeasurably more value in our hearts.

We will miss you Doggy, but thank you for keeping Alaina warm, and for comforting her on so many cold nights. And, thank you for helping us to learn more about the value of life and how precious it is.

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