I picked up Oscar early – at lunchtime. All the kids in his class chimed out, “Oscar, your mom is here!” and Oscar looked a little ruffled. He doesn’t like unexpected appearances that much, I don’t think. Stick to the playbook, thank you.
His classmates, just coming on to the playground for recess, wanted to know where he was going.
When Lucy heard all the kids asking where he was going, she fixed up her posture, and was about to shout, “The Beach!”
when I (gently) grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth with my hand. I answered, “I have an appointment”, and smiled blandly.
When we got to the car, I let Lucy tell Oscar our surprise destination.
It was all smiles from there on out.
Oh yeah, in the car, Oscar asked, “Mom? When is Winter?”
(click on any to see larger)
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Addendum: (or whatever):
I was missing Booker like crazy. There were so many happy labs fetching booeys. Oscar noticed it too. Crissy was the place that we took Booker the most!
Then I started missing Ava.
Then I snapped out of it because Lucy was screaming that Oscar had ruined her sand-thing. Or vice versa – I’m not sure.
We sat down together on a towel and had icy cold apple juice, and pirates booty. The kids leaned their shoulders together, and I felt better.
I’m not sayin’ anything, but I’m just sayin’.
We had to say goodbye to Booker this morning. He was 13 1/2 years old. We called him the Gold Standard of Dogs.
He was with us when we got married, saw us have 3 children, and helped us when we lost Ava to cancer. He helped our cat Cairo pick fights, but not finish them. He partnered with his brother Hoot for everything: walks, tug-of-wars, begging shenanigans. He especially loved his papa, Chief.
Booker was a country dog living in the city. He patrolled sidewalks, and fetched the paper. He politely declined the endeavors of strangers. We taught him fun tricks: G.I. Joe, Bang bang, and The cookie on the nose. Our friends teased us when we brought him with us everywhere: work, the beach, the lacrosse field, AT&T park, dinner parties, road trips. When he got older, he took himself for walks in Golden Gate Park. (yeah, not our favorite, and how on Earth he crossed Oak street we’ll never know.) He swam and fetched like he was born to it. He loved it. He even swam in the Eel river with us less than two weeks ago. I loved swimming next to him, and racing him for the stick.
Booker was the best dog, ever.
We joked that this was a good thing, because I might get rid of him if he were any less. The truth is I loved him, Everyone loved him, and we always will.
No one lives forever, and I am going to focus on what a gift his long life was.
We went for a walk. Lucy jumped in all the puddles she could find. Oscar pretended he had a pop gun that shot farts. The sun went behind a new wave of clouds so we turned back. Happy Birthday Booker! Hope its a good year!