Leroy Brown. He's the dog that never aged. He's the dog who was fairly certain that he might one day be on par with humans. And he was. Tonight the fireworks are blasting, and I'm sad I'm not shushing him for barking and waking the babies. A friend said today "I always thought of Leroy as a young dog, but I've been playing with him for 7 years, and you had him for a few years before that." Even the vet listened to his chest and admitted he might live forever with a heart as strong as his.
Yesterday when we buried him in the yard, I held his leash in my hands and my 4 year old looked up at me and said "We should have used that more." Yes, we should have. Leroy owned our neighborhood, which was never a problem until we bought a lot across the busy street from us. Then his neighborhood enlarged, and well you can guess what happened. Our neighbor brought him home to us. Of course I feel responsible, and yet and yet and yet would I have chained up? Such an easy thing to judge, but he loved his roaming life.
So tonight, on the eve before the new year I'm full of many resolutions. To live more consciously, to baby proof my house better, to somehow lasso time and make better use of it. Leroy was with us for 10 years. We finished college with him, got married, started businesses, went to grad school (eek, I taught him the command "let's go write poems" which was his signal to hang out with me in my office), went through several jobs, and then 2 babies. Would I have done anything different? More than even the leash, I would have spent more time with him after my kids were born. He was seriously demoted. First off the bed, then off the futon, and then even playing fetch became a nuisance. I stopped saying "lets go write poems" and instead taught him "Shhh. The babies are sleeping."
Oh, Leroy. I miss you. I hope you're playing fetch, wherever you are. xoxoxo