Monday, December 26, 2016

Pondering Frasier's handiwork

Paw prints
London, ON
December 2016
You're looking at the inside frame of the front door to our house. Rather, you're looking at what's LEFT of it, courtesy of a relentlessly exuberant schnauzer who had a habit of jumping up and clawing the snot out of the defenseless wood. He'd either stand quietly or circle the entryway as I got ready to take our walk, and he'd pounce on the door just as I reached for the handle. Like clockwork.

As you can see, it never stood a chance, and it now serves as a silent reminder of a dog whose presence continues to echo through our home.

Today marks a week since we took him on his final trip to the vet, and I'd be lying if I said those echoes had gotten any less intense in the ensuing days. We think we hear or see him almost constantly, and everyday activities - walking from room to room, reaching for the garbage can, making lunch - are often stopped dead in their tracks when we realize he isn't there. But it felt like he would be. Odd how reality reminds us.

For virtually the entire time he was with us, I would often stare at the door jamb and think I needed to fix it, to fill in his time-worn gouges and repaint the scarred wood the pristine white it once had been. But I figured there was no point in doing so as long as he was still clawing at it a few times per day. Now that the house is quiet, I probably can go ahead and make it whole again, but something is stopping me.

And I'm not the only one: My wife says she can't wash the dining room floor just yet because his dirty paw prints are still there. It's too soon to get rid of the little messes and dents he left behind. Maybe someday, but not just yet.


Kalei's Best Friend said...

This may sound crazy... but how about taking a photo of his prints? Keep the door jamb the way it is (unless its bringing in the cold), it adds character...

Thumper said...

Many years after Hank the Dog left us, I found a tuft of his fur stuck to a filing cabinet in my office. We'd moved 3 or 4 times since he died, and finding that fur was like a happy hello from beyond. I left it there, and it moved with us a couple more times, until the cabinet fell apart.

The marks those little furballs leave behind are well worth keeping as long as they make you stop and think and remember. I'm 99% sure the nose prints on the long window by our front door will stay there long after Max and Buddah are gone. It's where they wait for us when we're can I ever intentionally get rid of those?