Somber Sunday

This is one of those days when we’re overtasked. Last week we had a good if too-busy week, with an Army buddy hanging around while he punched a ticket at the SIG Academy, a new (and it turns out, very clingy) dog to learn and teach, and then our last surviving uncle was taken ill.

That kind of ill. The kind where they take you off the dialysis that has kept you alive for around a decade, and gradually disconnect the other contraptions and gadgets that are keeping a guy on the blade side of the grass.

His services are today; it will be our first experience of a Baptist funerary service, as everybody else has been Congregational, Catholic or Anglican. We shall comport ourselves decently. We hope.

He was a good guy who, with his wife, raised four good sons. He had been ill for a long time, but was in good spirits every time we saw him. We worry about his widow, the Blogfather’s sister.

Unfortunately, this day also had two other events scheduled: a family investment club meeting — already canceled — and a rare trip to Boston for a concert, a gift from the Blogbrother. That’s on the bubble. (Love the band, hate Boston).

Small Dog II is not liking being left alone. Came back from a bare one-hour bike ride today to find he had clawed most of the paint off the frame of the door he saw his human depart from.  He also expresses his distress vocally. Fortunately Nice Neighbor Lady will come by and check on him a few times. (So one mission last night was to lock up the scarier looking guns, so as not to freak her out).

22 thoughts on “Somber Sunday

  1. James

    Sorry about your family’s loss,am not a organized religious person but believe this life is just one chapter in a bigger book,may the sun be on your uncles back and the fishing good.

  2. Ti

    My condolences to you and your family.

    The new small dog might benefit from a consult w local vet for some thing to take the edge off whilst master is gone. I also suggest talk radio turned on at pleasant volume. The human voice is calming to some.

  3. jim

    Condolences, I hope your family is able to come together and comfort eachother.

    Good luck with the Baptist service…the last three have been a little drawn out, and very abrasive towards the guests…i.e., you are evil and going to hell unless you repent and join us, now..just look at the decedent, it could be you, and you’d be burning now.

    Not my thing.

  4. Rocketguy

    Baptist churches vary dramatically from low-key, generic Christian services to podium-thumping, fire and brimstone stuff. Assuming your service was northeast-region, it was probably more of the former while it sounds like Jim experienced the latter. Probably further south based on my experience.

  5. Cap'n Mike

    Sorry for the loss of your Uncle Hognose.

    I also offer my condolences for having to visit Boston.

  6. Miles

    Condolences from here as well. I’ve lost three out of six. Surprisingly, the youngest first, many years ago.

  7. Tennessee Budd

    Condolences for your loss, Hognose.
    My father died a little over three years ago. He’d been sick a longish time (lung cancer), so I can’t say it was a surprise, but still, it’s never easy.
    We who are left have the knowledge that the departed are with their Father.

  8. Hayabusa

    Condolences on your family loss. Death watches are no fun, but neither is it when they end and the one being watched over finally passes over.

    Best wishes to you and yours.

  9. KevsBlogBrother

    BlogBrother here. The Baptist service was interesting and positive. Didn’t make us want to be Baptists, but…

    The concert is ZZ Top!, with opening act Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Highly recommended.

    1. James

      The last time I saw ZZ Top was as a 17 year old at Cape Cod Coliseum(now Christmas Tree Store),was 35 years ago,was a young lad then!

      1. Hognose Post author

        The ZZ Top show was great. The mix was so bad for the Robert Randolph band that I couldn’t follow any of his lyrics. He is an incredible steel player though — he gets sounds out of a pedal steel I’ve never heard, ever.

        After ZZ Top finished, they did something generous that I’ve never seen a headliner do. After their encore, they came back for a second encore and improvised a clearly unhearsed Jailhouse Rock — with Randolph on steel at center stage. The people who left the first time the lights wen down really missed out.

        1. James

          Dude,checked out the set list for most part they doing,am thinking seeing in Portland this Sunday!Jesus Done Left Chicago early in set a weird one,but,what the heck,been a long time since I have seen that little ole band from Texas!

          1. Hognose Post author

            They’re still great live, James. Social Security eligible guys of 67 and 68 years old. They even brought out the fur bearing guitars for one number.

            The opening act Robert Randolph, if they’re still subbing for a sick Gregg Allman, is incredible as long as he’s playing guitar (he does Hendrix-like stuff, not accidentally because he played Voodoo Chile and Hey Joe, on pedal steel!) He and his band also change up instruments…”You take the bass, I’ll play guitar, give him the drums” and then switch again towards the end of the set. His sound mix blew… you can find him on YouTube.

  10. Bonifacio Echeverria

    Sorry to hear about your uncle, I have lost a few too lately -we are in the season, I guess.

    That kind of anxiety in previously abandoned dogs is normal. It recedes with time. Basically he needs to realise that you are not *that* kind of human he has seen before, that you are of the type that come back time and time and time again. Will take some weeks, maybe, depends of SDIIs past experiences, breed, and age.

    My rescued dogs went through that phase in something like 2-8 weeks… but back then I was basically around most of the time, worked from home, so it was harder for them when I left the house. Lot’s of walking together, long marches outdoors, helps too, and makes bonding quicker, IHMO. If everything else fails… get a supply of disposable items they can chew. Old shoes worked fine here.

  11. James B.

    I am sorry for your loss. I as well have bid farewell to the last of my family’s elder generation. They live on in their stories and in our hearts. Perhaps one day we shall meet them once again.

  12. Aesop

    I share the sorrow for your loss, and offer sincere condolences for your family’s grief.
    And the benediction that at least the deceased never has to attend the funeral, they merely leave behind the centerpiece. Be assured that afterlife or no, they are in a better situation presently than they were in their final moments.

  13. Rick B

    Sorry for your loss. It’s never easy but at least his problems and misery are over

    Go easy on small dog. Not sure what his life was like before, but remember that his world got severely nuked a week ago. Put into a cage and a trailer, that may have been dark and hot, for hours on end, then getting to his new home in the middle of the night, having lost all of his friends, and now having to learn all new rules. If you are his only anchor he should be a little clingy.

    1. Hognose Post author

      He’s been a pretty solid rock of a dog so far. He seems to like everybody, loves his walks during the day. Got spooked doing an extra tonight. We still can’t figure out why he fled from my neighbor — once out of three visits — and came out for my dad. Generally, the neighbor is a sweet lady and animal lover while dad’s a bit crusty and keeps animals at a distance. He has, however, taken a shine to Small Dog Mk. II.

      As far as the dog is concerned, my place is in the recliner so he can sleep on me. Not conducive to work.

      I’m aware that he’s had a lot of changes thrown at him, and don’t know what his life was like before his foster. But in ~16-18 months of foster he was never alone but always with humans or at least other dogs.

      Neighbor reports that he yips for a few minutes when I go out, but then he stops. He yips again when he detects my arrival, for example if I raise a garage door or step on the front porch… if I’m home, he barks to announce people. Saves me money on servants, eh.

      Woof Woof WOOF Woof: “His Excellency, the Blogbrother, arriving.”

      Grrrrr WOOF Woof Woof: “The postman left a package by the door.”

  14. Scott

    Have you tried a dog crate, perhaps with a blanket over it? If a dog is insecure, far from a prison, it cab be more of comforting, safe cave for them to retreat into while their protector is away.

    Our dog barks when people (it’s defenders) are home, to alert the (read: it’s) defenders. When it is home alone and someone knocks, it is usually quite silent.

    Not a heroic defender of the castle, but you could do worse.

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