I’ve sat down to write this a few times, never sure where to start.  So here we go…  We had to put Hoover to sleep in late May.    We miss him terribly!

He’d been sick.  We put him on meds that let us keep him longer than we might have been able to – but ultimately those lumps that always plagued him were just too much.

He’s never really been just a dog.  We got him on the 5th day of our married life, not in the plans exactly, but he needed a home, and we wanted to give him one!  He was meant to be ours.

He was diagnosed with hip dysplasia not long after we got him – and together we entered the world of emergency medicine visits, medication, and taking the steps necessary to care for a condition that was chronic.  Kevin and I made this really important decision with Hoover that has carried forward with Grace –and I think served us well.  If one of us is uncomfortable with how something is going, or reluctant about a decision we don’t charge ahead…  we take the time we need to come to consensus…and if we can’t come to consensus we ask questions and get more information until we both agree, or we take the path of least resistance that we both can agree upon.  We were a unit working on his behalf.

Hoover turned out to be the perfect dog for Grace.  He loved her.  He knew when she was having a seizure, or we were upset about something that she was doing, and he would be so quiet, so respectful of that… he just somehow took it all in.  He handled her petting him in very ungentle ways, and shared the front door at the old house without complaint where she and he would sit and watch the world go by together.  He was her footrest.  He was the welcoming committee for her therapists and nurses.  He was humor and love.  Grace growing up has been such serious stuff – I don’t think I really realized until Graham came along how serious it was – Hoover filled in the lighthearted stuff.  Running the fence line with Suzi, licking out the peanut butter jars, sitting still as we stroked his ears (they were so soft), lying on the grass turning his belly up to the sun.  He gave her things in common with other kids…served as an introduction to others as we would be out in the world.

Graham loved him too – Hoover loved him too…and the bonus was that Graham fed him.  I hate that Graham won’t remember Hoover, although there are plenty of pictures to prove their love for each other.  Hoover continued to be unflappable with Graham- and all the abilities that Graham had that Grace didn’t.  Graham loved to sit on Hoover’s pad with him.  They’d sit and look at books, play with toys, and then out of nowhere Graham would just lay over his back and hug him.  Hoover just hung in there until it was done and then politely got up, leaving Graham to sit on the dog pad.

Other things I’ll never forget:

  • Him jumping over the ottoman because I got to close to him when I was using the vacuum.
  • He could tweet like a bird when he needed to go outside early in the morning.
  • How he’d put himself in your lap anytime you sat down on the floor.
  • How he was afraid of thunderstorms and when it stormed at night he would move his pad to the center of the living room so he could see us in the middle of the night, in our new home we had to get a second pad so he could migrate to our room for protection as he saw fit.
  • The paths he’d make in the back yard when it snowed, because he wasn’t really tall enough to do anything else.
  • His head on my knee when I’d had a tough day.

So now the house seems quiet, a bit more serious and with a lot less dog hair.