Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How Do Dogs Mourn Their Kin?

A couple weeks ago, I posted a eulogy for my family's golden retriever, Harry. I thank all the people who shared kind/funny/sympathetic stories about Harry, who lived a great dog's life. In that blogpost, I mentioned that Harry was once a Christmas gift from my cousins, whose dogs gave birth to a litter of puppies. This weekend, my cousin Jessie told me that when they bought Harry's dad Woody, they planned all along to set him up with their female dog Chloe.*

*Maybe that was why they named him Woody? (Sorry, I had to.)

The bad thing about keeping a litter of puppies in the extended family is that they all tend to die at around the same time. My cousin Jenny's dog Hubble died in the fall, soon after several of Harry's other siblings had moved on. This weekend, it all became too much for my cousin Ellenoira's dog Rica. As one of Harry's last surviving relatives, Rica went into a period of old-fashioned mourning:  

There are a few notable things going on in this photo:
1) Throughout history, Irish people have maintained a sense of humor about death. Many Irish novelsplays, and movies poke fun at the inevitability of the Grim Reaper. Apparently, Irish dogs like to joke about death, too. I guess laughter is the way we all deal with sorrow. Well, laughter and excessive drinking.
2) Rica is way too calm in the picture above, indicating to me that she has played dress-up many times before. A quick scan of Ellenoira's Facebook page proves that to be true:

3) Rica looks damn good in black. I wonder if other dogs come up to her and say, "Damn, bitch.* How old are you? Seven? Six?"

*The word bitch is not offensive in that sentence.

Now that we've established that Rica is the quintessential Irish dog and has the patience of a typical fashion model, I just hope that she makes it to St. Paddy's Day. I want to see how Ellenoira dresses her up. Oh, wait...

I guess we already know how she'll dress. Either way, I just hope she enjoys a parting glass for her departed kin.

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