For months, Ella has been telling me she wants long hair, like her friend Riley’s. “I want a bun at dance class,” she said. Yesterday, I put it in two little piggy-tails for church. Later that day, Ella took kitchen shears and hacked off those piggy-tails. You can imagine how baffled I am at her 1)desire for long hair and 2) this rather violent action. My friend-the-amazing-hairdresser fixed it the best she could, and we both agreed Ella looks like a chemo patient. Her preschool graduation pictures are going to be precious.
Upstairs in her room, I picked up long blond tresses to throw away in the garbage. The day before, I went around the living room picking up tufts of black and grey Kiah hair. Kiah was shedding, and clumps of her hair would roll through the kitchen like tumbleweed. We’d spent a lot of time brushing her recently, ogling the amount of hair that we threw away. How is it that hair on the dog is sleek and beautiful, but the moment it comes off the dog, it’s just gross?
We lost Kiah on Saturday. I don’t want to get into the details. Earlier that morning, she was bounding around our backyard throwing her Angry Bird stuffed animal into the air and catching it, and that afternoon, she was rushed off to the emergency vet care. It was an accident- nobody’s fault. That night, we told the kids she wasn’t coming home. Outside, neighbors congregated at a barbecue, purple flowers bloomed atop the chives in my garden, the phone rang, and my children wept. I wept. We stared into the empty backyard and our hearts hurt at the sight of a bone in the corner of the living room, her crate in the library, those tufts of hair in corners and between cushions on the couch, her paw prints on the sliding glass doors, her nose smudges on the windows, a leash coiled at the bottom of the stairs.
God, she was such a pain in the ass! She was a jumper. She liked to run into my bathtub and just stand there, smirking at me: “Yeah, I’m in your tub, and I’m going to leave my hair in it and maybe some mud. And I’ll probably do it again tomorrow, too.” She ruined my carpets, my hanging blinds, the window screens, and my sanity. She stole my kids’ stuffed animals and ripped them to shreds. She ate off the table and licked water out of the sink. She chewed the furniture. She had diarrhea all over the laundry room floor. She could clear the entire couch with one swift jump. She pulled on her leash during walks. She dug up my tulips. She had horrible breath and she got poop stuck in her butt fur.
Yet, I don’t know that I’ll ever meet anyone again in my whole life that will be as happy to see me when I walk through the door. She loved me even after I stuck her in her crate. She played well with others and was content just to lie on top of our picnic table and stare at me through the window.
I look out the window and there’s nothing there. Just an unkempt lawn and my tearstained reflection in the glass.
We’ll be fine- it will take some time. Please pray for us. This- this is really, really hard.