Friday, January 24, 2014

Been a While...Part 2

This will go off topic for a bit, but I'll be back tomorrow with an all new Cubs/baseball card post! I'm going to pull the curtain back on the Once a Cub household.

Shortly after I vowed to comeback strong to blogging in January, my nearly 16 year old Cocker Spaniel, Hope passed away. I turned 35 two months back so she had been with me nearly my entire adult life. Aside from my parents while growing up and my wife, there's nobody I've seen more often. I didn't think I'd be the kind of guy to be thrown for such a loop when she was gone, but boy, was I wrong.

My wife and I got Hope before we had either of our sons. Before we were married even. She lived in Virginia with us, Alaska, Maine and Virginia again. About two years back, we noticed Hope was slowing down. She couldn't hear or see as well. Stairs started getting tough for her. We took her to the vet, where nothing was wrong with her except the aging process. My wife and I talked about getting a second dog, to keep Hope company during the day and maybe help rejuvenate her a little too.

I expressed my interest in a bigger, more masculine dog. Something I could go for runs with and help get myself back into shape. Something with shorter hair or at least shed less. But to me, this was just speculative talk. I wasn't really expecting to get another dog anytime soon. But later in the week, I came home from work one day to a Morkie, which is a Yorkie/Maltese mix. Essentially, a purse dog.

Suffice to say, I was not happy. But she grew on me pretty quickly and as a consolation, I even got to pick the name. There aren't too many feminine names associated with the Cubs so it didn't come quickly. She was the wrong color to be called Sandy (for Sandberg). Grace was in contention, but that was the name of a close friend's daughter. Funny that the new Cubs mascot is named Clark because I almost went with Addison. For those who don't know, Clark and Addison are the cross streets where Wrigley Field is located.

Ultimately, the name Ivy was approved (haha, you thought I actually had FULL say on the name?). As unprepared as I was for another dog, Ivy has been a great companion dog. Hope was noticeably irritated at first by the young whippersnapper but adapted quickly. Most times in the past two years, Hope wouldn't even notice when the family would come home from work/school but Ivy would go get her and let her know. Same thing when it came time to eat and go outside.

While we almost expected 2014 to be Hope's last year, it all happened pretty quickly. Maybe it was denial, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. She had lost almost a quarter of her body weight between Thanksgiving and New Years, something we didn't see because of her winter coat growing out. And with two dogs, we didn't necessarily notice any uneaten food. She had a much harder time getting up, something we attributed to the colder weather and her age.

Hope hadn't been real active in the past year so not a whole lot has changed in our daily lives the past few weeks. But at the same time, there is still a huge hole. Thanks for letting me vent a little. And like I said, tomorrow, I'll be back with a new card/Cubs related post.


  1. Vent away. Dogs do that to us guys - make us realize we are not cold hearted jerks like we try and pass ourselves off.

  2. I feel for ya. Pets are family, too. But, it sounds like you and your wife had a nice run with Hope. Perhaps Ivy will continue to grow you on, even though she's not the big masculine dog you were looking for.