I have a healthy gallows humor. It’s my main coping mechanism, how I manage what life throws at me. If I can laugh at the frustrating, make the irritating absurd, and find any glimmer of amusement at the frightening, then I win. I have more power over the fear and uncertainty. It doesn’t always work, but it’s gotten me this far; a little trip through the archives here show that. I learned this at me mudder’s knee. She has a gentler gallows humor, but it’s there. Paired with my dad’s quirky outlook, I am the result and lordy what a mix it is. We laugh at faulty memories (where’s my toast?), at stress, at life. Even a silly phrase like green bananas will elicit a chuckle.
Green bananas. As in, granny is so old she doesn’t buy green bananas anymore. You know, because she might shuffle off this mortal coil before they’re ripe. Gallows humor. Never mind that granny probably speed-walked to the store to buy those bananas on the way to volunteer at the old folks’ home.
I’m dealing with several green banana issues right now, of varying levels of importance. I’m only buying Brita filters a couple at a time, because our 30 year old fridge will inevitably conk out as soon as I buy a Costco pack, and our next icebox will have filtered water. I cringe every time I fill up the 14 year old van, because I will be pissed spending $35 or more on gas only to have the transmission go belly up as soon as I leave the station. And…sigh…I gave up the monthly drop of dog food from Amazon and now just get the smallest bag at PetSmart when needed, because Rosie… Well, Rosie isn’t buying any green bananas these days, let’s go with that.
Our sweet girlie is around 14 or so. Not bad for a basset/beagle/corgi mix who was a stray before we adopted her back in Colorado. She’s always been a pillow with a pulse, an ottoman with a sweet attitude, but her get up and go has gotten up and went in the last couple of years. Walks that used to drag us down the street became meandering sniffs became flopping down on the grass and refusing to move. She sleeps most of the day now, always always close to me. She is my constant companion, leaving only when she sees the silver sweary stick emerging from its case. She is so underfoot that it’s a testament to the quality and influence of my guardian angel that I haven’t fallen over her down a flight of stairs to my gory demise. She might be the family dog, but I am her human and she loves me best.
Rosie has been in a steady decline for the last eighteen months or so. Nothing big and disturbing, just aging as an aging dog does. But the decline is less of a gentle slope these days and the vet has recommended that the family sit down and discuss her quality of life. Sooner rather than later. Joints are aching and blood levels are concerning and masses are growing. She’s eating less and hobbling more, though she will hobble with great speed if Tom is carving roast beast at the counter, for she knows who has a tender heart and will “accidentally” drop tasty morsels her way. She’s mostly deaf, going blind, but still requires ear skritches and belly rubs. Rosie is, and always will be, the best dog ever.
Today my heart aches and I’m having a hard time finding any humor in her situation. I take that back. I find it greatly entertaining that yesterday Andy was doing calculations to figure out how large of a diamond we could create with Rosie’s remains. For the record, I’m not hip to a dead dog diamond, but you do you, boo. I was hoping she’d perk up over the weekend, but it looks like I’ll be calling the vet on Monday morning to make plans. We don’t want her to suffer any more than she already is. You can see in her eyes that she’s muscling through as best she can, trying to still be her, but it hurts. I can’t let her hurt.
So I make the gallows humor jokes about green bananas and scritch her ears; belly rubs hurt now, so she refuses those. We’ve all been loving on her more the last few weeks because we’ve known this was coming. Even knowing, I don’t think any of us are ready to say goodbye to her. She’s been with us for nearly ten years and it’s hard to imagine life without her.
Cheers to Rosie, the House of Chaos doggo. We love you, sweet girlie.